entertainment, film

Donate to this AFi thesis film

Blackbird is an AFI thesis film about a boy who searched for a magical blackbird in the sky. And when George is put to a decisive test, his conviction in what he believes shows the world around him that even the smallest of people can change the world in the most unlikely way.

If you’ve ever had a dream, or a blackbird you’ve searched for in the sky, then help support these filmmakers as they go after their own dream of making this film. They’re taking donations, and it’s tax deductible. No donation is too small.

You can donate online:


entertainment, film

‘Brothers’ review

An old, cruddy quarter and a new, shiny quarter may look very different, but they’re both worth 25 cents.

In the same way, the gritty 2004 Danish filmBrødre and its current remake, Brothers, look very different, but are essentially the same strong story underneath it all.

The newer version, directed by Jim Sheridan with a screenplay written by David Benioff (The Kite Runner, Stay), mirrors the original so closely that it makes one wonder what would have happened if the filmmakers had instead decided to push the movie in a different direction. However, Brothers is an excellent view into the effects of war on the home and returned soldiers. Some emotional scenes are especially haunting, as the tension between the characters continues to escalate….

See the rest of the review here.

entertainment, film

The Limits of Control- review

The Limits of Control Speaks to a Limited Audience 
By Rebecca Ford


The Limits of Control is not a film for the masses. Many will not grasp onto director Jim Jarmusch’s affinity for the laconic. The shots held for a ridiculously long time, the outlandish characters who speak of intangible subjects and the overall sterility of this film are a deadly cocktail to those raised in a fast-moving, ADD society.

But that doesn’t mean Control isn’t a good film. Jarmusch, who brought us 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes and 2005’s Broken Flowers, has always been known for being cooler than the rest, hipper than most and, maybe, smarter than all of us. In a film world saturated by Hollywood’s formulaic happy endings, Jarmusch is the kink in the machine.

The story of Control follows a lone stranger, played by Isaach De Bankolé, as he travels through Spain on some sort of mission. Along the way, he exchanges secret messages and matchboxes with eccentric characters.

What gets frustrating as time goes on is that audiences learn very little about the leading man. We don’t know much about his mission, or why he’s doing it, or even if he gets paid. We do know that he wears the same suit for several days, he orders two cups of espresso but only drinks one and he spends his free time at art galleries.

The overall feeling of the film is actually very similar to walking through an art gallery. You stare at a painting for a while, think, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then move on to the next. You can’t touch the art, and no matter how hard you try, you can never really feel one with it. It’s just a nice scene to look at before moving on to the next… See the rest at socal.com

entertainment, film

DVD review: Seven Pounds

The trailers for Seven Pounds before its release in theaters last December were purposefully vague and mysterious. The main character, Ben Thomas (Will Smith), has a secret, and that’s about all viewers get. He runs in the rain, meets a beautiful woman (Rosario Dawson) and somehow has the ability to change people’s lives.

If you didn’t see the film in theaters, you may still not know what the secret is all about. And you won’t when you watch Seven Pounds on DVD, either—at least not for an hour and a half…
See the review at socal.com


“Sunshine Cleaning” review


By Rebecca Ford

When I was in college, I went home one weekend to my parents’ house. My parents were away for the night, and my younger sister who was in high school at the time asked if she could have a few friends over. A few friends turned into a drunken high school party, where one kid threw up in the sink and clogged the disposal, and my sister passed out on her bedroom floor. Needless to say, I was left alone to clean up the mess till six in the morning.

I didn’t speak to my sister for a week after that. It was maybe the angriest I’ve ever been at her.

But that doesn’t matter because when it’s your sister, you get over it. No matter what, there’s this unspoken bond between two girls who lived through a childhood together.

That’s the bottom line with Sunshine Cleaning,” the new film starring Amy Adams andEmily Blunt. They play two grown-up sisters, struggling to make ends meet and overcome their mother’s suicide. When Rose (Adams) can’t pay for her son’s private school, she opens a crime scene cleaning company with her younger sister, Hannah (Blunt).

Much like my own sibling, Norah is young and rebellious. She’s tattooed, irreverent and lacks in direction. Her older sister, Rose, is the responsible one, who is raising a kid alone.

Sunshine Cleaning, brought to you by the producers of the lovable “Little Miss Sunshine” , has the same optimistic-in-the-face-of-sadness feel to it, finding the beauty in life—and death. It’s similar to the 2006 hit (Alan Arkin reappears, and the story is again based in Albuquerque), but not quite at the same high level of thoughtfulness.

Still, Sunshine is, well, a beam of sunlight in what’s been a dreary, sad movie season of late. Even while approaching a topic as sad as death, the film is able to reflect the beauty and promise in life and human kindness.

Death is one topic that really gets examined in a great way here. The sisters, still dealing with their mother’s suicide from when they were kids, see death in all forms, and—more importantly—the effect it has on the people left behind.

The chemistry between Adams, Blunt and Arkin is what makes this movie soar. Their comedic timing and expression sets off laughter at just the right time. All three, however, smoothly embody the sadness that comes with losing a loved one.

Because the acting is stellar, it assists in masking the fact that their characters are lacking in some development. Sure, we learn that Rose was a popular high school cheerleader who is sleeping with a married man and has some self-esteem issues now. But last time I checked, I didn’t like those types of girls in high school, and I’m damn glad that they peaked when they were mentally bullying around the less popular and parading down the halls in their cheerleading outfits. How are we supposed to root …

See the rest here.


‘Cadillac Records’ Review

Beyonce Knowles as Etta James
Beyonce Knowles as Etta James

by Rebecca Ford- Los Angeles Film Examiner





The blues are back. 



The songs will sound familiar to many—Etta James’ “At Last,” Chuck Berry’s, “Maybellene,” and Muddy Waters’ “I’m a Man.” The faces are new.

Instead of making a film about any one of these pioneers of music, “Cadillac Records” is about the place they all crashed into each other—Chess Records.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Chess records, run by Polish emigre Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody), became to epicenter of the future of music. The foundation for the blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll was laid—brick by brick—in those studios. “Cadillac Records” chronicles the rise of Chess records and the tumultuous lives of the musicians who called it home.

Like the Cadillacs the musicians and Chess pine after, the film is beautiful and shiny on the outside. The songs are memorable and the singers croon with the best of them. But cramming the entire history of the forefathers of modern music into 109 minutes makes the film seem rushed, and lacking in the rich details that probably filled those days….


see the rest here.