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Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Love & Happiness, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘A United Kingdom’ showcases the power of love

‘A United Kingdom’ showcases the power of love

“A United Kingdom” (2016 production, 2017 release). Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto, Jessica Oyelowo, Vusi Kunene, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Anastasia Hille, Arnold Oceng, Charlotte Hope, Theo Landey, Abena Ayvior, Jack Lowden, Madison Manowe. Director: Amma Asante. Screenplay: Guy Hibbert. Web site. Trailer.

The power of love is undeniable. In fact, when employed skillfully, it can work wonders, not only in interpersonal relationships, but also in circumstances that have wider ramifications, some of which may be unforeseen at the outset. That’s the surprising and amazing outcome for a romance once considered taboo, one even with international implications, as depicted in the new historical love story, “A United Kingdom.”

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Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Contributing Expert, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Paterson’ celebrates life’s poetic nature

‘Paterson’ celebrates life’s poetic nature

“Paterson” (2016). Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper, Masatoshi Nagase, Rizwani Manji, Cliff Smith, Sterling Jerins, Johnnie Mae, Trevor Parham, Troy T. Parham, Nellie the bulldog. Director: Jim Jarmusch. Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch. Web site. Trailer.

How do you view your reality? Do you see it as a collection of material commodities or as an aggregation of small, magnificent, often-underappreciated wonders? Do you take the time to appreciate the details of the elements that populate your existence, or do you gloss over them as insignificant irrelevancies? And what conclusions do you come away with from such assessments? Those are some of the thoughtful ponderings raised in the quietly meditative new independent release, “Paterson.”

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Caregivers & Legacy, Contributing Expert, Designated Daughter, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Love & Happiness, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Things to Come’ extols the joys of liberation

‘Things to Come’ extols the joys of liberation

“Things to Come” (“L’avenir”) (2016). Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob, Sarah Le Picard, Solal Forte, Elise Lhomeau, Daniel Dray-Rabotnik, Guy-Patrick Sainderichen, Yves Heck, Rachel Arditi. Director: Mia Hansen-Løve. Screenplay: Mia Hansen-Løve. Web site. Trailer.

Having it made is something we all crave, right? The prospects of all of our material, vocational and emotional needs being met probably has tremendous appeal for most of us. But what happens when what we thought we wanted becomes a trap that keeps us from exploring other options? We may come to feel stifled, restricted and unfulfilled. But what do we do about it? Those are the questions raised in the thought-provoking new French melodrama, “Things to Come” (“L’avenir”).

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Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Fences’ wrestles with the limits of personal barriers

‘Fences’ wrestles with the limits of personal barriers

“Fences” (2016). Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney. Director: Denzel Washington. Screenplay: August Wilson. Play: August Wilson, Fences. Web site. Trailer.

The parameters of our existence define the reality we experience. But who or what defines those parameters? Discovering the answer to that question has been a source of debate for eons, but, when we take a really close look at it, we find that the responsibility rests squarely in our own hands, an idea thoughtfully explored in the engaging new stage-to-screen adaptation of playwright August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, “Fences.”

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Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Hidden Figures’ revels in reaching for the stars

‘Hidden Figures’ revels in reaching for the stars

“Hidden Figures” (2016). Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glenn Powell, Olek Krupa, Ken Strunk, Kurt Krause, Donna Biscoe, Corey Parker. Director: Theodore Melfi. Screenplay: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi. Book: Margot Lee Shatterly, Hidden Figures. Web site. Trailer.

Reaching for the stars, both literally and figuratively, is quite a lofty goal. It’s especially ennobling for those who seem to have the deck stacked against them but whose ambitions are so fervent that they refuse to be denied the pursuit of their goals. Such are the aspirations of a trio of enlightened and irrepressible dreamers seeking to achieve greatness for themselves and a cause near and dear to them in the inspiring new biopic, “Hidden Figures.”

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Collateral Beauty’ explores the wonder of existence

‘Collateral Beauty’ explores the wonder of existence

“Collateral Beauty” (2106). Cast: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jacob Lattimore, Ann Dowd, Kylie Rogers, Mary Beth Peil, Alyssa Cheatham. Director: David Frankel. Screenplay: Allen Loeb. Web site. Trailer.

