Mark McDermott

“Elstree 1976”: A tribute to the unknown faces of “Star Wars” [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Elstree 1976”:  A tribute to the unknown faces of “Star Wars” [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Ryan Rojas/Cinemacy.com Amidst the recently renewed “Star Wars” mania, with the beloved franchise’s acquisition and and re-boot by Disney with last year’s behemoth blockbuster, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” new stories, worlds, and characters have been introduced to new audiences. But a long time ago – or rather, “About forty years ago, in a suburb of North London…”…Read More→

 Special Contributor

“Papa: Hemingway in Cuba” Shows Dark Days as a Genius in Crisis

by Morgan Rojas/Cinemacy.com by Morgan Rojas/Cinemacy.com In literature, there is a term called the “Hemingway Hero,” which is essentially a set of noble traits and honorable qualities that the reader should aspire to, much like any character in an Ernest Hemingway novel. Every writer attempting to create this attribute will find that the qualities that make up a hero…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Rabin – In his own Words” – Our great loss [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Rabin – In his own Words” – Our great loss [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Rabin – In his own Words,” directed by Erez Laufer is, in its own way an autobiography of the great Israeli statesman Yizhak Rabin. Doing what he does best, editing, Laufer presents Rabin through archival interviews, news footage and home movies. For most people, myself included, Rabin is a something of a…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Dough” – Don’t spend too much [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Dough” – Don’t spend too much [MOVIE REVIEW]

  by Neely Swanson “Dough,” a well-intentioned, if trite and predictable, film directed by John Goldschmidt with a script by Jehudah Yez Freedman and Jonathan Benson, benefits from an excellent cast led by Jonathan Pryce and the charismatic young Jerome Holder. Nat Dayan (Pryce), still mourning the passing of his wife, is a bitter kosher…Read More→

 Special Contributor

MOVIE REVIEW – ‘The Jungle Book’ re-animates a classic for a new generation

MOVIE REVIEW – ‘The Jungle Book’ re-animates a classic for a new generation

  by Ryan Rojas/Cinemacy.com
 It’s a weird thing, to be old enough to feel nostalgia for one’s own childhood. As the first wave of this millennial generation, and a child of the 90s, I am part of the last generation of people to have watched our movies on VHS cassette tapes. One of those movies,…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Louder than Bombs” – More deadly than silence [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Louder than Bombs” – More deadly than silence [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Louder Than Bombs,” the accomplished English language debut of Norwegian director Joachim Trier, who co-wrote the script with Eskil Vogt, is a complex study of life as affected by the death of a loved one. It’s been over two years since Isabelle Reed, a recently retired war photojournalist, died in a fiery…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Demolition” – but not destroyed [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Demolition” – but not destroyed [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Demolition,” written by Bryan Sipe and directed by Jean Marc Vallée, is saved from destruction by an outstanding cast led by an incomparable Jake Gyllenhaal. Davis, a successful investment banker working for his father-in-law Phil, has his world turned upside down in the split second it took for a car accident to…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Embrace of the Serpent” – the strong survive [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Embrace of the Serpent” – the strong survive [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson The complexity of “Embrace of the Serpent” lies within the simplicity of its narrative. This, however, is not a simple story; far from it. The scope of director Ciro Guerra’s narrative is no less than the white man’s decimation of the jungle and its inhabitants. It is early in the 20th century…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Race” – win some, lose some [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Race” – win some, lose some [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson The story of Jesse Owens is compelling. Only slightly older than Jackie Robinson, he faced the same race-based hurdles, derision and hardships. That Jesse Owens’ remarkable story and achievements might be unknown is inconceivable but probable. It is this awe-inspiring history that director Stephen Hopkins and writers Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“A War” – and collateral damage [MOVIE REVIEW]

“A War” – and collateral damage [MOVIE REVIEW]

“A War,” the Oscar nominated Danish film written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, captures not just the horror of war but also the collateral damage it inflicts on those left behind. Non-judgmental in his approach to filming the Danish soldiers whose job it is to rout the Taliban from their small corner of Afghanistan, Lindholm…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“The Club” – not one you’d want to join [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Club” – not one you’d want to join [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Club,” Pablo Larrain’s darkly directed film from Chile featuring a taut original script by Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos and Larrain, is dark from the standpoint of subject matter as well as the stunning gray-nuanced and stormy photography by cinematographer Sergio Armstrong. Touching on material covered achingly by one of this year’s Oscar contenders “Spotlight,”…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“A Perfect Day” – a sense of irony [MOVIE REVIEW]

“A Perfect Day” – a sense of irony [MOVIE REVIEW]

  “A Perfect Day” is a truly international co-production directed by Fernando León de Aranoa and written by Aranoa and Diego Farias. De Aranoa also served as one of the producers, indicating how passionately he felt about this project that illustrates the political, logistical and emotional difficulties encountered every day by a group of international…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Welcome to Leith” – if you’re white [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Welcome to Leith” – if you’re white [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson  “Welcome to Leith,” the outstanding new documentary directed by Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, tells the compelling and horrifying story of the attempted take-over of a dying town by one of the country’s most notorious white supremacists, Craig Cobb. That he failed is a tribute to the courage and ingenuity…Read More→

 Special Contributor

MOVIE REVIEW – “Life in a Walk,” directed by by Yogi Roth

MOVIE REVIEW – “Life in a Walk,” directed by by Yogi Roth

by George Schmeltzer There are as many reasons to walk The Camino as there are pilgrimage trails leading to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. For Yogi Roth, author, athlete, ESPN commentator, world traveler, motivational speaker, former Hermosa Beach resident and, now, filmmaker, the reason to undertake the demanding 240 kilometer walk along the Caminho Portugués from…Read More→

 Neely Swanson

“Forbidden Games” – a loss of innocence

“Forbidden Games” – a loss of innocence

Very few films retain the patina of perfection over the decades and even fewer grow brighter over time. “Forbidden Games” (“Jeux Interdits”), a film by the French giant René Clément, is one of them. Originally released in 1952 and winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar for 1953, among its many other awards, “Forbidden Games”…Read More→

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