MY WONDERFUL WANDA – Review by Lois Alter Mark

My Wonderful Wanda is such a trip, you’re better off not knowing much about the movie ahead of time so you can just let writer-director, Bettina Oberli, take you for a ride. Because, oh, what a ride it is. Oberli has created a satire that gets to the heart of family dynamics, privilege, motherhood, class – and lack of it. In so many ways, My Wonderful Wanda is pretty wonderful.

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THUNDER FORCE – Review by Martha K Baker

The problem with Thunder Force is that it’s unnecessarily complex. Two fine actors — Melissa McCarthy and Olivia Spencer — expend breathless monologues to explain the plot design, and, still they do not succeed to make it plausible or even fantastic enough for awe. So, bottom line, the problem is Ben Falcone. Falcone, McCarthy’s husband, wrote and directed Thunder Force.

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A LITTLE MORE FLESH II – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

I am not the only woman film critic – indeed, not the only woman – who flinches when those seemingly unavoidable cloying, clingy self-identifying Male Feminists™ start brandishing their liberated gender political credentials at you like they are applying for a job. A Little More Flesh II is a scathing, searing and unrestrained examination of men in the film industry by men in the film industry about what monumental creeps they can be.

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THE COLUMNIST – Review by Maitland McDonagh

A darkly comic thriller about the perils of social-media obsession, this handsome and well-acted film is undermined–at least for non-Dutch speakers–by inexplicably haphazard subtitles. Columnist Femke writes for a popular website, appealing to readers who appreciate her sharp but non-confrontational musings about being a divorced single mother trying to get through the day and support her smart. rebellious. fledgling-feminist daughter’s war against conformist high-school culture.

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OUR TOWNS – Review by Martha K Baker

If Our Towns: A Panoramic Yet Intimate Look at Small Towns Throughout America were just a travelogue through America’s small and growing towns, it would be worthy. If it were an argument for rethinking what works to raise declining towns from the economic slough, it would be worth watching. If Our Towns were merely an exercise in beautiful film-making, it would be 97 minutes of loveliness.

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HOPE – Review by Diane Carson

Norwegian director Maria Sødahl’s autobiographical film Hope sounds, at first glance, potentially off-putting. Instead, embrace this jewel. Anja Richter, a middle-aged dance choreographer, returns to Oslo from a successful performance in Amsterdam, pleased with reviews. But something feels off, just not right. Anja’s dizzy and has trouble seeing clearly even with her glasses. An MRI will confirm her suspicion.

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REEFA – Review by Leslie Combemale

Jessica Kavana Dornbusch has penned and directed the film Reefa about young and very gifted street artist Israel ‘Reefa’ Hernandez, who was struck down by Miami police while he was tagging an abandoned building. After four years of intense research and much dialogue with Hernandez’s family, Kavana Dornbusch has crafted a story that is much more a celebration of a joyful, idealistic youth’s life than it is about a senseless, tragic death at the hands of the officers who should have been protecting him.

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MY DOG IS SICK – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

If more filmmakers had even a skerrick of the courage and creativity of director Sapna Bhavnani, the cultural landscape – not just in India, but beyond – would be all the richer for it. My Dog is Sick will not be for everyone and is to be celebrated for it. This is its strength. These are the voices that need amplification; the ones that shock us, the ones that move us, the ones that confuse us, and the ones that dazzle us.

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THUNDER FORCE – Review by Susan Granger

Unfortunately, inept writer/director Ben Falcone forgets about essential character depth and development, telegraphing the lame slapstick gags, which lack any sense of pace and timing. Worse yet, he totally wastes the considerable talents of Olivia Spencer, whose underwritten Emily is simply steadfast, drifting along for the ride as a relationship sidekick.

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MOFFIE – Review by Martha K Baker

Imagine being forced to defend “apartheid,” your country’s policy of discrimination of blacks. Imagine being a young man inculcated into an army of hatred, where trainers start with cruelty and descend to sadism. Now, add homophobia to those aspects of life in South Africa in 1981. The three ingredients define this fine film. Moffie is derogatory Afrikaans for “effeminate” in the bully jargon of the times. It’s what Nicholas has been called all his adolescence. When he is forced to train for two years for the South African army, he tries desperately to be what others define as masculine, that is, unyielding, mean, craven, unloving.

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