SXSW 2017 Review: INHERITANCE

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By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

No one ever truly enjoys returning home to bury a parent.  This is especially true when doing so re-opens old painful wounds and releases some inner demons from the past. Written and directed by Laura E. Davis and Jessica Kaye, the bold and powerful film Inheritance addresses these very real issues that people often face in this situation.  Kaye stars as Mara, a seemingly content young woman involved in a romantic relationship with boyfriend Aaron (Daniel Ahearn).  The two lovers plan to return to Mara’s home in Belize for her father’s seventieth birthday.  However, they discover upon arrival that her father has suddenly died.  As Mara, her brother Ben (Mark Webber), Daniel and others near and dear to the family make the funeral arrangements, secrets and painful memories from the past begin to surface within both Mara and Ben and these repressed emotions cause the brother and sister to act out in some disturbing and hurtful ways. Read more »

SXSW 2017 Review: THE MOST HATED WOMAN IN AMERICA

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By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Since the 1960s, the name Madalyn Murray O’Hair became synonymous with atheism.  Her political activism made her famous, but her brash, sometimes abrasive personality made her infamous.  Writer/director Tommy O’Haver has made a biopic about the controversial Murray O’Hair that details some of her battles to separate church from government and educational institutions, makes allegations of embezzlement and recreates the events that led to her murder and the murders of her granddaughter Robin and son Jon Garth.  The film also offers a riveting portrait of a strong-willed woman whose unfiltered and unrestrained tenacity made her not only one of the most disliked people in America, but also a difficult person to love as a daughter, mother, wife and friend. Read more »

Guest Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

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By Taylor Harris

We all were curious to how the characters would come to life in a convincing manner, and it is a testament to how far technology has come. Every character was beautiful and realistic. The effects are so life like, that it’s almost a little odd watching a beast slowly fall for a real girl. Just keep reminding yourself that there is a real person under all the hair. I can see the negative arguments about making the classic in real life but it was done in a very tasteful manner. Read more »

Movie Trailer: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

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Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Directed by Jon Watts. Produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

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Movie Trailer: A GHOST STORY

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Source: A24

With A GHOST STORY acclaimed director David Lowery (AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, PETE’S DRAGON) returns with a singular exploration of legacy, loss, and the essential human longing for meaning and connection.

Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence.

An unforgettable meditation on love and grief, A GHOST STORY emerges ecstatic and surreal — a wholly unique experience that lingers long after the credits roll. Read more »