Specialty Releases

Film Review: Fascinating, Complex “Hillbilly“ Champions Truth over Stereotypes

Hillbilly (Sally Rubin/Ashley York, 2018) 3½ out of 4 stars. What is a hillbilly? Who better to ask than the folks in question, and who better to ask the question than a hillbilly, herself? Filmmaker Ashley York (Tig), born and raised … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Tel Aviv on Fire” Offers Broad Comedy As a Salve for Open Wounds

Tel Aviv on Fire (Sameh Zoabi, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. A surprisingly light comedy about a very weighty subject, Sameh Zoabi’s Tel Aviv on Fire takes place mostly inside a Palestinian broadcast studio where the eponymous television series, set in … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Camp Wedding” Needs More Camp

Camp Wedding (Greg Emetaz, 2019) 2 out of 4 stars. There seem to be two types of horror spoofs/parodies: comedies with horror elements (think the Scary Movie franchise) and horror films with comedic elements (the Scream franchise). Then, there are … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Ode to Joy” Is a Pleasant Enough Ditty

Ode to Joy (Jason Winer, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. A profoundly silly but nevertheless often enjoyable romantic comedy, Ode to Joy follows the misadventures of a man afflicted with cataplexy, a condition that causes him to pass out every time … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Three Peaks” Ably Navigates the Treacherous Terrain of Divorce and Remarriage

Three Peaks (Jan Zabeil, 2017) 4 out of 4 stars. A 2017 film from German director Jan Zabeil (The River Used to Be a Man), Three Peaks (“Drei Zinnen”) has finally secured an American release, and we are lucky to have it. … Continue reading

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Film Review: Lynn Shelton’s “Sword of Trust” Cuts Only Skin Deep

Sword of Trust (Lynn Shelton, 2019) 2 out of 4 stars. Stand-up comedian and avid podcaster Marc Maron leads the cast of Lynn Shelton’s comedy of errors, Sword of Trust. When a couple, played by Michaela Watkins and Jillian Bell, find … Continue reading

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Film Review: Rambling “Summer Night” Offers Chill Vibes

Summer Night (Joseph Cross, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. An enjoyable enough, if rambling and slight, study of twentysomething ennui, director Joseph Cross’ Summer Night follows a group of thirteen friends over the course of one night (as per the movie’s … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Deadsight” Is Unique but Underwhelming

Deadsight (Jesse Thomas Cook, 2018) 2 out of 4 stars. The horror subgenre of zombie films all started in 1968 with the infamous blunder made by George Romero’s distributor for Night of the Living Dead. This gaffe involved forgetting to … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am“ Offers Solid, If Staid, Tribute to Its Subject

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. The palpable passion of poet Sonia Sanchez and media guru Oprah Winfrey notwithstanding, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary homage to the great writer Toni Morrison is a … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Third Wife” Combines Stunning Aesthetics and Flawed Narrative

The Third Wife (Ash Mayfair, 2019) 2.5 out of 4 stars. Director Ash Mayfair combines lush images, strong performances and bold ideas in her debut feature The Third Wife, the resultant cinematic stew a roiling mix of oppression, passion, latent … Continue reading

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