Tag Archives: Cinequest

THE LAST WORD: a forceful dose of Shirley MacLaine

In the comedy The Last Word, Shirley MacLaine plays a control freak of absolutely unstoppable will. This is a person who is obsessed with getting her own way on even the most inconsequential detail. She is living a wealthy retirement, … Continue reading

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Cinequest: (re)ASSIGNMENT (now THE ASSIGNMENT)

In the gloriously pulpy revenge thriller The Assignment, a vengeful plastic surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) captures a hit man (Michelle Rodriguez) and performs sexual reassignment surgery on him, releasing a new hit woman (also Michelle Rodriguez) into the world – and … Continue reading

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Cinequest: CARRIE PILBY

The title character in the agreeable misfit comedy Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley) is literally a genius, a girl with such high intelligence that she enrolled at Harvard at age 14. That experience proved to be better for her intellectual development … Continue reading

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Cinequest: THE PROMISE

In a predictable trudge through the Armenian Genocide, The Promise delivers nothing that we haven’t seen before. Oscar Isaac plays an impoverished Armenian from the Anatolian outback who dreams of becoming a doctor. To afford medical school in Constantinople, he … Continue reading

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Cinequest: UNA

The psychological suspense movie Una revolves around two twisted people, one of whom has been damaged by trauma.  Here’s what the audience can be confident really happened: at age 14, Una (Rooney Mara) was seduced by a much older man, … Continue reading

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Cinequest: THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT

The adventure romance The Ottoman Lieutenant, which had its world premiere at Cinequest and is now playing in theaters, is SO bad, so LAUGHABLY bad, that it’s hard to predict whether it will be quickly forgotten or linger in our … Continue reading

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Movies to See Right Now

Silicon Valley’s own major film festival, Cinequest heads into its final weekend.  I strongly recommend the indie dramedy Quality Problems, screening at 9:30 tomight at the Hammer theater in downtown San Jose; if you’re going to see one Cinequest film, … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: MEET THE HITLERS

Because Cinequest is underway, my video pick is from the 2015 festival: in the documentary Meet the Hitlers, we are introduced to those few people who choose NOT to change their birth name of “Hitler”. And it’s a varied bunch. … Continue reading

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Cinequest: THE VALLEY

In The Valley, a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur seeks an explanation for the suicide of his college student daughter.  The entrepreneur and his wife were born in India and raised their American-born daughters in the US.   Cinequest hosted The … Continue reading

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Cinequest at mid-fest

Cinequest 2017 opened with the Shirley MacLaine comedy The Last Word, which was well-received by the festival audience, as was the adapted-from-best-seller comedy Carrie Pilby. The Australian crime drama Goldstone was another strong entry, leaving the laughably wretched The Ottoman … Continue reading

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