Video Film Review: THE BIG WEDDING offers small blessings

How many A-listers does it take to change a lightbulb in “The Big Wedding?”

Today’s panelists, Mimi Spillane and Trish Dominguez join forces with our host, Marie Juliette Steinsvold, to exchange views, not vows about the comedy, The Big Wedding at BBQ favorite, Harley’s Smokeshack in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.

With it’s all-star ensemble cast, the comedy, The Big Wedding, is a remake (surprise!) of a 2006 French film titled, “Mon frère se marie” (My Brother is Married). This adaptation is written and directed by Justin Zackham who also created the script for the film, “The Bucket List.” This is his directorial debut. In it, he features such headliners as Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams.

Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Christine Ebersole and Ben Barnes round out the star-power in this high voltage of bewilderment. I might add that one of the biggest stars that deserves the most accolades is the beautiful estate in Stamford, Connecticut where this movie was filmed. Kudos to the location scout who discovered that gem.  Is this film a not-to-be-missed early summer must see? Check out our review above to get the lowdown.

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Video Film Review: FREE ANGELA DAVIS & ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS is a riveting retelling

To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.  -Angela Davis

Today’s host, Sha Hayes, meets up with our panelists, Lauren Hard and Theresa Anderson, at the British fish and chips hotspot, Atlantic Chipshop in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY,  to review the mesmerizing documentary, Free Angela Davis and all Political Prisoners.

Imagine being an outspoken and prolific young black female in America at a time when Ronald Reagan is Governor of the State of California, Richard Nixon is President of the United States and Herbert Hoover reigns over the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This triad set the tone for one of the most sinister periods in the history of this country. During this time, a series of events took place where the social activist and educator Angela Davis, ultimately found herself on the “FBI Top Ten Most Wanted” list in America.

That story is the basis for this documentary which offers a well executed historical verite of these events through the eyes, words and voice of Angela Davis herself. Expect to also hear from her then legal counsel, journalists, family members and even retired governmental officials who had a stake in the outcome of this historic trial. This monumental legal case managed to grab the attention of the whole world; something that was unprecedented at that time.

Shola Lynch, the film’s writer and director, does an impressive job with the stock and archival footage she utilizes throughout the documentary which offers validity and authenticity to this re-telling. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat about events of which the outcome has long been determined and you have long known the verdict. Executive produced by Jay-Z, Jada and Will Smith, Free Angela Davis and all Political Prisoners is a documentary that needs to be seen, heard and passed on and on and on.

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Video Film Review: WOMAN TO WOMAN

Woman to Woman film still

Woman to Woman is a little slice of sociology.

Our video film review finds today’s host, Marie Juliette Steinsvold, a French filmmaker and writer; and our panelist, Valerie Peterson, an author and writer; chatting it up at the iconic soul food restaurant, The Pink Teacup in Chelsea about the insightful online documentary, Woman to Woman.

Listen to this review online here.

Veronique Doumbe and Malika Franklin, are the mother and daughter team who come together to direct the online documentary, Woman to Woman. With their unique concept, they take the topic of raising teenage daughters in New York City to enlightening heights. Completely multicultural, we are introduced to a beautiful cast of eclectic New Yorkers who also happen to be mothers and daughters. They are outspoken and individualistic in their opinions and approaches to living and growing up in a city with much to offer and much to consider each and every day.

The evolution of conversation between the women and women-to-be provides a nice arc. Since there is little narrative, the razor sharp editing creates a strong and often funny dialogue. Shot in the spring and summer, New York City is visually stunning as a backdrop and becomes a character all of its own. This is an admirable film that is handmade to become a vehicle for great discussions and dialogue as well as a support resource on the subject matter. It also fosters the understanding that in spite all of our differences, our concerns for those we love and care for are one in the same.

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