Reality can be a funny thing. We can be going along just fine when something suddenly comes out of left field to totally disrupt everything. What’s that all about? And how are we supposed to cope? Much depends on how we view the fundamental functioning of existence – and the role we play in it. Those are the issues that play out in the wondrous new holiday offering, “Collateral Beauty.”

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Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Jackie’ profiles grace under fire

‘Jackie’ profiles grace under fire

“Jackie” (2016). Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Caspar Phillipson, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant, Max Casella, Richard E. Grant, Sunnie Pelant, Aiden Weinberg, Brody Weinberg, Georgie Glen, Gaspard Koenig, Craig Sechler, Rebecca Compton, Vivienne Vernes. Director: Pablo Larraín. Screenplay: Noah Oppenheim. Web site. Trailer.

How would we cope when tragedy strikes? Would we rise to the occasion or fall apart? What would our priorities be in handling it? And would we allow ourselves to be overcome by the circumstances, getting caught up in rhetorical ruminations about why events have unfolded as they have? Those are among the questions faced by a high-profile public figure wrestling with unspeakable grief in the audacious new biopic, “Jackie.”

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘The Innocents’ contemplates faith and the mystery of creation

‘The Innocents’ contemplates faith and the mystery of creation

“The Innocents” (2016). Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne, Joanna Kulig, Eliza Rycembel, Katarzyna Dabrowska, Anna Próchniak, Klara Bielawka, Pascal Elso. Director: Anne Fontaine. Screenplay: Sabrina B. Karine and Alice Vial. Story: Philippe Maynial. Dialogue and Adaptation: Pascal Bonitzer and Anne Fontaine. Web site. Trailer.

It’s been said the Lord works in mysterious ways. In fact, in some cases, those mysteries are so cryptic that it’s difficult to fathom what could possibly be behind them. That’s where one’s faith can be seriously tested, as a group of Polish nuns discover for themselves in the days shortly after World War II in the gripping historical drama, “The Innocents,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray disk and video on demand.

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Manchester by the Sea’ wrestles with redemption, forgiveness, choice

‘Manchester by the Sea’ wrestles with redemption, forgiveness, choice

“Manchester by the Sea” (2016). Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, C.J. Wilson, Tom Kemp, Anna Baryshnikov, Kara Hayward, Tate Donovan, Josh Hamilton, Jami Tennille Mingo, Heather Burns, Susan Pourfar, Ruibo Qian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Ben O’Brien. Director: Kenneth Lonergan. Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan. Web site. Trailer.

It’s been said we can never go home again. But what if circumstances arise that force us into doing just that? How will we respond? Can we handle it? And what will the fallout be? Those are among the questions raised in the new domestic drama, “Manchester by the Sea.” 

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Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Mindset, Movie Reviews, Success | 0 comments

‘Christine’ struggles with integrity, ambition

‘Christine’ struggles with integrity, ambition

“Christine” (2016). Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, J. Smith-Cameron, Timothy Simons, Kim Shaw, John Cullum, Morgan Spector, Jayson Warner Smith, Kimberley Drummond, Lindsay Ayliffe, Ritchie Montgomery. Director: Antonio Campos. Screenplay: Craig Shilowich. Web site. Trailer.

Staying on top of things when we’re under constant pressure to perform can be challenging enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when we add to that issues of unresolved ambition, the pursuit of integrity, personal problems and health concerns, we might easily be pushed over the brink. Such is the case for a troubled television reporter seeking to do worthwhile work and make a name for herself in the disturbing new biographical drama, “Christine.” 

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Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Love & Happiness, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Loving’ depicts its namesake’s undeniable power

‘Loving’ depicts its namesake’s undeniable power

“Loving” (2016). Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon, Will Dalton, Winter-Lee Holland, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Marton Csokas, Bill Camp, David Jensen, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, Sharon Blackwood, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Jennifer Joyner, Jevin Crochrell, Jordan Williams Jr., Georgia Crawford, Brenan Young, Dalyn M. Cleckley, Quinn McPherson. Director: Jeff Nichols. Screenplay: Jeff Nichols. Web site. Trailer.

Who we fall in love with is no one’s business but our own. However, it wasn’t always that way. As recently as the 1960s, interracial marriage was illegal in a number of states. But, in the end, laws weren’t enough to separate those whose love destined them to be together. One couple’s precedent-setting fight to assert this fundamental right provides the basis for the touching new historical drama, “Loving.”

