FATHER STU – Review by T. J. Callahan

Mark Wahlberg isn’t proselytizing, but he’s trying to reach a higher level through a Higher Power in Father Stu, a foul-mouthed, faith-based feature starring Wahlberg as a pugilistic priest from the wrong side of the tracks, who redeems himself as he delivers others from sin. Father Stu is based on the true story of Stuart Long, who grew up in a dysfunctional family in Montana. When he was passed his prime as a boxer, Stu moved to Los Angeles to be an actor, but after he had a near fatal motorcycle accident, he found the Lord and his calling as a priest.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Regina King’s Shirley Chisholm biopic lands at Netflix – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award and Primetime Emmy winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, HBO’s Watchmen) will portray trailblazer Shirley Chisholm in the upcoming biopic Chisholm. Written and directed by John Ridley (Needle in a Timestack), Shirley, initially announced in early 2021, has landed at Netflix. Producers are King and her sister, Reina King, for Royal Ties Productions; Anikah McLaren and Elizabeth Haggard for Participant; and Ridley (Guerrilla, Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992).

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THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE – Review by Susan Granger

Almost unrecognizable in spidery mascara, prosthetic cheeks and garish wigs, Jessica Chastain is irresistible as camp icon Tammy Faye Bakker who – with her husband, preacher Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) – built a Christian empire, Including Heritage USA, a Jesus-themed amusement park.

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KING RICHARD – Review by Susan Granger

Will Smith has been nominated twice for Oscars. Now his persuasive performance as King Richard should earn him a third nod and, perhaps, first win. Smith plays stubborn, outspoken Richard Williams, the demanding yet loving father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. “You gonna be the greatest of all time,” Richard tells the girls. “You know how I know? Because I planned for it.”

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KING RICHARD – Review by Diane Carson

Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard focuses on Richard Williams, the single-minded father of the great tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams in their early days. Richard guides and perfects their talent through a racist sport where opportunities arrive only because of his unflinching, unflappable determination with support from his wife Oracene.

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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.

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RESPECT – Review by Pam Grady

The recreation of some of Aretha Franklin’s hits is brilliant, scenes sublimely directed by Liesl Tommy, with vocal performances from Jennifer Hudson living up to the faith Aretha Franklin had in her (even if she is not quite in Franklin’s league – but then, no one is or will be, the woman was peerless) and reflecting what the excitement must have been like when those songs were fresh and new. It is a shame that the screenplay isn’t sharper. Aretha Franklin deserves better than the banality that deflates this otherwise excellent effort.

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ENFANT TERRIBLE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Starring as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Oliver Masucci is a wonder. He drags the audience through the greatest hits of Fassbinder’s relentlessly outwardly destructive and self destructive experience. The actor builds an arc of galloping self-hate, desperate flamboyance, and increasing distain for those around him that embodies and lays bare the iconoclastic director’s devolution.

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Filmmaker Nora Unkel on A NIGHTMARE WAKES and Mary Shelley – April Neale interviews (EXCLUSIVE)

A Nightmare Wakes presents a visual journey of Mary’s writing process, replete with demonic and disturbing visions and extraneous personal drama that adds to her overall melancholia. Director Nora Unkel reveals the nightmare that inspired Mary, a failed pregnancy; a complex love affair with Percy and a blending of her reality with dreamt possession and bloody imagery where we are unsure at times of what we are witnessing.

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