Category Archives: Review

“The Mafia doesn’t exist.” – The Traitor Review

Marco Bellocchio’s latest film, The Traitor, brings the story of mafioso turned informant Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino) to the big screen in 2019’s best mafia movie (I’m looking at you The Irishman). In 2 hours and 15 minutes of intense dramatic scenes and thrilling montages, the 80-year-old director stitches together a mafia movie, courtroom drama, and biopic about the first person to confirm the existence of the mafia in Italy and to break Cosa Nostra’s oath of silence. Bellocchio refuses to shy away from any techniques that might enhance his story. The result is a sometimes messy but effective film that leaves you wanting to know more about this period in Italian history.

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‘Birds of Prey’: A Fun and Frenetic Action Film

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a breath of fresh air in DC’s otherwise notorious lineup of superhero movies. Taking place after the events of Suicide Squad and a recent breakup with the Joker, the film follows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) as she finds herself teamed up with do-gooders Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who unite to save a young girl from Gotham’s newest evil crime lord. Brilliant performances and a fantastic script result in an imperfect but delightfully irreverent look at supervillainy and more importantly, the bonds between women.

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The Gentlemen – A Comedic Witty Action Film… That’s It

The opening of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen feels like a Lincoln commercial, thanks in part to a suit-clad Matthew McConaughey droning on about a lion’s duties in the jungle. You can’t help but think that Ritchie will pan the camera over to the sleek glass curtain walls of a Lincoln dealership. Instead, the audience is met with a casual London pub, where protagonist Mickey orders himself a pint. Continue reading The Gentlemen – A Comedic Witty Action Film… That’s It

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: A Well-Earned Migraine

The Miami Jewish Film Festival celebrated the centennial anniversary of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari last Saturday at the Coral Gables Art Cinema as part of their After Hours program. Restored in 4K, this German expressionist film was shown with a newly commissioned live score by sound artist Richard Vergez. Prior to the screening, the night’s program featured international shorts in competition at the festival. The combination of old and new, silent and sound, was an immersive experience that left ears ringing in its wake.

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MJFF Features Classics Paired with Recent Biopics

What do Casablanca, Amadeus, and The Goonies have in common? Yes, sure, they’re all being screened for free under the stars at Miami Beach Soundscape as part of the 23rd Annual Miami Jewish Film Festival’s excitingly diverse line-up. Even more than that however, festival director Igor Shtereynberg has also paired these classics with recent biopics being shown in theaters as part of the festival’s regular lineup. Today you have a chance to catch the acclaimed Forman vs. Forman, which recounts the life struggles of the Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest director Miloš Forman, a prominent figure of the late 1960’s Czech New Wave who fled Czechoslovakia for the United States after the hard-line communist crackdown. Next Wednesday keep an eye out for Dave Grusin: Not Enough Time, a biopic of the multi-Oscar winning conductor who scored such films as The Graduate, Tootsie, and The Goonies.

This past Monday I caught Curtiz at O Cinema South Beach before the screening of Casablanca at Soundscape. Continue reading MJFF Features Classics Paired with Recent Biopics

The Keeper: A Story of Romance and Reconciliation

The Miami Jewish Film Festival is known for the diversity of its offerings. Those of us interested in romance and uplifting stories got to enjoy the South Florida Premier of German director Marcus H Rosenmüller’s The Keeper, a passionate biopic about Bert Trautmann (played by David Kross, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse), a German prisoner of war turned Manchester City football star and a symbol for peace and reconciliation in the 1950’s.

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