Why do you go to the movies? What makes you say "Okay" to a two hour rental from Red Box? Are you there to escape from reality with a Sci-Fi thriller or a Super Hero fantasy? Are you into historical films that give you an idea of where we've been and make you feel proud and brave? Are movies about community and family and you just want to enjoy a story with your friends or little ones? Are you into documentaries and the details and truth that make up a real life story? There's no wrong answer and there's no wrong way to watch a movie, you are there to enjoy a story, it's fun. I love watching movies and talking about them with friends and I have the opportunity to write about films for a wonderful organization out of St. Louis called ZekeFilm. The Following are some of my reviews of films, shorts and TV shows that have caught my attention. And keep a lookout for film viewings with our Ithaka Film Forum, they are fun opportunities to watch a movie with friends.
If you are a kid from the 80's then Netflix's Sci-Fi/Horror Juggernaut Stranger Things will take you back to your childhood with some serious feels! Everything gets a little strange (and creepy) when a local Jr. High boy, Will Byers, goes missing and his mom believes she can communicate with him through the Christmas lights in her home. Now in it's third season, we are watching the families deal with the aftermath of a parallel universe being uncontrollably connected to their small community of Hawkins Indiana. While this series isn't for the faint of heart, it's a intriguing tale told beautifully by the Duffer Brothers with some amazing performances. CLICK HERE to read my first reactions after watching season one, and note, there are spoilers.
In this beautiful documentary, you are introduced to Kevin Roche, an architect ahead of his time in knowing that humans need connection to each other and to nature. (He created "Green Space" in office buildings before that terminology was coined!) His work includes extensions at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the infamous TWA Terminal in JFK International Airport. CLICK HERE to read my review of this fascinating art documentary on ZekeFilm and pick up a copy of Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect from Kino Lorber.
2017 was an exceptional year for documentaries! The five films that were nominated had amazing stories that took me to other parts of the world and made my mind wonder and turn! I highly recommend Life Animated, 13th, O.J.: Made In America, I Am Not Your Negro and Fire At Sea. Please CLICK HERE to read my review of each of these films for ZekeFilm and check out one of these stories soon.
Game of Thrones just finished up this spring to some negative reviews and gigantic numbers. The effect this show had on worldwide culture is remarkable to me. From folks naming their children Daenerys and Tyrion to Pinterest crafts on how to make your own real life dragon eggs, GOT became the water cooler topic every Monday morning. CLICK HERE to read an article I wrote on the series after watching the 7th season in 2017. I talk about some of the major themes in the show and how it can be a redeeming watch.
In 2018 the director Felix Van Groeningen gave us a devastating look at a meth addict. Based on the books by father and son David & Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy is true story based on a son who's Meth Addiction is a roller coaster ride that effects everyone he cares about. This is a tough watch, especially if you have someone in your life that has struggled with addiction or if there is someone close to you that has mental health issues, so it's not for everyone. But with deeply honest performances by Timothee Chalamet, Steve Carell and Maura Tierney this is a film that breaks your heart, helps with perspective on drug addiction and will hopefully start conversations. CLICK HERE to read my entire review for Beautiful Boy.