Christian Toto
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
come as you are review

Three horny guys hit the road for a “sure thing” but learn something about themselves along the way.

Sound familiar?

That’s the blueprint behind “Come As You Are,” but appearances

The post ‘Come As You Are’ – More Than Your Average Road Trip Comedy appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Does Disney have the will to back Jojo Rabbit?
(Review Source)
VJ Morton
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)

… Holy light

SILENT LIGHT — Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/Holland, 10 (upgraded from 9)

I got really down over the death of Tartan Films and thus the distribution limbo imposed on at least two masterpieces — SILENT LIGHT and YOU, THE LIVING — but there’s cause for rejoicing this week. New York’s Museum of Modern Art began Wednesday a one-week run for SILENT LIGHT. Besides giving me an incentive to care about finishing this essay, much of which has been sitting in my draft folder since FilmFestDC back in May, the MoMA run also makes it eligible for a certain film poll and far more importantly gives filmgoers in at least one US city a chance to see this great film in the only way it should be — in a theater. The New York Times (thanks Manohla Dargis; almost all is forgiven over JUNO) wrote a rapturous review and, according to an exhibitor I know, interest among other distributors in perking up. But if you live in or near New York, you owe it to yourself to see this film; you will not see a better one this year. And perhaps New Yorkers also owe it to the rest of the country to show a distributor that a potential audience does exist for SILENT LIGHT.

Now, no sane person (though Jonathan Rosenbaum has yet to be heard from) is under any illusion that SILENT LIGHT could be another DARK KNIGHT or even a potential LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. And I realize all the critical heavy breathing that follows may not make SILENT LIGHT seem like the most entertaining movie ever. And in a certain sense of “entertaining,” the film obviously isn’t entertaining. It’s definitely slow and meditative, but I do think it does suck you in, partly because the plot is so simple and unadorned (and thus readily accessible), with characters defined as archetypes without being limited to them, but also partly because it’s so drop-dead gorgeous to look at. Director Carlos Reygadas never seems to force anything on us, but somehow everything is there on the surface anyway, so the praise from snooty critics shouldn’t turn people off. SILENT LIGHT is as mesmerizing and hypnotic as a film gets — and I speak as someone myself who isn’t automatically a fan of this sort of “transcendental” film (I’m convinced “Bresson” is French for “boring”). And I was turned on to the film by a Cannes report from Mike D’Angelo, who has similar inclinations, calling himself “the sort of Neanderthal film buff who generally prefers traditional narratives to beatific tone poems.”

Just consider the title for a moment, and its two words — “silent” and “light.” The title tells you it’s a quiet, religious film (rhymes with S—– N—-). Then consider the universal fact of all films — that they unspool and thus only exist in time, a point emphasized in this case by the most obvious fact about the existential experience of watching the film — that SILENT LIGHT is slow. But lastly, SILENT LIGHT’s surface plot is an unapologetically old-fashioned morality tale about an adulterous affair, set in a small religious community of Mennonites in the northern Mexican province of Chihuahua. It basically tells the story of SUNRISE — of a man who strays from his marriage and is brought back by a rainstorm-threat to his wife’s health. (WARNING: There be explicit plot spoilers after the jump, in the context of thematic discussion.)

Silence

SILENT LIGHT is about as “unchatty” a film as I’ve ever seen; it’s already several minutes old before the first word is spoken, and not entirely because of the already-famous opening shot (a literal SUNRISE reference?) which I blethered about here. The family says grace before meals three times and the only word ever said is “amen.” Also, the style of the dialogue performance emphasizes the silences between words — the characters in SILENT LIGHT never make small talk, they speak slowly, precisely, never over one another, and not while performing actions. The body language and performance style underlines this “negative” manner — precise, spare and careful, the scene between Johan and his father being a perfect example of this. “Better actors” wouldn’t work in the way that these nonprofessional Mennonite actors do — the sense of performance, of seeing people think before acting — would be absent because professionals are taught (I add “correctly, generally”) that this is bad acting.

Also, consider the scene of the couple driving in the car, which is the traditional “marital quarrel” scene and features the only rain in the film, which becomes a driving rainstorm unto death. And curiously, this scene, as close to a modern confrontation scene as exists, takes place on the only asphalt road in the film. But SILENT LIGHT is a movie about an adulterous triangle that has already begun and of which the wife already knows as the movie begins, so the Dramatic Revelations, the “noise” as it were, are at a minimum. In the car, Johan and Esther never raise their voices, but Esther uses the word “w***e” to refer to the other woman Marianne, part of the Mennonite community, not an outsider like The Woman from the City in SUNRISE. “W***e” from that woman in that context weighs heavier than a thousand Oprahesque “Girlfriend…” rants, precisely because of her silence, her irenicism, and the power of things not said.

Silence and sound serve a theological function in the film that goes beyond the film’s merely being situated in a religious community. The style of the little speech there is in SILENT LIGHT is the general style of liturgical language — formal and ritualized. And the subject matter of it mostly concerns weighty matters (if you think the Coens are too chatty about too little, this film is THE antidote). The prayers said are mostly silence — I’ve mentioned the family Graces but also the funeral, where there is a song and little else said. The Church throughout history has emphasized the role of silence and the necessity for it as Prayer 101; not for nothing is the previously-best recent movie about a religious community called INTO GREAT SILENCE.

Light

Obviously every film ever made uses light (it would be a black screen otherwise). But more than almost any film I can recall, light is made obvious and present in SILENT LIGHT. Again, the opening and closing shots, where the director-god shows us his fiat that there will be light creating the world from the dark and formless void that starts the film, and then bringing that drama to an end by returning to darkness — acts of genesis and apocalypse.

But several times during the film, Reygadas does something else: he composes a shot where one segment of the frame is obtrusively more or less illuminated than the rest of the image, or there are radical changes of light quality within the shot as the camera moves through the space. I can’t find a still that illustrates my point, but one example is the early scene at the garage, which begins in the dazzling outdoor sun looking into the opaque building (another is the family’s children inside the van, watching TV as Johan and Marianne return from a sexual encounter). In the former case, as the camera crawls toward the building’s open face, following Johan’s walk only much slower, the camera adjusts as the human iris does and the image inside the open garage door slowly becomes intelligible, revealed to us, unveiled to us. There are numerous other shots where Reygadas’ camera catches sunbeams and he “keeps in” overexposed blemishes within the frame — I’m thinking most specifically of the first meeting we see of Johan and Marianne on top of the hill, where the blemishes and sunbeams make the world seem to sparkle.

