“Lion” A Courageous True Story with a lot of Heart

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Most foreign films are sidestepped in the United States for various reasons especially due to having to read subtitles. Because of this some excellent films are avoided by many and they lose the experience of outstanding stories. I am hoping that this will not be the case for the movie Lion that will be in theaters around America starting on December 21.

The film outshines many of the movies made here in USA and the heartfelt true story of Lion delivers amazing acting, direction and cinematography. It’s not about the jungle animal, but refers to the strength of a young boy who tries to survive alone in a threatening world. Read more

“Sing” it’s a Stitch!

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Probably the most silly of animated films this year, and that’s good thing for  Sing. Enjoyable, very funny, touching and oh incredibly wacky the family film targets children, but the adults will enjoy it a lot more than the average toon. I’m surprised the filmmakers waited so long to put the film in theaters, but with no children’s anime to stop it from becoming a blockbuster, it’s a very possible chance it will. Read more

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” an Exciting Prequel

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Filling in with a prequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the first in a series by Lucas Films that started the Star Wars franchise, comes Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The set-up starts a new series for Star Wars that brings new adventures in between continuing episodes that follow Star Wars the Force Awakens. It’s quite a challenge for the team at Disney/Lucas and I’m very glad they came up with the idea. Read more

“Miss Sloane” a Current Topic with a Wicked Performance

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Jessica Chastain gives brilliantly “wicked” performance in the film Miss Sloane as a lobbyist caught in the middle of a Senate Bill debate. She’s so good at projecting the persona of a strong woman that the ladies may even have cop an attitude following the show. Just kidding guys. Or maybe not. Right now she’s in my top picks for an Oscar. Read more

“Manchester by the Sea” Coping with Tragedy

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Dealing with a loss during a period of grief, the film Manchester by the Sea delivers pathos and recovery. Finding ones way in a sea of anguish, the actor’s work on problems of reconciliation, understanding and compromise in this drama that drives two lives caught up in hard decisions. Nicely directed and written it could be in contention for an Oscar. Read more

Interview with Gabrielle Stone on “Stray”

Known for ZK: Elephant’s Graveyard, Speak No Evil and Cut!, Gabrielle Stone is an accomplished actress with an impressive resume of work. In Stray, Stone is Jennifer, a troubled young woman with a disturbing past and a penchant for killing. Penned and helmed by award-winning writer-director Nena Eskridge, Stray follows Jennifer as she struggles to break free from a cycle of violence and seek love and redemption in a small town. In this one-on-one interview, Stone reveals the challenges she faced in bringing a flawed and exceedingly complex character to life. Read more

“Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower” an Inside Look at Protectors

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Those going to concerts, speaking events, nightclubs, arena events and other high profile happenings have no clue in what goes on behind the scenes. The documentary Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower tells it all with film, video, photos and firsthand accounts of one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Read more

“Nocturnal Animals” the Consequences of Wrong Choices

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Turning an ordinary story of romance into an unusual film, writer and director Tom Ford delivers Nocturnal Animals to the screen. Interestingly written, the movie twists and turns as it visualizes a book through the mind of the reader. It’s a different kind of film, one that needs a firm understanding of what it’s all about as it progresses. Is it a love story or one of revenge? Some may not get it at first, but that’s ok, because the thriller that she’s reading is a movie in itself. Read more

“Moana” a Princess with Courage and Determination

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Adding another princess to their gallery, the movie Moana comes to theaters and it’s perfect for kids and family. This feature takes place in the Pacific Islands with Fiji in mind and a young girl who wants to save her people from dying from lack of food. The adventure shows how courage, friendship and uniting with others can help you achieve your goal. Read more

Interview with Hannah Levien on “Blood Brothers”

Growing up in Australia, Hannah Levien worked extensively in theatre before making her feature debut playing a teenage-runaway in the award-winning Australian film The Horseman. A recipient of the Arts Queensland Professional Development Award, Levien also starred in SyFy’s The Magicians and appeared in the popular TV series, Supernatural (as Calliope). Read more

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Gets Off to a Good Start

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Review by John Delia, Jr.

Many years before Harry Potter’s birth there was another time where turmoil ran the wizard world. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an interesting prequel to the Harry Potter series as it dives in deeper to the historical part of the JK Rowling magical franchise. Based on a book that appeared in one of the earlier Harry Potter stories, JK Rowling explores adventurously into her wizardry realm. Read more

“Arrival” a Sci-fi Mystery that Drags

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If you are looking to see an exciting film with a lot of creativity and adventure, then you may want to look elsewhere than Arrival. More of a mystery that spools out like Jodi Foster’s Contact that moves at a slow pace trying to fill in the blanks to the very end. With Arrival however, the film does take some twists that at least give the audience a measure of fun. Read more

“Journey to Space” Reveals Past, Present and Future of Space Exploration in 4K Realism

Narrated by a deep-space captain we all know—Patrick Stewart—Journey To Space reveals in stunning, 4K realism how NASA and other space adventurers are boldly taking on the challenges of interplanetary space travel. Highlighted by extensive interviews with astronauts Chris Ferguson (Commander of the final shuttle mission) and Serena Aunon (a new astronaut chosen for future flights), Journey To Space delivers a breathtaking overview of past space achievements, current projects and future plans, including a number of Mars missions.

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Journey To Space underscores how the Space Shuttle program led the way in moving us into the space station era, a critically important step in preparing astronauts for journeys to Mars and beyond. We see astronauts at work and play in the confines of this tubular home circling the globe every 90 minutes. Perhaps not since the film, Gravity, have viewers been treated to some of the most spectacular space footage—including stunning views of Earth and work on the Hubble Space Telescope.

International Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station (ISS)

Watching the International Space Station (ISS) being assembled is an awesome visual treat. We see how astronauts learn to live, build and conduct science in space, laying the foundation for the next giant leaps to explore the planets.

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Among the major highlights of the film are the many parallel efforts to place humans on Mars. The film explores in fascinating and realistic detail how astronauts will travel, land and live on the Red Planet. We learn the many ways our early Mars pioneers will survive on a lifeless world, the habitats they will build, and the many physical and psychological challenges they will face after years of isolation from Earth.

Mars mission
Mars mission

Also documented in stunning visual detail is Orion, a spacecraft designed to carry humans on long-duration deep space missions throughout the solar system. We learn about Olympus, an inflatable transportation habitat that’s 50-feet in diameter and provides astronauts the work area and living space necessary for long-duration missions. And finally, the Space Launch System (SLS) is presented in detail, showing how its huge rocket will carry spacecraft, Mars landers and ascent vehicles to place astronauts on the surface of Mars.

Mars habitat
Mars habitat

Journey to Space should inspire a new generation of astronauts to explore space, while reminding us of the accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program, the ISS and the many unmanned Mars missions.

 

“Hacksaw Ridge” a Gut Wrenching Heroic War Movie

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Cinematically brilliant, the movie Hacksaw Ridge grabs you by the collar and slaps you upside your head with a true story of our fearless military and a hero that earned the respect of his country. It’s a reminder why we are free and why all our American soldiers can hold their head high for battles fought in every conflict. Sometimes it takes the insight of a good film like this to bring us back to reality. Read more