C+ Activist documentary Directed by Penny Lane Like the Satanic Temple itself, this documentary has a message to preach, and does so tongue in cheek. The message is a good one, but you get almost the whole point in the first 15 minutes. Then it's mostly repetition speckled with occasional interesting bits. Most members of … Continue reading Satan is rebellious, but not always interesting
A- Foodie drama Written by Tan Fong Cheng, Wong Kim Hoh Directed by Eric Khoo As a rule, I hate foodie movies. I have a hard time caring that the chef hero can find the perfect ingredients and techniques to get his work of art a Michelin rating. Which makes Ramen Shop all the more … Continue reading Ramen Shop: Finding family history through food
A- Documentary Directed by Denali Tiller When I saw this film before it screened at last year's SFFILM Festival, I assumed it would have a theatrical release, and therefore wrote the review below. But that release never materialized. Instead, PBS's Independent Lens picked it up and will broadcast it on April 1. And no, it … Continue reading Tre Maison Dasan: Three children of incarcerated parents
B Animated family fare Written by Benjamin Renner and Jean Regnaud Directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert Note: I saw this family comedy last year before it screened at the SFFIM Festival. It never got a theatrical fun in the Bay Area. It appears it won't get one. But it will be available on … Continue reading The Big Bad Fox & the joys of simple animation
A- Crime drama Written and directed by Zhangke Jia At first you think this is going to be a gangster movie. At one point you decide it's becoming a revenge flick. Slowly, you realize it's something very different; something much more subtle. For most of Ash Is Purest White's long runtime, there's no conventional plotline. … Continue reading Ash Is Purest White but love is for the worthy
A Drama/Thriller Written by Wolfgang Fischer and Ika Künzel Directed by Wolfgang Fischer You can find a lot of movies about a vacation gone wrong, where the protagonist (or protagonists) must fight for their lives and the lives of those they love. But Wolfgang Fischer does something much more interesting in Styx. Aside from one … Continue reading Styx: How many can you save?
A Showbiz documentary Directed by Samuel D. Pollard Sammy Davis, Jr. held the spotlight as an ever-present part of the entertainment world when I was a kid. But until I saw Samuel D. Pollard's documentary, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me, I had never really thought about him and didn't recognize his incredible talent. … Continue reading Sammy Davis Jr. had to be himself