Also, look at the still with which I led a review of Carl-Theodor Dreyer’s ORDET a couple of years ago. It’s practically plagiarized in SILENT LIGHT, and in the Reygadas film, the absolute whiteness of the shot is far more blinding in color and calls more attention to itself as whiteness and as pure dazzling light more than even Dreyer’s “glowing-wall” lighting schemes. I specifically remember on first viewing of SILENT LIGHT seeing that blindingly-white shot and saying to myself, “ohmigawd, he’s gonna give us the ORDET ending.” Now to be fair: SILENT LIGHT is not as stylized as ORDET: there’s nothing even approximating Johannes and the overall environment is far more naturalistic, with nature itself being a character (more on that anon), as opposed to the kammerspiel-style claustrophobia of ORDET and GERTRUD (though less so DAY OF WRATH, where an illicit affair is also specifically and there-almost-obtrusively situated in nature). But the ending of the film isn’t the only reference to Dreyer in the film — the performance style that I described above was used by Dreyer in his three final films, and David Bordwell’s landmark (if often annoying) book on Dreyer provided all the techniques the Great Dane uses to make them so slow.

Time

SILENT LIGHT is also “about” one other thing, the other thing all movies have besides sound and light, but which few-to-no movies actually really notice, and that thing is “time.” This movie causes us to notice time more than most, simply because it’s so slowly paced in so many ways, from the frequent silences to the slow manner of people’s speech to Reygadas holding onto shots long after the “drama” is over. One of the film’s earliest shots shows from a long distance a truck turning onto a road that follows the frame’s horizontal axis, and Reygadas holds onto that shot until the truck has completely made the journey to the edge of the frame, even though nothing else happens. It’s a cliche to say that modern life and harrying and traditional life is more slowly-paced, but that is something this film simply oozes without ever having to demonstrate. Reygadas isn’t even concerned with giving us much sense of offscreen time, the time between scenes, sometimes to quite dramatic effect. When Johan speaks to his father to tell him he has decided to leave Esther, the scene starts indoors among milking machines, and then they pull the doors back to go outside and a blinding white light floods in, reflected off the white winter snow. It’s visually shocking but also more a dramatic “unveiling” and also a surprise (we had no sense whatever that months had passed since the previous scene, which took place in bright summer sun.)

But more than that, Time is also quite literally a character in SILENT LIGHT, and one associated with death and decay, and with the result of sin. Church thought has long linked time with the world, with Becoming and seen it as a feature of creation not the creator. St. Augustine said famously near the end of the CONFESSIONS that God exists outside time (and so there was no time before Genesis and will be no time after the Apocalypse). Near the start, when the family leaves and Johan is alone, he goes to the clock on the wall — thankfully the Mennonites use old-fashioned ticking clocks that you can hear (and thus conspicuously not-hear also) — and he stops it. And then he sits down to cry, we don’t at this point of the movie know why. Yes, it’s his bid to stop time but that only underscores the futility of it, since the movie does in fact continue, as does his life and the burden of his sin. When he visits his father’s house, who warns him that the Evil One is lurking after him in his adultery, the ticking clock can be heard throughout the scene. We see the family pendulum one other time and it’s still stopped, but what we see is the reflection is another family dinner — in other words exactly the obligations (i.e., the lives) created by Johan’s earlier actions and which he cannot undo.¹ Repeatedly throughout the movie characters express regret with the status quo with words to the effect of “if I could only turn back time”: Johan telling his father he wishes he hadn’t married Esther so he could now have Marianne, the affair with whom is his attempt to right his past mistake with God; Esther saying to Johan in the car in their one confrontation that she wishes it was a bad dream and she could wake up and it hadn’t all happened; Johan saying at the funeral that he would give anything to turn back time. He’s told “that’s the only thing we cannot do, Johan.” But God can.

Religion

Like the late works the easily cited Carl-Theodor Dreyer (not just in ORDET), SILENT LIGHT is a movie filled with silences, where light is made conspicuous, where time is distended. But what Reygadas does that finally makes this movie a masterpiece is that he doesn’t just use silence, light and time as themselves so profusely that the film primarily becomes about silence, light and time, but that religion transcends them. The damage from the affair, as constructed by these things, is undone by the ultimate religious act — a miracle, and one that reverses time. The miracle entails the conquest of the ultimate silence and the ultimate result of time — i.e., the conquest of death. And then the light recedes afterward.

As I wrote last year, SILENT LIGHT’s beginning is a genesis, an act of creation, which would seem to require an apocalypse for an end. The end of SILENT LIGHT is that of course, in the dumbly-literal way that the end of every movie is an apocalypse. But also in the sense that the world is fiated by letting there be light, it ends via its final absence. And I’m also reminded of how the word “apocalypse” has one meaning in current languages (“the end,” more or less) and another meaning in the Greek of the New Testament (“revelation,” or more literally “unveiling”). And “unveiling” is exactly how Reygadas uses light, camera moves and even story itself — the plot points are more noted en passant than made a “point” of, per se. His use of light to unveil includes a cleansing post-sin shower rhymes with the garage scene I mentioned above — moving into and out of a closed space hidden by the darkness. Note also the qualities of the light in the one extended sex scene in the film, how it changes during the scene and how a window is framed. After Marianne has told Johan (talk about archetypal names) that this sex was “goodbye” and their affair must end because “peace is stronger than love,” i.e., her guilty conscience, Johan takes a post-coital look at the the white wall, a motif that later, as I note above, resonates with death, both the death of the affair and death from the reverberations of the affair.

The resurrection of Esther is also paralleled with the very rising of the sun itself in the opening shot (something I didn’t even get until second viewing). Reygadas takes seven minutes on that opening shot because awakenings, whether of the universe or of the dead, are gradual. Esther doesn’t awake suddenly, but starts to twitch her face, twitch her eyes, move her lips and swallow before she actually opens her eyes. On the soundtrack, while this is going on and exactly as nature sounds blended into the opening, they blend in here — the sound of insects now rhyming with the morning cicadas during the movie world’s genesis. And then breathing on the soundtrack, followed by Esther’s first words, “poor Johan,” situating her in the family context as the first cut in the film showed nature as shaped by man. Further, the resurrection here is brought about by an act of love, as are both the creation of the world by God and the creation of a film by a director (a labor of love, as they say.) After Esther has been brought back, Johan’s father goes to the family clock and starts the pendulum, not only restoring the status quo antebellum but also implying that the period of the stopped clock was when we could most see God’s hand at work, i.e., outside time

