Review: THE UPSIDE

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

After France’s The Intouchables received acclaim from both critics and the general public, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood would make an American version, and after eight years, The Intouchables redo is finally seeing the light of day.  Dubbed, The Upside, the US version of the story maintains some of the heart of the original.  However, despite the fact that some of the scenes and beats are nearly identical, director Neil Burger and his screenwriters make some inexplicable changes that fail to elevate the already smart material.  All in all, The Upside is a fine remake, but one that lacks the same level of heart and poignancy that won the hearts of its most ardent fans. Read more »

Austin Screening Pass Giveaway: THE UPSIDE

Source: STX Entertainment

TVR is giving away passes (good for two people) to an advance screenings of this movie in Austin, TX, scheduled for Wednesday,  January 9  at 7:00 p..m.  NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY. Must be 18 or older to enter. See this movie early and free of charge before it opens in theaters! Read more »

Review: ESCAPE ROOM

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

A form of amusement which has grown in popularity over the past few years is “The Escape Room.”  A group of people enters a facility where they are supposedly tapped and must use their wits, evade threats, and overcome challenges and obstacles to get out.  I suppose it was only a matter of time that Hollywood catch on and make a horror film based on this concept, obviously based on horror tropes. Well, the cycle has come full circle and the movie machine gas produced a movie based on this form of entertainment. Though often silly and outlandish, Escape Room the movie) actually delivers taut suspense, thrills and fun in spite if its shortcoming. Read more »

Review: ON THE BASIS OF SEX

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news lately, but sadly, this been due to some health problems.  Still, there is no denying her amazing contributions to social justice–particularly her work in advancing women’s rights.  This new movie by director Mimi Leder attempts to honor and celebrate the trailblazing work of Ginsburg, when she worked as an attorney while also caring for her ailing husband Martin and juggling the roles and responsibilities of being a mother.  Starring Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex does manage to accomplish its purpose, but does so in some not-so-interesting ways. Read more »

Austin Film Festival 2018 Review: SHOPLIFTERS

AFF’s “Shoplifters” (Manbiki Kazoku) from Director Hirokazu Koreeda Takes Your Heart

 

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A

Director/writer/editor Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters” (original title, Manbiki Kazoku) is one of those films that grabs your attention from the onset and then takes your heart to add this emotional and moving story about a Japanese “family” that survives by petty theft – and it never leaves you. This is not a conventional family as we know it to be, but this is one that steals together and stays together to form a multi-generational family unit. There is plenty of wealth in Tokyo, but this story is focused on those facing the worst economic conditions and how they learn to survive, despite having limited employment, also known in the U.S. as the “working poor.” It is not another bleak tale of poverty abroad, but can likely be someone’s reality in any nation. This story has a dose of humor, but also provides a gut – punch of real life. The performances are superb and very moving; ones that you will not soon forget after leaving the theater.    Read more »

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