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Socially Conscious Movies: Articles


Women Suffrage Movie at SFSFF: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family?

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor […]


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Women Suffrage Movie at SFSFF: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family?



'Money Monster' Review: Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty Ruin Jodie Foster Message Film

'Money Monster' with George Clooney and Jack O'Connell: TV celebrity and unwise investor/hostage taker. 'Money Monster' review: Jodie Foster movie suffers from both qualitative and intellectual disconnect Sometimes there's a difference between what a movie thinks it is and what it actually is. Usually it's a qualitative disconnect, as in “this movie thinks it's exciting but it's actually boring” or “this movie assumes Kevin Hart is funny when, in fact, he's not.” In the case of Money Monster, the divide is also an intellectual versus anti-intellectual one. The fourth film directed by Jodie Foster fancies itself a ripped from the headlines wail from the bottom of the economic ladder. A thriller-cum-exposé into how Wall Street and big media suckered average […]


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'Money Monster' Review: Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty Ruin Jodie Foster Message Film



'Chi-Raq' Movie Review: Spike Lee vs. Chicago Urban Warfare

'Chi-Raq' movie with Teyonah Parris: Spike Lee has set 'Lysistrata' amidst Chicago's urban warfare. 'Chi-Raq' movie review: Spike Lee is back with Greek comedy set in war-torn 21st century Chicago The star of Spike Lee's Chi-Raq is an astounding young actress named Teyonah Parris (Dear White People); she plays Lysistrata – the name of the titular character in Aristophanes' comedy from about 411 BCE. That Greek play is about one woman's attempt to end the Peloponnesian War (a messy thing involving Athenians and Spartans, among others) by soliciting all Athenian women to withhold sex until peace is negotiated. It would have been a damn good idea to end a war. It was a great idea for a play. And it […]


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'Chi-Raq' Movie Review: Spike Lee vs. Chicago Urban Warfare



'Music of the Heart' Movie: Meryl Streep Showcase in Goreless Wes Craven Effort

'Music of the Heart' cast: Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan, Aidan Quinn and Angela Bassett. 'Music of the Heart': Unusually bloodless Wes Craven movie works as Meryl Streep showcase Wes Craven, the director of the Scream franchise and of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, is hardly the kind of filmmaker from whom one would expect a syrupy motion picture about a determined violin teacher who wins the hearts and minds of her inner-city school students. Yet Craven is the man responsible for Music of the Heart, a film utterly devoid of slashed faces, lethal stabbings, and deadly fingernails. Instead, this distaff version of Mr. Holland's Opus – with touches of To Sir with Love – offers loads of sentiment, […]


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'Music of the Heart' Movie: Meryl Streep Showcase in Goreless Wes Craven Effort



'The Sea Inside' Movie Review: Javier Bardem and the Right to Euthanasia

'The Sea Inside': Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar. 'The Sea Inside': Outstanding supporting cast help to lift flawed Right to Die drama Alejandro Amenábar's The Sea Inside often verges on melodrama, featuring as its centerpiece a showy performance by Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic man eager to end his life “with dignity.” Its not inconsiderable flaws notwithstanding – including a simplistic “right to die” debate – this real-life-inspired drama is in and of itself both compelling and touching enough to merit a look; but what makes The Sea Inside a must-see are the superb performances of those in Bardem's periphery. The story revolves around Ramón Sampedro (Javier Bardem), a middle-aged man who has been bed-ridden and dependent on the […]


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'The Sea Inside' Movie Review: Javier Bardem and the Right to Euthanasia



'Teacher of the Year' Movie Review: Smart Comedy with Something to Say

'Teacher of the Year' movie with Keegan-Michael Key. 'Teacher of the Year' movie: Smart and funny socially conscious comedy Teacher of the Year manages to pull off one of the more difficult balancing acts in filmmaking: it actually is smart while still being funny. Teacher of the Year is smart about education, both as a vocation and as an industry; and it's both character and dialogue funny, leaning heavily on the free-agent talents of Keegan-Michael Key, half of the comedy duo, Key and Peele. Of late, Key has been a valuable asset in a number of comedies looking for a boost, including a stand-out performance in Pitch Perfect 2, currently in theaters. In Teacher of the Year, his name is […]


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'Teacher of the Year' Movie Review: Smart Comedy with Something to Say



'Yesterday' Movie Review: Memorable AIDS Drama in Zululand

'Yesterday' movie: South African AIDS drama with Leleti Khumalo and Lihle Mvelase. 'Yesterday' movie review: Fantastic central performance in South African AIDS drama To date, nowhere has the AIDS pandemic been felt more strongly than in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to approximately 16 percent of the world's population and 70 percent of the planet's estimated 35 million AIDS cases. In the past thirty years, more than 20 million Sub-Saharan Africans have died from complications of the disease.[1] Even today, drug cocktails that are relatively accessible in other parts of the globe are still beyond the means of the vast majority of Africans. Writer-director Darrell Roodt's South African drama Yesterday is set in this catastrophic scenario. The film depicts the effects of […]


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'Yesterday' Movie Review: Memorable AIDS Drama in Zululand



'The Insider' Movie Review: Corporate Greed Is Bad for Your Health

'The Insider' movie: Al Pacino and Russell Crowe. 'The Insider' movie review: CBS news exposé barks, but doesn't bite Michael Mann's 1999 movie The Insider quote exchange: “It's old news. … We'll be ok,” says Don Hewitt (Philip Baker Hall), the creator of the CBS news show 60 Minutes. “These things have a half-life of 15 minutes.” “No, that's fame,” replies 60 Minutes anchor Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer). “Fame has a 15-minute half-life. Infamy lasts a little longer.” The infamous “things” referred to by Hewitt and Wallace are the series of scandals that erupted in early 1996, when it was revealed that CBS had refused to air an interview with a tobacco company whistleblower because the network feared the (financial) […]


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'The Insider' Movie Review: Corporate Greed Is Bad for Your Health





FILM ARCHIVES

'The Defiant Ones' Academy Screening
'Boynton Beach Club' Review: Dyan Cannon & Daring Sally Kellerman
'Total Denial' Milena Kaneva
Cinesation Reviews: Rare Classic Movies
'Finding Neverland' Movie: Johnny Depp Fairy Tale Tops National Board of Review Awards
'Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom' Review: Pier Paolo Pasolini vs. Fascism
'Golden Dawn' Review: Politically Incorrect Musical Extravaganza
'Stardust Memories' Review: Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling
PURPLE VIOLETS Edward Burns
Gay Marriage in 'Queens'
'Casablanca': Humprey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman Classic 'Nowhere Near Greatness'
'Midnight Cowboy' DGA NYC Screening: John Schlesinger Best Picture Oscar Winner
'Little Caesar' Movie: Edward G. Robinson Iconic - But Badly Dated - Gangster
ONLY GOD FORGIVES Review: Nicolas Winding Refn Darkest Film
'Logan' Movie Review: Wolverine Hugh Jackman Carries One of the Best Superhero Films