“I, Olga Hepnarova” Powerfully Poignant and Tragic

 

 

One of the strangest biographies ever to be made into a film, I, Olga (Já, Olga Hepnarová) tells the true tale of revenge. Nicely paced and presented, the movie plays out like a diary told from Olga’s letters and notes. Sometimes humans are calling for help and no one is listening. This is a story of one of those times. Not to be missed, it powerfully poignant.

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“Killing Reagan” Surviving an Assassination

 

The film Killing Reagan follows the President of the United States from his 1981 inauguration through his first few months in office. It’s a very good production with seasoned actors that look like the subjects and sets/locations similar or exactly like the ones where his attempted assassination took place. The movie really is a duo mini biography in which John Hinckley, Jr.’s story behind his motives as the assassin become the central catalyst. The film is now available on DVD. Read more

“Jackie” The First Lady of Camelot

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Review by John M. Delia, Jr.

A heartfelt account through the eyes of Jackie Kennedy following the assassination of her husband John Fitzgerald Kennedy, this mini biography Jackie opens this weekend. The film includes her televised White House tour and her interview with American political journalist and historian Theodore Harold White. The film documents the emotional struggles she endured and how she was able to withstand the smothering sympathy. Read more

“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

“Sully” Reliving a Heroes Judgement Call

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There have been several real life events that Hollywood has brought to the screen and the movie Sully happens to be one of the most amazing. Seven years ago US Airways flight 1579 had to ditch in the Hudson River and TV had a heyday with the crash and rescue of all 155 passengers on board. Even more recent was the replay of the documentary “Hudson Plane Crash: What Really Happened” on American Heroes Channel cable TV that was very poignant with actual passengers and crew members giving interviews.  Heroism personified. Read more

“Hands of Stone” A Rock Hard Film

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The movie Hands of Stone follows the life of world champion boxer Roberto Duran. Well-acted by a fine cast, the film plays out much like the movie Ali where the top boxer stunned the world capturing the heavyweight crown. With Duran, the story gets a glazing of white wash, turns bullish and then a bit too sentimental for my taste. That said, I did enjoy the production value and the boxing action that looked very realistic. Read more

“Rabin in his Own Words”, the Life of a Peacemaker

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One of the most complete and intensive biography/documentary films I’ve seen years, Rabin in His Own Words comes to American screens this weekend. It follows Yitzhak Rabin life from birth to his untimely death using photographs, home film, archival footage and news reels. It’s actually a documentary on how Israel was born, the historical wars they fought and the challenge of bringing peace to the nation. Read more

Papa Hemingway in Cuba, Intimate and Daring

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A bold time capsule of Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba gets revealed through the eyes of a reporter who lived it in the film Papa Hemingway in Cuba. Richly shot in the estranged county, the movie delves into the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning writer’s intimate lifestyle on the island in the 1950’s. Taught, daring and an eye opener the fine cast does a terrific job of character portrayal under the able direction of Bob Yari from an autobiographical script written by Denne Bart Petitclerc.

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The Lady in the Van, a Heartwarming True Story

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Being a fan of good acting, plot and direction, especially connected to an indie, it’s enjoyable to watch a heartfelt film like The Lady in the Van. For those who admire Maggie Smith they’ll have double delight with this true story. Originally a play on a London stage starring the consummate actress and now on Blu-ray and DVD, the comedy drama’s wonderful to watch even your home video screen. Read more

Eddie the Eagle, Delivers High Flying Courage

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A fun little film called  Eddie the Eagle opens today in theaters across the country and it’s a true story. Steeped with energy, determination and a will to succeed, the movie features very good performances, fine direction and wow cinematography. Touching and heartwarming, the audience will find themselves inspired by this dynamo of man who is determined to participate in the Olympics. The film gets comical showing the ambitious man becoming a dare devil even in the face of the impossible odds. The movie gives the feel much like the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings that competed the same year in Calgary. Read more

The Danish Girl, a Controversial Love Story

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Out of the ordinary, the true life biography of Lili Elbe The Danish Girl opens this weekend. The drama features excellent performances by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander so look for an Oscar nomination for either or both. The film delves into one of the most talked about life choices of our time involving sex change and written nicely for the screen by Lucinda Coxon. Read more

In the Heart of the Sea, a Whale of a Story

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One of the more aggressive films about the sea In the Heart of the Sea follows the tale of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, but this time with a twist. Nicely filmed and containing a lot of action on the Atlantic Ocean, the picturesque views become a good portion of the movie. The acting and direction are stellar with Chris Hemsworth playing the lead and a fine support cast helmed by Ron Howard. Read more

Grace of Monaco, Saving the Crown

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This made for television film surprises with very good performances by Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth making the docudrama interesting and compelling. Based on true accounts Grace of Monaco opens sanctified doors of the Palace to show how strong willed Grace Kelly was during a period of isolationism and threats by the French Government. If you like melodramas about famous people, then this is your cup of tea. Read more