“Bitter Harvest” Romance in the Midst of a Nightmare

 

One of the more incredible stories to serve as a romance, Bitter Harvest tells the tale of two lovers caught up in one of the world’s most evil genocides, the Russian Holodomor. Filmed in the Ukraine where it happened, the movie shows how Russia took over the country for their grain and starved its people to death during the mid-1920’s. Told from the perspective of two youngsters who grew up, married and were forced to separate under Soviet Russian control, the film becomes a heartfelt tribute to the terrible nightmare. Read more

“Quarry” a Gut-wrenching Series of Murder and Mayhem

 

Wow! comes to mind after watching Showtime’s Quarry on DVD. When you sit to watch the first episode it’s like a good book, you can’t put it down, or in this case you can’t turn it off. It had me hooked with its exciting characters, compelling story, and surprising twists. It’s not your ordinary crime drama, even though you may have seen comparable on cable TV, this one gets as gritty as they come. Read more

“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

“Two Lovers and a Bear” a Doomed Romance that Sizzles

 

The modern day romance Two Lovers and a Bear plays out in the frigid Arctic Circle showing a period in their lives that gets out of control. Directed and written by Kim Nguyen who’s not a stranger to shooting in exotic settings, makes use of the snow laden wind swept mountains, valleys and mini towns that add a lot of visual text to the plot. He controls his cinematography keeping shots tight so his audience can feel the chemistry between his two main characters. The film has been released on DVD and Digital HD. Read more

“20th Century Women” an Oscar Contender

 

The coming of age movie 20th Century Women takes a look at life askew in the late 70’s for a single mother of a teenage boy. Nicely written the film features very good performances directed by a filmmaker that has lived the age of the boy during the time period. Unsuccessful for two Golden Globes, it’s now in the hands of those who may make 20th Century Women an Oscar winner. Read more

“A Dog’s Purpose” A Meaningful Family Film

 

When’s the last time you saw a good dog movie with love, devotion and heroism? Not the animated type, but one that stars dogs doing some awesome stunts, creating the love for animals and even inspirational. Well you can find all that and more in the movie A Dog’s Purpose, a fun, adventure of a dog’s life that runs full circle. It’s fun for the whole family, but don’t be surprised when your youngster starts begging for a new furry friend. Read more

“The Light Between Oceans” Now on Blu-ray

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A moving romantic drama that gets taught and heartbreaking, The Light Between Oceans has been released on home video. Nicely directed by Derek Cianfrance, who’s no stranger to the genre and delivered the passionate motion picture Blue Valentine. In this film his characters are caught up in a quandary that tests their motives and truth. I am a fan of lush filmed movies that have breathtaking scenery and this one is no exception. Read more

“Patriot’s Day” a Must See Docudrama

 

An edge of your seat thriller, the true story Patriot’s Day left me breathless. The movie takes you through the steps following the heinous and senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Filmed with of tight hand, director Peter Berg grabs you by the collar and glues you to the screen for two plus hours of the incredible action packed reenactment. The planned cowardice act is a wake-up call for all adults and students that need to be alert that America is vulnerable to terrorism. Read more

“Silence” a Strong Testimony of Christianity

 

The movie Silence gets its story from Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo who wrote the book. His novel has a connection with real life Catholic Father Cristóvão Ferreira who was sent to Japan as a missionary to convert the Japanese people to Christianity. Director/Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has spent many years developing the film from the novel and it’s terrific. If you like historical films that are poignant and powerful with excellent production value, then do not miss Silence now in theaters. Read more

“A Monster Calls” Dealing with Life’s Challenges

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The drama A Monster Calls has a story that becomes magical as it works on your heartstrings. Entering the mind of a young boy we explore his feelings, fears and desperate attempt to save his mom. Excellent acting, solid direction and a story that will be remembered well after you leave the movie theater. It’s a heartfelt experience for you and your mature children. 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

“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

“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