Tag Archives: video film review

Video-on-Demand Pick of the Week: 20 Feet From Stardom

Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.

20 Feet From Stardom, the award-winning documentary film, is this week’s Video-on-Demand pick by our Video-on-Demand correspondent, Mimi Spillane.
Poster of 20 Feet From Stardom

Recently released on Video-on-Demand, it is one of the selections in the category for Best Documentary for this year’s Academy Award ceremonies. It is directed by filmmaker, Morgan Neville, who has also produced and written numerous documentaries for both the big screen and television on such luminaries as Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and the band Pearl Jam. Rumors have it that Mick Jagger is in the process of creating a Broadway production based on this film. But, Mimi has a few things of her own to say about this one from the comfort of her own living room. Take a peek.
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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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