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Arrival’ seeks to bridge gaps in understanding

‘Arrival’ seeks to bridge gaps in understanding

“Arrival” (2016). Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O’Brien, Tzi Ma, Jadyn Malone, Carmella Nossa Guizzo, Abigail Pniowsky, Julia Scarlett Dan. Director: Denis Villeneuve. Screenplay: Eric Heisserer. Story: Ted Chiang, “The Story of Your Life.” Web site. Trailer.

Something as simple as saying “hello” shouldn’t be difficult, right? But what if we were up against that task in the context of contact with aliens? How would we respond? In fact, where would we even begin? Establishing a connection and effective communication are crucial. However, such critical concerns notwithstanding, an even more fundamental consideration is developing an understanding of how we each view the nature of existence. Without that, we may never even get to hello. These are among the questions a team of experts wrestles with in the profound, thought-provoking new sci-fi thriller, “Arrival.”

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Healthy Living/Healthy Body, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Anesthesia’ explores our attempts at escape from reality

‘Anesthesia’ explores our attempts at escape from reality

“Anesthesia” (2015). Cast: Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Tim Blake Nelson, Corey Stoll, Kristen Stewart, Gretchen Mol, Richard Thomas, K. Todd Freeman, Michael K. Williams, Jessica Hecht, Hannah Marks, Ben Konigsberg, Jacqueline Baum, Ekaterina Samsonov, J. Bernard Calloway, Rob Morgan, Scott Cohen, Gloria Reuben. Director: Tim Blake Nelson. Screenplay: Tim Blake Nelson. Web site. Trailer.

The struggles of everyday life can be overwhelming. They may even be more to cope with than we can handle. And, because of that, many of us may seek avenues of escape from the pain and hardship through various means. But, in doing so, we may unwittingly cut ourselves off from sources of support, comfort and guidance. Such are the themes explored in the engaging multifaceted drama, “Anesthesia,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray disk and video on demand.

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Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Howards End’ extols the virtues of kindness, compassion, integrity

‘Howards End’ extols the virtues of kindness, compassion, integrity

“Howards End” (1992, original release; 2016, re-release). Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel West, James Wilby, Adrian Ross Magenty, Nicola Duffett. Director: James Ivory. Screenplay: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Book: E.M. Forster, Howards End. Web site. Trailer.

A little kindness goes a long way, sometimes much further than any of us might expect. That’s a meaningful lesson for those who need some gentle nudges in that direction, and it’s an imperative for anyone who brazenly puts self-interest before all else. Such is the message of the 1992 award-winning screen classic “Howards End,” recently released in theaters in a digitally restored 25th anniversary edition.

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Queen of Katwe’ shows how to beat the odds and excel

‘Queen of Katwe’ shows how to beat the odds and excel

“Queen of Katwe” (2016). Cast: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Kabanza, Taryn “Kay” Kyaze, Ivan Jacobo, Nicolas Levesque, Ronald Ssemaganda, Ethan Nazario Lubega, Nikita Waliga, Esther Tebandeke, Philip Luswata, Maurice Kirya, Peter Odeke. Director: Mira Nair. Screenplay: William Wheeler. Book: Tim Crothers, The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster. Web site. Trailer.

What does it take to beat the odds and rise above our challenges? That can be a rather tall order, especially when things seem stacked against us. But, when we put our mind to it, it’s possible to achieve almost anything. One need only look at the inspiring example set by a determined young woman from the Ugandan slums and her dreams to achieve greatness, a fact-based story told in the heartwarming new biopic, “Queen of Katwe.”

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Posted by on Sep 25, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 1 comment

‘Sunset Song’ celebrates personal fortitude

‘Sunset Song’ celebrates personal fortitude

“Sunset Song” (2015 production, 2016 release). Cast: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie, Daniela Nardini, Jack Greenlees, Ron Donachie, Linda Duncan McLaughlin, Niall Greig Fulton, Gilbert Johnston, Douglas Rankine, Simon Tait. Director: Terence Davies. Screenplay: Terence Davies. Book: Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song. Web site. Trailer.

