Five new reviews from Pamela Powell land on Reel Honest Reviews


The title of the newest Jason Bourne movie should have been, “How to Make An Action Film Boring.”  The recipe they follow is ingenious.  They take a talented actor such as Matt Damon and give him very little screen time with inconsequential dialogue.  They then add equally talented supporting actors and do the same.  Mix these actors in with continuous action that seems irrelevant to the superficial and almost non-existent story and Voila!  you have a bedtime cocktail that will allow you to drift off into a peaceful sleep.


Is it possible to create a socially relevant horror flick?  The answer to that question is a resoundingly eerie YES!  “Red Christmas” takes on the guilt and justification of abortion in ways you never thought humanly possible.  Written by Craig Anderson who brought us the Slamdance hit “The Tail Job,” we get a glimpse inside one family’s attempt to celebrate the Christmas holiday.  With gut-wrenching cynicism and concepts boldly thrown in your face, this gruesomely thought-provoking film will cut you to the core…exactly like some of the characters—literally.


The timely teen thriller, “Nerve,” brings virtual reality gaming to a dangerous new conceptual level.  Imagine an on-line game that you choose to be a “player” or a “watcher” as the players receive money for completing a dare.  The more dangerous the dare, the more money the player wins.  The two players who have the most watchers and complete the dares make it to the final round.  Greed and the need for fame is the name of the game.


Energy and diversity go hand in hand in the documentary “Denial” which premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival recently.  With our ever-increasing and demanding need for fossil fuels and energy, Vermont’s  electric company CEO, Dave Hallquist, has been ahead of the learning curve, attempting to bring his forward thinking know-how into the grid of reality.  However, when his filmmaker son Derek decides to document his father’s progress in the fight for cleaner energy and a better Earth, he learns about a long-buried secret that his father isn’t the man he thought he was.  Dave, now known as Christine, reveals on camera to his son that he is actually more comfortable as a woman.  The film tackles denial on two fronts in perfect parallel form:  climate change and identity.  ”Denial” intelligently portrays how we are more comfortable denying reality rather than facing the truth.  It’s an emotionally raw journey of love, fear, and reality.


Everyone loves Second City and improvisational performances.  That’s evidenced by the fact that you can’t get a ticket to the main show in Chicago for at least a month!  Well, what would happen if a talented improv comedy troupe called English Lovers took that unscripted humor to the screen and shouted, “Action!”  The result is exactly what we get in “Another One Opens.”  Armed only with a brief outline of the scene, the actors took their creative interactional skills and made a movie.  The result is unexpectedly wonderful, funny, and believe it or not, thought-provoking.





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