Even apart from all this, SILENT LIGHT also is at its simplest and most obvious, a sympathetic “look” at this religious Mennonite community, a corner of the world that we don’t see in the movies. Reygadas and the utter authenticity of his actors tells us so much about their community and makes them seem enviable without seeming to. When Johan goes to visit his father he’s cheating on Esther, he tells his father upon being warned of the Evil One to “speak to me as a father, not as a preacher,” and dad gives the obvious answer “I am both.” There is no separation of morals and family here, in a healthy patriarchy. For another example, the sex roles are quite defined, with women sitting on one side of the funeral “service” and men on the other. One detail I found fascinating when the family went out for an outing in a natural pool was that with all the children, the opposite-sex parent washed the hair, while the same-sex parent washed the body. No doubt the feminists in the audience would get conniptions at Reygadas using archetypal tropes like The Other Woman being associated with nature (we first see her on a hilltop, her bare legs trudging through the grass) But as I noted re USPHIZIN (another portrayal of a traditionalist enclave in the contemporary world) and as can even be seen in the Bible itself, the women in traditional patriarchal societies are not patsies and are even the religiously privileged ones. On the former point, Esther is shown operating a combine harvester (the cult of domesticity and “women’s spheres” was the result of urban leisure in early modernity). But more importantly, a woman Marianne is the means for the closing miracle; it’s her kiss which brings Rachel back to life, and it also happens to be the first time we see the two women together (“thank you, Marianne” are the first words she says to the “w***e’). And like with Mary Magdelene, the Apostle to the Apostles being the first to see the Risen Lord, the only people SILENT LIGHT actually shows in the same room as Esther are other women — Marianne (who leaves the home right after), and two of the daughters (who hardly have any real sense of what they’ve seen) who are invited to “say hello to mummy” after the men have been shown invited into the room to “say goodbye to mummy.” The younger child announces to the gathered Mennonites that “mummy has awakened,” but is not believed, though she insists that “dad, mum wants to see you” before the camera steps outside and the film ends without our ever seeing the two together.
————————————–
¹ Well, he could slaughter his whole family, I suppose. But that isn’t really on the radar of this sort of movie, or of most normal people.

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September 26, 2008 - Posted by | Carlos Reygadas, DC Filmfest 2008, Manohla Dargis

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  1. Excellent thoughts, I as well was enamored by how the initial visual theme is reduplicated throughout the film and then totally recapitulated within the storyline as well. There are also numerous occasions in which Reygadas moves from part to whole, as in the opening shot of his father’s advice monologue: it opens on the lower part of his face, then the shot grows wider and tracks a bit until his entire face is in the frame. This shot takes a while, leaving a wonderful pschological trace, intimate, as if his father is revealing something to his son that he hadn’t really shared with anyone before.

    Additionally, I think there is a lot to the biblical imagery in the film that is set in motion by the possible Genesis reference at the beginning. In this broad context, it is enlightening to read his wife’s death in the torrent as a sort of flood narrative, judged as a social consequence of Johan’s sin. I think this all points to Johan’s eventual restoration, the Magdelene reference classing him with those slow to believe but blessed nonetheless.

    Comment by M. Leary | September 27, 2008 | Reply


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(Review Source)
VJ Morton
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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Songs of innocence; songs of experience

A couple of people at St. Blogs have posted in the last day about pop culture sexualizing and/or desensitizing children. Rich Leonardi recounts girls who looked about 10 singing “Stacy’s Mom” on the karaoke. Barbara Nicolosi, in the course of a vigorous attack on LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, protests particularly a scene involving a 7-year-old in a burlesque (skip to the graf starting “a seven year old” … the rest of her piece is certainly worth reading, but it’s not relevant to my point here).

I could certainly imagine the LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE scene being offensive if there were nudity or the girl’s movements were continually sexualized (Barbara says they were; she has seen the film, I have not). But I’m not sure how much damage it actually does to the girl. I think it’s much more a matter of adult repugnance at being made to see a child in a sexual light,¹ because adults know the meaning of certain things that kids don’t. I went to an NBA game in Atlanta when the Macarena was all the rage, and during one of the time-outs or quarter- or half-breaks, the Hawks had some girls who looked to be about 6 or 7 on the court to do the dance. Their costumes were all color-coded, like the women in the video, and when they got to the last move, which involves rolling your hips, it was all I could do to think “I wonder if they know what that gesture symbolizes.” But it’s very easy for an experienced adult to overestimate what an innocent child will understand.

But for the girl in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE herself, assuming there was no unsimulated nudity, it could very well be meaningless. Kids play “dress-up” and “let’s pretend” all the time. She was probably directed like the kid stars in BUGSY MALONE … although one of them grew up to be Scott Baio, so maybe this is horrendous, after all.

As for Rich’s anecdote … I’m not sure how much of lyrics like that kids absorb, depending on age. I can only speak personally and maybe I was just unusually innocent as a boy or grew up in a more-generally-innocent time. But I’m certain that nonchalant defusing is the best way to keep children innocent. Children are curious and pick up pretty infallibly on adult awkwardness.

I certainly remember loving LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” — it was a hit when I was 9 years old. No adult can look at the lyrics and not know what is happening in the song, even if he doesn’t know what is English for “voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir” (though the lyrics to this All Saints remix just turn my stomach). I loved Sweet, David Bowie and British glam-rock of the early-70s without ever catching onto anything “queer” going on, or figuring out what “Little Willy” or “Rebel, Rebel” were all about or what a groupie was (from “Fox on the Run”). After emigration, I could also recall being mystified at the coy ads on US daytime TV for feminine products like tampons and douches, which you couldn’t advertise on British TV at the time. And asking in 6th-grade health class, when we were on the nutrition unit, why women need more iron than men (something mentioned in some vitamin ads at the time — “and being women, we lose some of that” was the vague reference to what I later learned was menstruation).

When I was about 12 or 13, my mother took me to see THE SENTINEL. There was a scene in which the frame cuts off the heroine from the waist and forearm down. But from the direction of the arm and the sounds she is making, it is clear to an adult that she’s masturbating. At this scene, I turned to my mother and innocently asked “what is she doing?” She casually said “oh, she’s just got a tummyache.” A man sitting behind us overheard this and burst out laughing. My mother was so nonchalant in defusing my question that, I remember the movie but had no memory of this exchange or the man’s laughter when she recounted it to me years later. In principle, she could have been making it all up.

Looking back, the British humour I was raised on as a boy was pretty raunchy. There was huge amounts of the transvestite and sex-identity humor on Benny Hill, Monty Python and Music-Hall-type shows. There was the lowbrow “Blackpool postcard” type of humor and the higher-toned satire of the English public-school classes. In “Virtually Normal,” Andrew Sullivan provided the following anecdote:

I also remember making a joke in a debate competition at the age of 12, at the time of a homosexual scandal involving the leader of the British Liberal Party. I joked that life was better under the Conservatives — or behind the Liberals for that matter. It achieved a raucous response, but I had no idea what the analogy meant. Perhaps my schoolboy audience hadn’t, either.