Making one’s way in the world can be difficult enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when conditions offer repeated challenges, the chances of success can become that much more difficult, as evidenced by the experiences of a young Scottish farm girl in the days before World War I, the subject of the moving drama, “Sunset Song,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray Disk and video on demand.

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Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Caregivers & Legacy, Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Mia Madre’ muses about the nature of life and death

‘Mia Madre’ muses about the nature of life and death

Mia Madre” (“My Mother”) (2015 production, 2016 release). Cast: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini, Stefano Abbati, Enrico Ianniello. Director: Nanni Moretti. Screenplay: Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo and Valia Santella. Story: Nanni Moretti, Valia Santella, Gaia Manzini and Chiara Valerio. Web site. Trailer.

Coping with the impending death of a loved one presents each of us with a unique challenge. How do we respond? Do we approach it directly, seeing circumstances for what they are? Or do we hold out hope against hope, running the risk of drowning in denial? What’s more, what impact does such an event have on our outlook about our own mortality? Those are among the questions posed in the emotional new Italian comedy-drama, “Mia Madre” (“My Mother”).

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Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Lo and Behold’ dissects the joys – and challenges – of connectedness

‘Lo and Behold’ dissects the joys – and challenges – of connectedness

“Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” (2016). Cast: Elon Musk, Dr. Leon Kleinrock, Danny Hillis, Kevin Mitnick, Sebastian Thrun, Lawrence Krauss, Lucianne Walkowicz, Jonathan Zittrain, Shawn Carpenter, Werner Herzog (narrator). Director: Werner Herzog. Screenplay: Werner Herzog. Web siteTrailer.

It’s almost inconceivable to think of life without the Internet. As if out of nowhere, this remarkable technology quietly emerged from modest beginnings and proceeded to explode, revolutionizing the world in countless ways – as well as in countless ways we have yet to imagine. But, given how unexpectedly this remarkable phenomenon arose, not to mention how it has come to so completely dominate many aspects of our lives, are we fully aware of its current influence and potential future impact? Do its benefits blind us to its pitfalls? And what does that mean for the future? Those ideas are among the many raised in director Werner Herzog’s thoughtful new documentary, “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.”

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Love & Happiness, Mind, Body & Spirit, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Flowers’ celebrates empathy, kindness

‘Flowers’ celebrates empathy, kindness

“Flowers” (“Loreak”) (2014 production, 2015 release). Cast: Itziar Ituño, Nagore Aranburu, Itziar Aizpuru, Josean Bengoetxea, Egoitz Lasa, Ane Gabarain, José Ramón Soroiz, Jox Berasategui, Mikel Laskurain, Aitor Odriozola, Unax Odriozola. Directors: Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga. Screenplay: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga. Web site. Trailer.

In a world filled with coldness and cynicism, acts of unsolicited kindness have, unfortunately, come to be seen by many as anomalous gestures, deeds almost to be viewed with suspicion. It’s truly sad that we’ve reached such a point, one where we question the sincere altruism of others, convinced that there must be an agenda behind those actions. But need it be that way? That’s one of the key questions posed in the meditative Spanish drama, “Flowers” (“Loreak”), now available on video on demand.

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ wrestles with life’s lessons

‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ wrestles with life’s lessons

“Florence Foster Jenkins” (2016). Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Stanley Townsend, Allan Corduner, Christian McKay, David Haig, Brid Brennan, John Kavanagh, John Sessions, Davis Mills, Nat Luurtsema, Mark Arnold. Director: Stephen Frears. Screenplay: Nicholas Martin. Web site. Trailer.

Passionately following one’s dreams, no matter what the cost, is a noble endeavor, to be sure. Pursuing what gives us joy is truly an undertaking to which we should all aspire. But what if the pursuit of that goal has the potential for public humiliation – should we continue under such circumstances? What’s more, what if others deliberately shield us from such criticism – are they really doing us any favors, even if they seem to have our best interests at heart? Those are some mighty big life lessons, and they’re among the issues raised and addressed in the bittersweet new biopic, “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Caregivers & Legacy, Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Gleason’ honors the hero within

‘Gleason’ honors the hero within

“Gleason” (2016). Cast: Steve Gleason, Michel Varisco, Rivers Gleason, Mike Gleason, Scott Fujita, Blair Casey, Paul Varisco Sr., Kyle Gleason, Gail Gleason, Jim Eutizzi, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, John Elway, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mike McCready, Eddie Vedder. Director: Clay Tweel. Screenplay: Clay Tweel. Web site. Trailer.

