STOWAWAY – Review by Susan Granger

Set sometime in the future when interplanetary travel is possible, Joe Penna’s sci-fi thriller poses provocative moral questions when an accidental stowaway compromises a vessel’s oxygen supply. As the story begins, the Kingfisher crew – working for a company called Hyperion – blasts off for a two-year mission to Mars. Not long after takeoff, they discover a terrified interloper, a launch support engineer who was trapped in an overhead compartment.

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CONCRETE COWBOY – Review by Susan Granger

Writer/director Ricky Staub looked outside his office window in North Philadelphia and was stunned to see a horse and buggy going down the street – like a remnant of another century. On further investigation, he realized his office was only a mile away from the Fletcher Street stables, a non-profit organization that’s been dedicated to inner-city horsemanship for 100 years. That prompted him to write this fictionalized, coming-of-age family drama, revolving around this riding culture.

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KAALI KHUHI – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Kaali Khuhi is a horror delight for those willing to open their mind to genre entries that fall outside typical Western fare. Starring an impressive Riva Arora as Shivangi, she is a young child at the heart of the film’s drama and its unlikely heroine. The film begins as her grandmother falls ill, her distraught father taking Shivangi and her unimpressed mother to the small village where the old woman lies ill. Almost instantly, through her newfound best friend Shivangi discovers that the village is riddled with dark secrets, all of which lead to a mysterious, spooky room on the top floor of her grandmother’s home, marked by the presence of the ghostly, ghastly spectre of a girl around her own age marked by a signature red dress.

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The Assembled Ensemble on A WEEK AWAY – Nell Minow interviews

A Week Away is a sweet, unpretentious musical about a Christian summer camp for teens, told with heart and verve. Bailee Madison, who plays Avery, the daughter of the camp director, co-produced as well. Kevin Quinn plays Will, who is only at the camp because the alternative was going to juvie, Kat Conner plays the bookish Presley and Jahbril Cook plays George, the sweet, shy camper with a crush on her.

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MOXIE – Review by Martha K Baker

When the principal of Rockford High describes her student body as having moxie, two juniors roll their eyes and implore, “Is she 100 years old?” Moxie is a soft drink created in in 1876 by Dr. Augustin Thompson. He designed the prune-based drink to give the drinker gumption, like pep from Pepsi.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 12, 2021: MOXIE

Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and David Hogg notwithstanding, not every teen is ready to fight for justice and equality on a national — or international — scale. Director Amy Poehler’s charming Moxie, based on the YA novel by Jennifer Mathieu, will speak to the kids who want to make a difference but aren’t quite sure they’re meant for the spotlight.

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Aaron Sorkin on THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, Story Power and Musical Dialogue – Jennifer Merin interviews

In The Trial of the Chicago 7, writer/director Aaron Sorkin dramatizes the US Justice Department’s prosecution of political activists Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellenger, John Froines and Lee Weiner, all of whom were arrested while leading peaceful anti-Vietnam War demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sorkin chats about balancing entertainment and educational value in his truth based and how he develops story and composes dialogue.

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MOXIE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Never would I think that a teen-aimed movie would cause me to Google how many R’s are in riot grrrl. But leave it to Amy Poehler to introduce a rage-filled femme-forward music movement spin-off of punk from the ‘90s to the Covid-19 generation. In Moxie, she shows up both in front of the camera as a semi-cool mom of an introverted high-schooler and behind it as it director. But the focus is on Hadley Robinson as her daughter Vivian, who is trying to define herself while facing the task of writing a college essay.

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MOXIE – Review by Loren King

Amy Poehler is a comic genius so her move behind the camera is something to celebrate. But her second feature, Moxie, based on Jennifer Mathieu’s YA novel with a well-meaning but scattershot script from Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer, is likable but inconsequential, reducing #metoo and youthful activism to sitcom formula. It’s entertaining and certainly watchable but it seems diluted for mass consumption. The target audience of teenagers who, after all, are some of our most proactive and resourceful citizens, are likely well past its bland portrait of awakened anger and direct action.

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