ETERNALS – Review by Karen Peterson

Myth, legend, and theology come together like they never have before in Marvel’s newest entry, Eternals. Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao brings her intimate, personal style of storytelling to cinema’s most sprawling universe, introducing new characters and new ideas to the familiar franchise. Despite the action and the visual effects, there’s little to remind us that this is a Marvel movie. it serves as a curious addition to the collection and an exciting peek into the future of the franchise. It is a future more reflective of the world we live in, with grander ideas and new types of storytelling.

Read more

THe Electrical Life of Louis Wain – Review by Diane Carson

That director Will Sharpe establishes a spirited, often amusing approach to Louis Wain’s life adds to the entertainment of his roller coaster fortunes without minimizing the hardships he encountered: his adored wife Emily dying young of breast cancer, his sister Marie suffering from schizophrenia, nightmares of drowning, coping with underemployment and social scandal while struggling to lift his mother and five unmarried sisters out of increasingly impoverished circumstances, failing to copyright his images, and his escalating mental illness.

Read more

DUNE – Review by Diane Carson

We’ve waited a long time for director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and, yes, it has been worth the wait in terms of its overpowering visuals and sound design. The technical elements do all but smother the ecological, sociopolitical critique, but it’s there in battles for the rare commodity spice, imperialist incursions affecting the native Fremin culture, and the imperial family skirmishes.

Read more

DUNE – Review by Susan Granger

Since its publication in 1965, Frank Herbert’s epic tale has become one of the most popular sci-fi novels of all time. No wonder that filmmakers have grappled with interpreting its vast, complex story. French Canadian writer/director Denis Villenueve begins his $165 million extravaganza with “Part I.”

Read more

WHEN MEN WERE MEN (Austin Film Fest) – Review by Diane Carson

Co-writer/co-director Aidan Dick plays Egan; co-writer/co-director Izzi Rojas takes on the central Kieran role. The heartfelt commitment to this project produces some convincing, empathetic moments. It’s a familiar, even at times clichéd, message but one still critically important to those who are transgender and all who do, as all should, support them. With an estimated budget of $25,000 (imdb listing), what is accomplished is impressive.

Read more

EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED TO TELL MY DAUGHTER ABOUT MEN (Austin Film Fest 2021) – Review by Diane Carson

Cleverly organized and powerfully presented, Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men uses a sequence of eight therapy sessions to unravel and reveal multiple loves reflecting the complex emotional problems of the central character, called The Woman. Interweaving flashbacks to the succession of demanding, destructive men in her past, The Women’s searing honesty yields to several explicit lessons and session descriptions, both listed in text on screen.

Read more

CIVIL WAR – Review by Martha K Baker

How do Americans tell the history of the time our country suffered an insurrection? How do we teach about the Civil War, learn about it, perpetuate “The Lost Cause”? How do we translate the period of Reconstruction to the continuing era of White Supremacy? Filmmaker Rachel Boynton asked those questions, over and over, in class rooms and council rooms and living rooms.

Read more

RON’S GONE WRONG – Review by Tara McNamara

Ron’s Gone Wrong creatively illuminates how “connected” devices are contributing to a lack of human connection and the unprecedented challenge kids face as they grow up in the social media age. This empathetic animated family film, which Disney absorbed in the 20th Century Fox acquisition, looks at the complications of establishing friendships today, especially if you’re a socially challenged introvert.

Read more

THE FEAST – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

While, as its name alone indicates, it sits comfortably amongst other dining-centric horror movies, The Feast straddles an impressive number of sub-genres, both in horror and beyond: class drama, eco-horror, family melodrama…to list them all would, however, reveal too much about the surprises Jones’s film holds so confidently up its sleeves.

Read more