What makes a hero? Many of us probably think of comic book figures, first responders or combat vets. Those examples are certainly inspiring, and their contributions (especially those of the real world figures) are definitely laudable. But, as the new documentary “Gleason” illustrates, heroes sometimes come in the unlikeliest of forms.

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Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Don’t Think Twice’ instructs us on living in the moment

‘Don’t Think Twice’ instructs us on living in the moment

“Don’t Think Twice” (2016). Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher, Ben Stiller, Seth Barrish, Erin Darke, Sondra James, Maggie Kemper, Kati Rediger, Steve Waltien, Emily Skeggs, Gary Richardson. Director: Mike Birbiglia. Screenplay: Mike Birbiglia. Web site. Trailer.

Striving for success in the world of entertainment is full of hopes, dreams, challenges and frustrations. When we pursue it on our own, it can be terrifying, bewildering, exhilarating and, above all, lonely. But, when we aspire to greatness as part of a group, we at least have the support of others to make the struggle more tolerable and, one would hope, creatively fulfilling. Of course, being part of a collective is also fraught with the competition (sometimes friendly, sometime far from it) that comes with seeking to stand out from one’s peers, a potential threat to professional friendships and collaborations. Journeys like this are full of many distinct, meaningful moments, some euphoric, some bittersweet, but few of them dull. Learning how to address these kinds of issues is central to the lives of the protagonists in the outstanding new indie comedy, “Don’t Think Twice.”

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Captain Fantastic’ exposes the perils of belief dogma

‘Captain Fantastic’ exposes the perils of belief dogma

“Captain Fantastic” (2016). Cast: Viggo Mortensen, George McKay, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Ann Dowd, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Trin Miller, Elijah Stevenson, Teddy Van Ee, Erin Moriarity, Missi Pyle. Director: Matt Ross. Screenplay: Matt Ross. Web site. Trailer.

Getting away from the crush of the world’s worries undoubtedly holds tremendous appeal, particularly for those seeking to support and raise their families in a natural, healthy environment untainted by the corruption, perils and concerns of everyday life. But does this kind of retreat from mainstream society truly live up to the promise of paradise found? That’s the question examined in the new family drama, “Captain Fantastic.”

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Inspirational Audio & Video, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

‘Life, Animated’ explores alternatives for understanding the world

‘Life, Animated’ explores alternatives for understanding the world

“Life, Animated” (2016). Cast: Owen Suskind, Ron Suskind, Cornelia Suskind, Walt Suskind, Gilbert Gottfried, Jonathan Freeman, Emily Jathas. Director: Roger Ross Williams. Screenplay: Ron Suskind. Book: Ron Suskind, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism. Web siteTrailer.

Finding our way in the world is difficult enough for most of us, but what if we were burdened by the challenges of autism? Would it be possible to make our way as independently functioning beings? Even more so, would it be possible to understand the fundamental nature of the world around us? As unlikely as those prospects might seem to some of us, there are always possibilities. Indeed, as the saying goes, “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” and that notion underscores the efforts of a remarkable young man as depicted in the uplifting new documentary, “Life, Animated.”

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Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Contributing Expert, Enlightenment, Get Inspired, Inspirational Audio & Video, Mind, Body & Spirit, Mindset, Movie Reviews | 1 comment

‘Our Little Sister’ celebrates alternative families

‘Our Little Sister’ celebrates alternative families

 

“Our Little Sister” (Original title: “Umimachi Diary”) (2015 production, 2016 release). Cast: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirosu, Shinobu Otake, Kirin Kiki, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Jun Fubuki, Takafumi Ikeda, Oshiro Maeda, Ryô Kase, Lily Franky, Yuko Nakamura, Kentaro Sakahuchi, Midoriko Kimura. Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Graphic Novel: Akimi Yoshida,  Umimachi Diary. Web site. Trailer.

How we define “family” need not follow traditional interpretations. Indeed, it can take a variety of inventive and novel forms, often working exceedingly well in meeting everyone’s needs. Such is the case in the heartwarming new family drama from Japan, “Our Little Sister” (originally titled “Umimachi Diary”).

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