I remember very precisely the scandal he’s referring to as Sullivan and I are only 3 years apart — Jeremy Thorpe. And during the Year of Monica, it often occurred to me that I could listen to the BBC’s and ITV’s coverage of Thorpe’s downfall, which centered on homosexual blackmail, without asking “dad, what’s fellatio?” (Now, Radio 4 on the other hand …) Whether this is because the word wasn’t used or it was but I had no way of even being mystified about it I cannot say (and for the purposes of my present point, it doesn’t matter). The American press somehow made the impact of the Year of Monica worse by compounding the graphic coverage with hand-wringing think pieces about “how to talk to the kids about it.” Answer: don’t and/or deflect. Frankness can be worse than silence.

As always, everything comes back to SOUTH PARK, in particular episodes called “Proper Condom Use” (about sex ed), or “Tom’s Rhinoplasty” (about the boys having a crush on Miss Ellen … I’ll always treasure Cartman’s mind-numbingly literal understanding of a locker-room term for lesbian sex), or “Stupid Spoiled W***e” (aka “Paris Hilton is not a good role model”). These shows are, in significant part, about G-rated kids (they’re really much more innocent than you might guess) in an R-rated world — a “Kids Say the Darndest Things” turned up to 11. The primary point of these and several other episodes is how adults damage children by putting in their heads thoughts and situations and language that they don’t understand. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but there also is such a thing as too much and not enough knowledge at the same time. Kids’ll do some things on their own, of course. The sex ed episode begins with Stan and Kyle, playing like Sam Peckinpah’s WILD BUNCH kids, destroying a Jennifer Lopez doll for making albums and movies. And it ends with the restoration of the status quo antebellum:

Stan: Well, I guess we got a while to wait before we have to worry about sex and diseases, huh, Wendy?
Wendy: Yeah. Thank God.
Cartman: Well, I guess now that that’s out of the way, we can get on with our lives.
(Then some more dirty jokes)

I thinks that’s a healthier attitude toward bawdy material and children — try to protect them from it, but don’t make a big deal out of the failures — it just magnifies them. In other words, “minimize it” in every sense of that word — as my mother did at THE SENTINEL. I don’t think I’m just engaged in nostalgia, but when I was a boy, the culture had a “sorta ask, kinda tell” attitude toward bawdy entertainment. It strikes me now as a decent compromise in popular culture between prudery and perversity about sex. It was there to be seen by those with eyes and disposition to see it; but not there (or at least not obviously or undeniably) for those who wanted or could not “get” it.
——————————–
¹ Which is certainly reason enough to call it offensive, I hasten to add — using the child to corrupt others with ill thoughts.

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  1. […] reduced things to in that very scene. I have written before about the unwisdom of protesting too much around children. But the disgust I felt was of desensitizing adults (”The Simpsons” has […]

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(Review Source)
Kelly Jane Torrance

The supply of award-worthy titles likely will shrink significantly the very year the industry's top awards ceremony demands more of them. Published September 4, 2009

(Review Source)
Kelly Jane Torrance
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)

"Sunshine Cleaning" feels like a poor facsimile of "Little Miss Sunshine" — a film full of quirky people whose foibles seem to have been created simply because first-time screenwriter Megan Holley and director Christine Jeffs wanted to make a similarly successful quirky comedy. Published March 20, 2009

(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Hard to believe, but true: this year’s Comic-Con, which opens July 24, has sold all its four day passes and all its Saturday and Sunday passes. An article in Variety today gives it props, comparing it to Sundance and ShoWest and Cannes and…huh? Sundance? I’ve never been to Sundance but every year a dozen or so of its very best movies slowly wend their way back east and they’re about glum teens haunted by abortion or glum rural folk haunted by incest or glum war vets haunted by all the bad war movies they’ve had to sit through since they came home. Nobody watches Sundance product, except for one film per year like “The Full Monty” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” whereas Comic-Con shows movies people actually want to see. The convention, in San Diego, has pretty much abandoned all pretense that its movies have to be linked to comics; this year features, for instance, “Pineapple Express.” Comic-Con is the Sundance of blockbusters, or maybe Sundance is Comic-Con for the clinically depressed. Which is all a way of saying I wish my editors would send me to Comic-Con. (They won’t.)]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
TORONTO– When the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern gets behind a movie, he really gets behind a movie. Morgenstern was among the earliest and most enthusiastic voices in support of “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Last King of Scotland” and this year his darling is Danny “Trainspotting” Boyle’s latest, “Slumdog Millionaire,” which he saw in the edgy Telluride Film Festival and which many of the rest of us will be seeing here in Toronto. It’s about an Indian game show contestant, and it’s written by Simon Beaufoy, the author of “The Full Monty” (who is faring better than its director Peter Cattaneo, whose latest flop is “The Rocker.”) Like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Juno,” it comes from Fox Searchlight, which seems much more enthusiastic about it than its other Toronto entry, “The Secret Life of Bees,” which looks like a sappy southern drama about racial harmony and premieres tonight. I haven’t seen either film, but why let ignorance get in the way of expertise? Here is Morgenstern on “Slumdog,” which debuts here tomorrow morning: “Slumdog Millionaire” will open commercially later this fall, so I’ll confine myself to only a few effusions now, with more to come. There’s never been anything like this densely detailed phantasmagoria — groundbreaking in substance, damned near earth-shaking in style. Mr. Boyle and his colleagues, including his Indian co-director, Loveleen Tandan, have pulled off a soaring, crowd-pleasing fantasy that’s a tale of unswerving love, a searing depiction of poverty and injustice and a marvelous evocation of multinational media madness. The ambitions declared at the beginning of “Slumdog Millionaire” are huge. By the end they’re completely fulfilled. Another film that begs to be compared to “Juno”–even borrowing its title font, its costar Michael Cera and its peppy-hipster song stylings–is “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” which is going to make a star out of young Kat Dennings. And yes, I have seen this one.]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
(”Little Miss Sunshine” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Jon Stewart, update your resume. On Sunday night he hosted the lowest-rated Oscar broadcast in history, which boggles the mind when you consider that the previous low was reached by the 2003 broadcast, which competed against history’s first-ever live embedded coverage of the start to a US war. It seems obvious that he shouldn’t be asked back. The Oscar ratings were dinged by several factors that couldn’t be helped –lack of suspense (everyone knew “No Country for Old Men” would be the big winner), few big movie stars (the conspicuous presence of alleged “last movie star” George Clooney didn’t help) and no hit movies (except “Juno”) among the top nominees–and two things that could be helped: a spectacularly boring clip-filled show bathed in nostalgia and fogeyism (even the lifetime achievement award went to a set designer–how about giving it to oh, I don’t know, a movie star?) and a host picked from a cable show most Americans have never watched. Billy Crystal or Steve Martin or even Robin Williams would be great choices. These guys are actual stars, each of whom has been in many movies seen by tens of millions of US viewers. Why pick a guy the public either doesn’t know or, because Stewart is an outspoken political critic, actively dislikes? Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the rich get richer. Damn those rich! Morgan Stanley was a big backer, through Paramount Vantage, of “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood.” Art-house divisions in general are a pretty good bet because unlike studios, they hold back costs–actors don’t get paid outrageous sums and marketing goes step-by-step instead of blanketing the country with publicity–and the upside is huge. Look at Fox Searchlight, which lost a bit of money on films like “Sunshine” and “Joshua” this year but is making silly-money on “Juno” as it did on “Little Miss Sunshine.”]]>
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Little Monsters (2019)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The annual event in Park City receives plenty of media attention, but do Sundance movies resonate after January?
(Review Source)
VJ Morton
Knock Down the House, Little Monsters, Them That Follow, The Last Black Man in San Francisco and more
(Review Source)
VJ Morton
The best, the worst, the most political, the biggest crowd-pleasers and more.
(Review Source)
VJ Morton

