Over the years, we've gotten plenty of films about the
cutthroat world of high finance, but from "Wall Street" to "The Big Short,"
they're all typically male-centric affairs. The fact that "Equity" is the
practically unheard of financial thriller told from the female perspective
immediately distinguishes itself from the pack.
Comedian Mike Birbiglia made headlines a few weeks back when
he took to Twitter to express his frustration with the
MPAA's decision to slap his latest film, "Don't Think Twice," with an "R"
rating simply because the film had a couple scenes in which adults smoke pot. Meanwhile,
Birbiglia argued, a film like "Suicide Squad" can be loaded with non-stop
violence (however bloodless), show characters being decapitated, mowed down by
machine guns, swords, and bombs, and only merit a "PG-13."
Two down-on-their luck brothers turn to small-time bank
robbing in order to secure enough money to keep themselves afloat in "Hell or
High Water," British director David Mackenzie's excellent modern Texas noir. In
debt and facing foreclosure on their family ranch, Toby (Chris Pine) and his
reckless ex-con brother, Tanner (Ben Foster), see their crimes as a rather poetic
solution to their troubles: They can raise the necessary money while getting it
over on the same banks that have been sucking them dry all their lives.
From Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda ("After Life," "Still Walking") comes "Our Little
Sister," a sweet, sensitive family drama based on the popular manga "Umimachi Diary," by Akimi
Yoshida. The story revolves around the lives of three sisters: responsible,
motherly Sachi (Haruka Ayase), fun-loving Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa),
and oddball Chika (Kaho), living together in their
With its gentle tone, "Pete's Dragon" would make a pretty spectacular first movie-going experience for any young child (though adults will get plenty out of it as well -- it's probably a good idea to bring
In Milford, Kansas, in 1918, Dr. John R. Brinkley came up
with the novel (insane) idea that he might be able to cure impotence by
transplanting goat testicles into the bodies of humans. Shockingly, Brinkley's
experimental surgery actually caught on, earning him widespread admiration and
the approval of luminaries such as Buster Keaton, William Jennings Bryan, and
Rudolph Valentino, even as his practices turned him into the arch-nemesis of
the American Medical Association.
It gives me no pleasure to report that DC's supervillain
team-up flick, "Suicide Squad," isn't a good movie. I take no joy in further
stoking the flames of rivalry between DC and Marvel; as a fan of many in DC's
stable of characters, I want nothing more than to see good films based on the
characters I've loved since I was a kid.
With a background in classical music, a yen for the absurd,
and a desire to disrupt the status quo, rock musician Frank Zappa was a true
iconoclast. The bandleader and activist now gets the documentary treatment in
Thorsten Schütte's "Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in
His Own Words."
In the wildly entertaining documentary "Tickled," what begins
as a light-hearted look into a ridiculous pastime slowly transforms into
something strange and altogether disturbing. New Zealand-based pop culture
reporter David Farrier has made a career out of fluffy stories focusing on "the
weird and bizarre side of life."
At first blush, director Justin Lin might appear an odd fit
to take over the "Star Trek" film series. While helming four of the seven
entries in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, Lin proved himself a maestro of
swaggering action, crunching metal, and revving engines, all characteristics
that seem a far cry from "Trek's" earnest tales of exploration and diplomacy.
Back in 2013, real-life brothers Mike and Dave Stangle faced the prospect of finding dates to their cousin’s wedding, eventually deciding that the most effective option was to place an ad on Craigslist. With a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor and a memorable image featuring their faces Photoshopped onto the bodies of centaurs, the ad went viral, ultimately resulting in TV appearances and even a book deal.
The latest film from esteemed, Oscar-nominated documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (“The War Room”), “Unlocking the Cage” follows the efforts of animal rights lawyer and founder of The Nonhuman Rights Project Steven Wise in his legal quest to have the rights of personhood bestowed on chimpanzees. The idea is to use this somewhat vague legal concept as a means to combat the primates mistreatment at the hands of both medical research and amusement facilities.
The JCC Ames Amzalak Rochester International Jewish Film Festival turns sweet 16 this year, and will celebrate the Jewish culture with a fantastic lineup of 26 contemporary films from around the world. Things get started on a high note this Sunday with the Opening Night selection "Rock in the Red Zone" — followed by a Q&A and musical performance by Avi Vaknin — and things don't wind down until next Monday with the food documentary "In Search of Israeli Cuisine," appropriate for "the only film festival that worries about when people eat," Festival Director Lori Michlin Harter says jokingly.