The Surrogate 2020 Film Poster

Film Review: The Surrogate (2020)

If you were pregnant and knew the baby was going to be born with Down’s Syndrome, what would you do? Keep the baby amidst the many challenges you’re going to be faced with after giving birth? Adopt it out? Abort it? That’s the struggle Jess (Jasmine Batchelor) is faced with. After agreeing to be the surrogate for her friend Josh (Chris Perfetti) and his husband Aaron (Sullivan Jones), during a prenatal test it’s discovered to be almost certain that the baby will be born with Down’s Syndrome.

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Hereditary 2018 Poster

Film Review: Hereditary (2018)

While he’s previously made a few short films falling under the horror genre, Hereditary is the first feature-length film from director Ari Aster. Back in 2018 I wasn’t paying as much attention to film releases as I was now so this was a film I was unfamiliar with outside of its song being used on some TikTok videos. When Aster’s second film Midsommar was released last year, I made a mental note to check both films out. Finally, I found the time to sit down and watch Hereditary.

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Asako I and II 2018 Film Poster

Film Review: Asako I & II (2018)

I originally wanted to see Asako I & II when it was playing at the 2018 Philadelphia Film Festival, but due to scheduling conflicts I was unable to attend. Thankfully, Grasshopper Films distributed it on home video earlier this year and I was able finally watch it. Although I’ve heard of other films from director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi such as his five hour epic from 2015 titled Happy Hour, this is the first film of his I’ve seen.

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Woman on the Beach 2006 Poster

Film Review: Woman on the Beach (2006)

I don’t want to say I’m judging a book by its cover (or rather, a director by its films), but so far I’m two for two in not enjoying films I’ve seen from director Hong Sang-soo, and I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to check out another film from him. It’s a shame, really — although IMDb plots are only a few sentences, usually they do a great job at summarizing a film’s plot and don’t leave anything to be desired. However, so far these descriptions of Hong Sang-soo’s films sound quite intriguing, only to leave me disappointed. Doing a little digging, it seems his films often involve a man involved in an affair, and the male protagonist is, often enough, a director as well. I wonder if it’s a sort of projection?

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Stuff and Dough 2001 Movie Poster

Film Review: Stuff and Dough (2001)

Up until seeing Stuff and Dough, the first film from director and writer Cristi Puiu, I had never seen a Romanian film before, so I was interested in seeing what this film would bring to the table. Virtually screened as part of the Philadelphia Lightbox Film Center’s “The Romanians: 30 Years of Cinema Revolution” collection of films, this one caught my attention and sounded worth checking out. In addition to being Puiu’s directorial debut, for two of the three main characters, this is also their film debuts. This was Alexandru Papadopol (Ovidiu) and Ioana Flora’s (Betty) first credited roles, whereas Dragos Bucur (Vali) had one previous role in 1998’s “Next Stop Paradise”, a film I also want to check out sometime down the road.

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Inheritance 2020 Film Poster

Film Review: Inheritance (2020)

Although its plot is a bit farfetched, Inheritance, the first feature length film from screenwriter Matthew Kennedy, makes a good story. One day when out and about in New York City, Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) passes away suddenly. He’s the father of a political family: his son William (Chace Crawford) is a politician running for re-election, and his daughter Lauren (Lily Collins) is a Manhattan District Attorney. She’s always felt that her father likes her brother, which is only solidified when Archer leaves William $20 million and Lauren “only” $1 Million in her will. After the will has been read, their family attorney Harold (Michael Beach) privately tells Lauren there’s one more thing, something just for her.

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A Gentle Breeze in the Village (2007)

Film Review: A Gentle Breeze in the Village (2007)

Usually, I’m one to enjoy films that are on the softer and more gentle side that slowly tell a story, so I was a little surprised upon watching A Gentle Breeze in the Village that I didn’t care for it. Maybe part of it was I wasn’t in the right mood or headspace for a film like that, but at the same time, I doubt it was that. I paused it throughout as I couldn’t get into it never feeling all that interested.

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The Wild Goose Lake (2019) Film Poster

Film Review: The Wild Goose Lake (2019)

It’s hard to believe I’m nearing a year since I saw Long Day’s Journey Into Night, another Chinese neo-noir film. Ironically, just like Long Day’s Journey, I too was unable to attend the screening of The Wild Goose Lake at the Philadelphia Film Festival back in the fall. When I saw the folks at Film Movement were streaming it online as part of their virtual cinema as of last week, I made sure to pay for a virtual ticket so I could catch what I had previously missed.

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