Cinema Clash Podcast: The Climb, Come Away
Cinema Clash Podcast Reviews: Holidate, Come Play, The True Adventures of Wolfboy

Currently browsing posts by Jill Boniske.

Quickie Review: Recon

Another World War II film based on true events, Recon is an adaptation of the book “Peace” by Richard Bausch. It’s the story of four soldiers in the waning days of the war who are sent out for reconnaissance in the mountains of central Italy. Early on their Sergeant kills a civilian, and that act colors everything that follows. All of them are tired of war. And they believe they’re on a suicide mission. They’re supposed to find the Nazis and report back on their positions, which could be impossible if they are found out. Along the way they enlist an old Italian man to guide them through the snowy territory, but the question of his sympathies keeps them constantly on edge. And there is an enemy sniper out there. This is no Band of Brothers though. The men don’t seem to have any affinity for one another. They just want to get home alive.

Arty Chick’s Seven Flicks: Week 2

Week two of listing favorite films that may not be on your radar because they’re not new. A few of these were made before I was born, and they’re still resonant. This week’s seven run the gamut of genres and styles.

I give you a Chinese Kung-Fu comedy, a French rom-com, a Frank Capra classic, a Hong Kong gangster vs cop drama, a brilliant gothic horror tale, a women’s lib girl power comedy, and the funniest rom-com ever made.

There’s something for everyone here.

 

Review: The True Adventures of Wolfboy

In this oddball coming of age tale, Paul (Jaeden Martell, Knives Out, IT) is a kid just turning 13. He lives in rural New York with his dad, but has more than the usual teenage problems. He suffers from congenital hypertrichosis, a condition that has him covered in hair, and makes him the target of every bully in town. All he wants is to be normal and be left alone, but that’s impossible given his wolf-boy appearance, so most of the time he wears a ski mask to hide his face. But on his birthday, he receives a letter from his estranged mother, runs away to find her, and instead finds the courage to be himself.

Arty Chick’s Seven Flicks: Week 1

What are you streaming this week? When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I started a list on my Facebook page, posting a film I love every day. That list has grown, and is still growing, edging up past 150 films. It is getting a little harder to choose a new film. But I’ve remembered a lot of great movies that I’ve watched over the years and they span all genres and eras. And sometimes one film will remind me of another or an actor that I’d forgotten. I’ve stayed away from the last decade because there are a million “best of” lists that included them. These are films that have stayed with me. Some are obscure, and some no doubt skew to my more “arty” taste. But I am sure you’ll find something to watch that will fill that pandemic hole.  I’ll be posting them in batches of 7 each week, until I have nothing more to say. That could take a while.

 

Review: Koko-di Koko-da

Just in time for the holidays comes a truly creepy flick from Sweden about a couple grieving the loss of their young daughter and their crumbling marriage who go on a camping trip and get caught in a Groundhog Day loop of a murderous fairy tale. Every night Elin (Ylva Gallon) wakes Tobias (Leif Edlund Johansson) to say she needs to go outside the tent and pee, and every night a trio of monsters is outside just waiting to prey on her and him. But night after night Tobias awakens with a bit more information and a plan to get away from the horrors inflicted on them the nights before. It’s all allegory of their grief and their broken relationship and as the violent cycle continues they’re ultimately able to find their way back to each other. It’s a very odd film, definitely not for mainstream moviegoers, and frustratingly slow.

Quickie Review: Friendsgiving

It’s that time of year. The holiday movies are upon us and the first one out of the gate is this sometimes funny comedy centered on a couple of besties in Hollywood who had planned on a low-key Thanksgiving together, but end up in a crowded house with a bunch of wacky friends and characters. Molly (Malin Akerman, “DollFace”, Watchmen) is a famous actress who’s just been through a divorce and is looking for some distraction. And her life-long friend Abby (Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Thor) is just getting over her first lesbian relationship. But when their friend Lauren’s (Aisha Tyler, “Archer, “Criminal Minds”) Thanksgiving plans fall through, she invites herself and a dozen others over and it turns into a crowded plot that goes nowhere. And that’s sad since it has a talented cast. I was hoping for a warm and funny Home for the Holidays, but got an R-rated Lifetime holiday flick.

Review: Rebecca

If you haven’t seen the classic version of Rebecca, you might be entertained by this latest melodramatic take. But that 1940 film starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and it won an Oscar for Best Picture. This new version won’t be up for any awards. It stars Lily James (Baby Driver, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as the young wife who is never named and Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name, On the Basis of Sex) as her husband Maxim, the haunted widower-owner of the storied Manderley estate. Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, Gosford Park) takes on the role of the sinister Mrs. Danvers. And it’s a fairly plodding take on what should be an absorbing psychological drama.

Review: David Byrne’s American Utopia

As a Talking Heads fan from way back, I was anxious to see this documentary of a live Broadway show based on Byrne’s latest album. And it’s fabulous! It all takes place in front of a theater audience on a minimalist stage, but it’s mesmerizing. Byrne, barefoot and dressed in a gray suit, is center stage, surrounded by his band, an uber-talented group of performers who are choreographed to dance and sing all while playing incredible music. They’re also barefoot and dressed in gray suits. But as minimal as the sets and costumes may be, the film is full of whimsy and inventive stagecraft all perfectly captured by director Spike Lee. And you don’t have to be a Talking Heads fan to enjoy it.

Review: Vinyl Nation

Do you still have a turntable and love to flip through your crate of albums just looking for the one that strikes a chord? Then this is a documentary you’ll certainly appreciate. But even if you got rid of your boxes of vinyl years ago and listen to Spotify and your iTunes library or ask Siri to play something snappy to get you going, you’ll probably have a great time with this film. I expected it to be about a bunch of old white guys hanging onto the nostalgia of their youth, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s a look at the growing culture at the heart of a resurgence of tangible music and the people across every demographic – young and old, male and female, black and white – who are buying and playing and loving their vinyl connections. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Review: Maxima

When I heard the title of this film, I thought it might be another superhero epic. And I was right, though not the way I expected. The superhero here is a tiny little indigenous farmer from Peru named Maxima Acuna Atalaya Chaupe whose fight against an enormous transnational corporation inspired environmentalists and human rights supporters around the world. This powerful documentary follows tiny Maxima through her arduous journey, taking her from her remote mountaintop to courtrooms in Lima and Washington. And she’s an inspiration.