My Sundance capsule for the Salt Lake City Weekly:

www.cityweekly.net/BuzzBlog/archives/2019/01/29/sundance-update-tuesday-jan-29

(Review Source)
Hugh Hewitt
(”Little Orphan Annie” is briefly mentioned in this.)
HH: We begin with Mark Steyn, Columnist To the World. You can read all of Mark’s work at www.steynonline.com. Mark, terrorist arrests across the three state region of the Northeast today, and you had an almost run-in with a jihadi moose, I’m told. MS: (Laughing) Yeah, I, just about eight minutes ago, I nearly went slamming into a, about a 1,200 pound moose just in front of me on the road. HH: You know, if you’d hit that moose, you’d probably go to jail for hitting that moose somehow. I don’t know what the moose status is in New Hampshire, but is it protected? MS: Oh, I gather, I gather that the stimulus package has created 2,374.2 new jobs for mooses in the 2nd Congressional district. That’s the official figure from the federal government. HH: Well, your pulse is back down, you can comment coherently?MS: Yeah, no, no, no. I’m (laughing), yeah, I’m not so…don’t worry. It hasn’t affected the quality of my opining one bit. HH: You know, close calls with moose, I don’t even know what the plural of moose is, so I’m not going to… DP: Moose! MS: Moose. The plural of moose is moose. HH: All right, good to know that. MS: I did it, I said mooses a moment ago just because it was in, I can’t remember, whatever, that’s from a cartoon from a few years back. HH: All right, let’s get to these terror arrests, Mark Steyn. No word yet on whether they were surprised that the New York Times had not alerted them to the approach of authorities, but what does this tell us about the breadth and depth of the jihadi networks in the Northeast? MS: Well, it tells you, I think, that simply on the face of it, this idea that every time one of these things happens, and all these public officials go out and say oh, well, he’s just a lone wolf, as they say about this guy, and as they said about Major Hassan, and as they say now, and as they said about the panty bomber just before Christmas, that this is completely false. There are no lone wolves. There are people who spontaneously combust, and sort of get sudden jihad syndrome. But even in that instance, they’re plugged into really quite sophisticated networks not just throughout the United States, but throughout the broader Western world. And it’s a huge advantage, if you compare the way it was with the KGB during the Cold War, because you’ve got people who are ideologically motivated, who have strong local networks, and you don’t have to do all the sort of dead drops, you know, leaving the instructions for the guy under the rock in the park like they had to do in the Cold War. You actually have sophisticated networks operating, more or less, in plain sight. HH: You know, Mark Steyn, this juxtaposes, and I don’t think irony is the right word, yesterday the Los Angeles City Council, using rhetoric that compared Arizona to Nazis, announced a boycott of the Desert State. Meanwhile, the real Nazi imitators, the jihadists, have not yet gotten the scorn of the Los Angeles City Council. Our priorities seem to be just a touch off right now. MS: Yes, I think they are. I mean, I think the inability to actually confront the enemy, I mean, you’ve got to, I think you’re really got to look at this from the Department of Justice’s point of view. The Department of Justice now is run by people who, since January 20th last year, were appointed on the basis that there is no war on terror, and if it is, it’s no different from prosecuting a guy for a convenience store holdup. So for this crowd, and I’m not just talking about the Attorney General, but all the people underneath him, really quite deep down in that department now, reject the Bush view that there is some ongoing, long term war with an ideological enemy. They reject that. So you’ve got to really figure out how rattled these guys must have been to have gone into action mode, as they have done in the last few hours. This is something that who knows what this guy was telling them, but whatever it is he’s telling them, it’s rattled them sufficiently to at least temporarily change their whole modus operandi on this subject. HH: But do you think it will impact public opinion, because I don’t think it’s going to get through the Elena Kagan noise, or the noise of the Tea Parties, or any of the other…they’re serious stories, mind you, but they’re not at serious as having a jihadi network working a three state area, moving money and people back and forth from Waziristan. MS: No, and I think in a sense, that’s what, that’s what the tragedy of this situation is, that this is a difficult…terrorist wars are difficult to fight preemptively, because your victories are unknown to the public. Every time, I mean, this guy parked the car, made the bomb, and left it in Times Square. A lot of the time, your successes in the war on terror are things that never even make the newspapers, whereas the only things that do make the newspapers are the defeats, when a bomb goes off and a ton of people get killed. And what that means is that if you’re successful on this aspect, as President Bush was after September 11th, what it means is that people get complacent, and they think oh, there is no war, there is nothing going on. These guys are trying to kill us every day of the week, and they can operate with impunity, pretty much, more or less, throughout the Western world. And I think the public have grown complacent on that. HH: What do you think the new government in Great Britain today, fully installed, although some derision, one blogger at the New Statesman called them Tweedle-Cam and Tweedle-Clegg. And another Twitterer said the country’s now being run by two characters from a Richard Curtis film, of course the director of Love, Actually. What do you think this new British government’s attitude towards the jihadis in London and Great Britain will be, Mark Steyn? More or less aggressive than Brown and Blair? MS: Well, I think the only one who really prosecuted this war with any enthusiasm was Tony Blair, who was personally very close to President Bush on this issue, although not good on the domestic front. I mean, Britain is basically hollowed out by Islamist networks. I think I said at one point on this show a couple of years ago that it’s basically Somalia with chip shops, and I think it is. I think it’s absolutely hollowed out from tip to toe. But Blair was at least, Blair at least understood something was going on, and was committed to it. And I’m not sure, and Nick Clegg certainly doesn’t, and David Cameron represents a wing of the Tory party whose whole view is that Bush and Blair got far too excited about this business, and is, in some ways, in many ways, much closer to the Eric Holder of what’s going on here. HH: Well, time to switch to popular culture, our other issue. The Pope today in Fatima, of all places, Mark Steyn, had 400,000 people turn out to hear him denounce abortion, same sex marriage, and other issues of theology. Are you surprised by the fact this octogenarian can draw that many people for that sort of a message? MS: No, I don’t think so. What is surprising, I guess, is the indestructibility, the appeal of that message, given that it’s basically universally reviled in the popular culture, particularly since the Catholic Church got into its recent difficulties, and you’ve had people calling for the Pope to be arrested and charged with mass murder, and all the rest of it. What I find fascinating is that on issues like abortion, that the Pope’s message retains its appeal even though the United States is a slight exception in that. It has a going pro-life movement. Most European countries, for example, do not have an effective pro-life movement. And it is, and so this popularity is all the more impressive, because it’s not supported by a sustained publicity campaign in mass media. HH: Very well put. Now today is also, just a few years before the Pope was born, Annie, Little Orphan Annie began as a comic strip. It was announced today there will be no more tomorrows for Annie. It’s over. Is this something that strikes at Mark Steyn’s daily routine? I don’t even know if you’re a comics person to begin with. MS: Well, I do like, I’m one of these people who, I don’t read Little Orphan Annie from one decade to the next. HH: (laughing) MS: But it’s one of those things where you want to be, if you do ever get the urge, you want to be able to pick up the newspaper and find Little Orphan Annie is still in there, just like Blondie. You know, I basically have got no time for any of the daily cartoon strips from the last fifty years. I like them all to be of the Blondie/Little Orphan Annie vintage. And so the idea that they’re finally putting those pennies over her eyeball-less eyes, and laying her to rest, is rather tragic to me. Charles Strouse, whom we’ve mentioned on this show before… HH: Yes. MS: Charles Strouse, the composer of the musical Annie, when they adapted it, Charles told me that he hadn’t realized there was so little to Little Orphan Annie, and they wound up, in effect, for that show, doing it as Oliver in drag rather than drawing on a lot of Little Orphan Annie material, because there was less in that comic strip than met the eye. But even so, I’m sad to see her passing. I don’t know who’s going to get custody of Sandy the Dog, but this is a tragedy. HH: Mark, you remind me, I spent a wonderful hour with Carol Burnett this week talking about her memoir. And she was in the Little Orphan Annie movie, which she in her memoir denounced as just awful, et cetera. MS: Oh, no, no, that’s an awful film. HH: That’s what she said. MS: And I asked Charles Strouse why it was so awful, and he said oh, well we’d just done the show, and it’s very easy just to take the $10 million dollars and go to the Virgin Islands. HH: (laughing) 30 seconds, did you watch Carol Burnett? Were you ever a Carol Burnett fan? MS: Oh, Carol Burnett, I wish they’d keep, occasionally, people talk about trying to recreate that form of show. It depends on very particular talents, and I wish we had a Carol Burnett around on TV today. HH: Oh, you’d love her memoir. Mark Steyn, always a pleasure, www.steynonline.com, America, for all of Mark’s work. End of interview. ]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
It wasn’t all bad news at the box office this past year.
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
Movies DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013Rating: PGGenre: DramaRun Time: 1.44Director: David Anspaugh (of Rudy and Hoosiers fame) Truly stopping to think about homeless children is a difficult and sobering task. We are all faced with the reality of homelessness at times, especially those of us who live in larger cities. But one young boy went beyond sympathy and decided to do something about homeless children. That young boy is Zach Bonner, and Little Red Wagon (Philanthropy Project) is based on his story. The film begins with actual news footage taken during and after Hurricane Charley, a storm which devastated a large region of gulf coast Florida in 2004. Young, red-headed Zach Bonner (Chandler Canterbury, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and his family are bunked down in Tampa to wait out the storm. After learning that the hurricane has veered into the gulf, Zach sees news footage of the intense damage and gets an idea to send food and water to those who’ve lost their homes. Along with his older sister Kelley, played by Daveigh Chase (Lilo & Stitch), Zach pulls out his titular red wagon and collects donations from the neighbors.  But that’s only the beginning. The movie progresses steadily upwards for Zach and his cause, which eventually turns from hurricane relief to a passion for helping homeless children. However, though Zach’s journey is motivating, the emotional weight of the film is pulled by his mother Laurie, played by Anna Gunn (of TV’s Breaking Bad). Laurie, a single mom who’s been widowed since her son was just a baby, pours her heart and soul into her family. However, she has a tumultuous relationship with her 16-year old daughter Kelley, and struggles to find the balance between supporting Zach’s dream of raising money for the homeless and supporting the less motivated (and therefore more overlooked) Kelley. Gunn gives a soulful portrayal of a strong mother desperately trying to stand behind the noble passions of her son, which often conflicts with Kelley’s need for independence and individual attention. While the plot follows Zach’s efforts to fundraise and eventually walk from Tampa to Tallahassee to raise awareness, the core of the film follows the familial tension as it flip-flops from heart-warming moments of teamwork to screaming matches between mother and daughter. To make Zach’s cause of homelessness-awareness more tangible for audiences, a second storyline is developed which shows the worsening financial plight of Margaret Craig (Frances O'Connor, A.I.), a young, recent widow struggling to provide for her young son Jim (Dylan Matzke). Laurie and Margaret interact briefly near the beginning of the film, when Laurie is collecting donations for hurricane relief, but from there their stories change drastically. Margaret and Jim plummet into poverty when she loses her job, and eventually become the very people their former neighbors have started to help: homeless, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. This side-plot does often feel detached from the main thread of the story, but serves as a constant reminder of the reality of poverty and homelessness. The two storylines do cross over at one final point, however, in a heartwarming scene showing the tangible results of selflessness and living to the poor. Donations to a homeless shelter may feel anonymous to the giver, but real people receive them and benefit from them.SEE ALSO: Aborted Sun Offers Hope for Families, Challenge to Churches googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); The film’s characters are interesting enough and the plot (based heavily on Zach’s true story) is inspiring, with few noteworthy flaws. The dialogue at times is simplistic, and the transitions between major hurdles (such as starting a 501©(3) organization or finding a job) are sometimes glossed over with very little of the real-life mess and pain. The little boys are a little too perfect and well-behaved, and Kelley is a little too typical of the standard movie rebellious teen. But overall, nothing distracts too noticeably from the encouraging story and the compelling relationships. What is good and beautiful about this film? It points to several important truths. If you’re reading this on a computer right now, you are blessed and richer than you know. Material wealth and even the humblest of possessions can be lost, destroyed, or stolen in a moment. Growing up without a father is a big deal, and hurts. Mothering children without a husband is a big deal, and hurts. Relationships are more important, and harder to maintain, than big, noble causes. The poor live among us. The poor will always live among us. We can do more to help them than we often do. You’re never too small, or too young, to pull your weight and make a difference. Sometimes it’s only as heavy as pulling a little red wagon. To find out more about Zach Bonner and his mission, visit The Little Red Wagon Foundation.SEE ALSO: Unconditional Love Takes the Good with the Bad CAUTIONS: Language/Profanity: A girl and her mother have a few screaming matches during which the daughter uses profanity (for which she is reprimanded) Mature Themes: Homelessness, death, natural disasters, poverty, stealing and cancer are all dealt with. The relationship between a daughter and mother also deals with heavy-natured topics such as growing up in a single-parent home and troubling family dynamics. Violence: A girl throws a bag across the room after a fight, breaking a few household objects. A woman yells at her daughter through a door and slams the door with her hand. A young boy falls down onto pavement and scrapes his arm very badly (blood is shown). Religion/Morals: Family love and true charity is upheld, stealing, violence, and selfishness cast in a negative light, and the belief in something bigger than yourself is the main theme espoused throughout the film. Debbie Wright is Assistant Editor for Family Content at Crosswalk. She lives in Glen Allen, Virginia and is an avid writer, reader, and participant in local community theatre. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Publication date: January 9, 2013 SEE ALSO: Social Justice through Storytelling in Les Misérables ]]>
(Review Source)
Christian Toto
(”Little Shop of Horrors” is briefly mentioned in this.)

Allan Moyle’s 1990 cult hit, “Pump Up the Volume” is about teen rebellion, making it akin with most other films about the high school experience. What’s special about this one is that, in a way both earnest and angry, it instructs us to empower ourselves and make our voice heard. The genre often celebrates the …

The post ‘Pump Up the Volume’ – Let the Kids Speak appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
John Nolte
(”Little Shop of Horrors” is briefly mentioned in this.)
"Panic in Year Zero!" schools us in survival; it's a step-by-step tutorial in how to prioritize what you'll need, how to scavenge it, how to protect it, where to hide, and how to hold out one once you're there.
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
(”Little Shop of Horrors” is briefly mentioned in this.)
I’m not the kind of guy who likes to “raise awareness.” The act has become too synonymous with leftist actions that usually wind up generating misinformation that hurts the cause they claimed to try help in the first place, or people marching naked down a street for some reason. But today I’m making an exception, because yesterday I came across something so nightmarish that I still can’t get it out of my head. Some people can’t see it due to the fact that it would hit them too hard, and I promised that I’d write this article for them. So what did I see? Let me give you some backstory first. There’s a man on the Internet who has gone by a few different names. Currently, he’s known as Mr. Metokur, but before that he was known by many as Internet Aristocrat. His real name, however, is Jim. Jim is popular for quite a few things, but the thing he’s primarily famous for, and very good at, is creating videos that mostly pertain to today’s culture. His most notable videos are his “Tumblrism” series, as well as the “Hugbox Chronicles.” His message is generally on point, impolite, and with humorous overtones. But in his latest video, Jim’s anger at a dentist in Florida overcame his usual jocular demeanor. And no wonder. It’s a video that has a very disturbing scene in the beginning. It was very hard to watch for me, and I’m told it’s especially hard to watch if you have children. If you think you can stomach it, you should watch it and hear from Jim, who can get a message across far better than I can. However, if you can’t bring yourself to do it, I’m going to describe the scene for you and tell you everything you need to know. All credit for the findings go to Jim. You can watch the video here. The video starts with Steve Martin performing “The Dentist Song” from “Little Shop of Horrors,” just to set up the message. It’s a funny take on the fear that dentists instill in people, but as you come to find out, this is a case where that nightmare is reality. Jim describes what it’s like to see a dentist, the common fear everyone has about them, and asks, “What could be more terrifying than that?” Torture Is Not Too Strong a Word That’s when he shows you. He begins to talk about, and show you pictures of children that have left a dentist’s office with infected gums and massive abscesses. Children with welts on their foreheads and choke marks on their necks. Then he says, “Or maybe even this.” And this is where you see the nightmare in action. Frightened is a soft word. The child is mortally terrified beyond reason. The scene shifts to a clip someone had obviously grabbed with his phone. In it, you see a portly dentist with a mask over his face sitting next to a chair. On that chair is a restrained child. You can only see the child’s feet, which are strapped firmly into some sort of restraining device, but you can clearly hear the kid’s racking, frightened sobs. Frightened is a soft word. The child is mortally terrified beyond reason. The dentist fires up a drill and begins continuing a procedure on this poor toddler. I still can’t get the screams out of my ears. It’s a desperate, painful scream of someone being forced to endure pure torture. I had to physically brace myself just to get through watching it. I wouldn’t want to hear these sounds coming from a grown man, but it was coming from a small child. It was a nightmare I could barely get through, and I wasn’t even the one strapped to the chair. After what seems like too long, Jim cuts back to his logo and begins telling you what you just saw. He tells you about Howard S. Schneider, a pediatric dentist out of Florida, whose specialty is doing procedures on children. The Dentist from Hell Schneider has recently arrived on the nation’s radar for these accusations of sadistic dental practices, and while this mass attention is recent, Schneider has been at dentistry for years. Jim goes on to bring up his Google reviews, which normally you would have to take with a grain of salt, but the consistency and age of the stories give you pause. I visited the page myself, and many of these reviews are recent due to him being on the news, but many of these reviews date back to as far as three years ago, and one recent story being told about an experience with him in 1999. Each story is just as horrible as the last, including one that says Schneider put silver caps on a child’s teeth and painted them white. The fell out within a few months. His cheap methods of dentistry are a common theme in the reviews, but more common is something far more sinister. I grabbed a screen Jim used an example. It’s a review from three years ago about a routine trip to Schneider’s office. The man allegedly refused to use anesthetics when doing procedures on children, even after telling the parent he would do so. This explains the screams and sobs coming from the child in the clip. But notice something else. Schneider is the only dentist in the area who accepts Medicaid. This means Schneider could perform unnecessary procedures on these children to get government money. Furthermore, he’d allegedly not use the anesthetics he should on children, because things like Novocain and laughing gas come out of the practice’s pocket. There’s More to It than Google Reviews Rest assured that proof of Schneider’s malpractice don’t rest on accusations from Google reviews alone. According to Action News, Schneider was sued back in 1994 for malpractice by a mother of a then five-year-old boy. According to the report, Schneider shaved down the boy’s teeth and capped them, completely unnecessarily, to make more money. According to the mother, her son’s teeth were never right after that. “His mouth was cut open and he had bruises. His lips were swollen. He was choking on blood from crying.” she said. She won her case and $7,500, but that matters very little for a man like Schneider, as Jim goes to tell us how much this man was making from Medicaid payments. Four million dollars over the past five years. That’s how much Jim says Schneider was pulling in from Medicaid charges for doing this to children. Four million dollars over the past five years. That’s how much Jim says Schneider was pulling in from Medicaid charges for doing this to children. The federal government was funding—under fraudulent means, mind you—this man’s torture of children. Moreover, he’s not using any drugs, so that much money being acquired that quickly and with the lowest possible overhead has to make you wonder where it’s all going. According to reports, people went to the police and social services, but nobody did anything to stop Schneider. This Is Bigger than One Dentist I could stop the story here, but it gets worse, and not in terms of Schneider. It can’t get much worse than what you’ve already read. No, it gets bigger than this man, and it does so in terms of the organizations he’s a part of, such as the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry (SSPD), which you can only be a part of if you’re a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). As Jim points out, the AAPD is only more than happy to help you find your perfect dentist, but if you search the area code anywhere near Schneider, his is the first name that pops up. Maybe this is generated from a location-based search only, but regardless, a man who has lost a malpractice lawsuit and has untold amounts of complaints of child abuse lodged against him on multiple websites should not be the first name that pops up when finding your “perfect dentist.” It shouldn’t pop up at all. Here I’ll leave the video behind and finish on my own. The silver lining to this cloud is that Schneider, as of May 29, is no longer practicing dentistry. He’s voluntarily given up his license and closed his practice, likely due to the massive amount of attention that has come his way. He’s currently being investigated for Medicaid fraud, but even today claims he is innocent. I hope this article, along with other reports and videos like Jim’s, will spread this man’s face and name to all corners of the Earth. In the event that this man manages to weasel his way out of any charges against him, he should never be able to practice again. Despite his past, apparently it’s not hard to get a dental license with a checkered one. No one investigated when this little clinic was raking in millions of dollars over such a short period of time. But Schneider is a problem that shines light on a much larger issue. He has been practicing for years, with complaints of abuse that date back well into the ’90s, yet no authority stepped in to stop this problem. No one investigated when this little clinic was raking in millions of dollars over such a short period of time. Despite his past, none of the organizations he was a part of, SSPD or AAPD, decided to do anything about this man. Schneider was a federally funded nightmare for years until just recently. How many children are in these positions today due to the negligence and oversight of medical organizations and government officials? I don’t mean to cause paranoia or rabble rouse, but it appears this is far too easy for a man like Schneider to earn millions from taxpayers for allegedly torturing children. Schneider’s case should more than about Schneider. It should prompt a serious look into a system that has the potential to be more corrupt than ever. We hear horror stories often, but some horrors need to stay in movies and books, not funded by our government. My thanks to Jim, and my prayers go out to everyone Schneider affected. ]]>
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
France’s version of “The Big Chill’ was a big hit over there. My review of “Little White Lies” is up.]]>
(Review Source)
Little Women
Christian Toto
(”Little Women” is briefly mentioned in this.)
american psycho Christian Bale

Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel, “American Psycho,” begins with “Abandon all ye who enter here,” as it appears as graffiti on a wall. Director Mary Herron’s 2000 adaptation opens with what looks like red drops of blood dripping past the frame but reveals itself to be blobs of sauce being drizzled on a plate at …

The post Why ‘American Psycho’ Doesn’t Want Our Love or Pity appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Plugged In
Director Greta Gerwig’s version of this classic faithfully gives fans more of what they adore from the beloved March sisters. (PG)
(Review Source)
Plugged In
birds of prey mm

A resounding victory, it wasn’t. Still, Birds of Prey did flap to first place on the weekend’s box-office charts, as expected, ending Bad Boys For Life’s three-week stay at the top. Birds pecked up less than $33.3 million in North America, though, according to early estimates. That flies well short of the $45 million most […]

The post Birds of Prey Glides to First appeared first on Plugged In Blog.

(Review Source)
Plugged In
(”Little Women” is briefly mentioned in this.)

Welcome, welcome everybody. Don’t trip on the red carpet on the way to your seat. You all look very fine indeed, what with those tuxedos/evening gowns/sweatpants you’ve donned for this very, very special occasion. We’re talking about the Plugged In Movie Awards, of course. It’s a ceremony far more lavish than the Oscars … or […]

The post The Plugged In Movie Awards 2020: And the Winners Are … appeared first on Plugged In Blog.

(Review Source)
National Review Staff
In our polarized times, with even the genders divided against each other, a joint Best Picture for Little Women and 1917 is the balm our nation needs.
(Review Source)
National Review Staff
Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of the classic novel is the closest Hollywood has come in a long time to portraying authentic feminism.
(Review Source)
Christian Toto
little women review

It’s worth remembering that modern art is made to address modern issues.

Rarely is art made specifically just to reflect on a specific time in history for the sake of

The post How ‘Little Women’ Soft Pedals Modern Feminism appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

(Review Source)
Armond White
Good movies vs. Netflix cynicism
(Review Source)
Kyle Smith
Men aren't interested in Little Women.
(Review Source)
The Federalist Staff
'Little Women' is so important and transcends each generation because it captures the differences between women — in personalities, desires, and fortunes. Greta Gerwig's rendition didn't quite cut it.
(Review Source)
Sonny Bunch

Like LADY BIRD, this was very nice and pretty competent!

(Review Source)
The American Conservative Staff

Greta Gerwig's film strips away much of Louisa May Alcott's earnest messages about faith, family and marriage.

The post <i>Little Women</i> 2019: Another Feckless Feminist Rendering appeared first on The American Conservative.

(Review Source)
Plugged In
Director Greta Gerwig’s version of this classic faithfully gives fans more of what they adore from the beloved March sisters. (PG)
(Review Source)
Armond White
A feminist diatribe that Michelle Obama could love
(Review Source)
Crosswalk
The latest retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women is here. The story chronicles the lives of four sisters growing up and finding their places in the world. The 2019 rendition stars Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) as Jo, Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast) as Meg, Florence Pugh (Little Macbeth) as Amy, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) as Marmee March, and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) as Aunt March.
(Review Source)
Michael Medved

Star Rating: 4 Stars
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet
Release Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Brought to you by www.michaelmedved.com
(Review Source)
Plugged In
(”Little Women” is briefly mentioned in this.)
PIMA 2019

Nearly 900 movies were released in North America in 2018. (About as many as Netflix put out singlehandedly.) Seems like we here at Plugged In watched most of them. Oh, we couldn’t get to all of them, of course. But for the most part if you’ve heard of a movie, we saw it, reviewed it […]

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(Review Source)