Movie Reviews

Episode 92: Blade Runner 2049

 Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Description

On today’s review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel to talk about Blade Runner 2049, the new sci-fi-film-noir from director Denis Villeneuve that offers another look at the dystopian American future of uncanny androids and commercialized urban decay originally envisioned by Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.

Episode 91: Battle of the Sexes / Columbus

 BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

Description

On today's review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel to talk about two new movies about young women torn between social expectation and personal ambition, who find both distraction and clarity in the art that consumes their lives.

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES, the latest feature from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris, tells the story of a 1973 tennis match between 29-year-old tennis star Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and aging tennis veteran and self-proclaimed 'chauvinist pig' Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carrell).

And COLUMBUS, the directorial debut of filmmaker Kogonada, is an indie romance featuring a recent high school grad (played by Haley Lu Richardson) who is trying to understand just what exactly moves her so much about the many examples of high modernist architecture that exist in her otherwise unassuming, small Midwestern hometown of Columbus, Indiana.

Episode 89: Graphic Novel Adaptations / American Splendor

 AMERICAN SPLENDOR (2003)

AMERICAN SPLENDOR (2003)

Description

In today's episode, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Review publisher Bennett Graff for a conversation about movie adaptations of graphic novels. In particular, they focus on AMERICAN SPLENDOR, a 2003 film from directors Shari Springer Brown and Robert Pulcini that brings to life Cleveland author Harvey Pekar’s decades-spanning autobiographical underground comic series of the same name.

Episode 88: Wind River

 WIND RIVER (2017) by Taylor Sheridan

WIND RIVER (2017) by Taylor Sheridan

Description

On today's review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel talk about WIND RIVER, a new murder mystery from writer-director Taylor Sheridan, whose previous screenwriting credits include SICARIO and HELL OR HIGH WATER, that takes place in a desolate, unforgiving stretch of the Wind River Northern Arapaho Reservation in western Wyoming.

Episode 87: Lady Macbeth

 LADY MACBETH (2016)

LADY MACBETH (2016)

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel for a discussion of Lady Macbeth, a new British film from director William Oldroyd about a young bride in 19th century northern England who chafes against the oppressive boredom, disrespect, and objectification of being a kept woman in a patriarchal society. As the movie’s title indicates, though, our young protagonist is not one to be content with a life of humiliation and immobility, and, once she finds an object of her own desire, she is willing to go to some pretty extreme lengths to attain it.

Episode 86: Dunkirk

 Christopher Nolan's  Dunkirk  (2017)

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017)

Description

On today's review-only episode of the show, I'll be joined by New Haven Independent staff reporter Allan Appel to talk about DUNKIRK, Christopher Nolan's new WWII action movie about the mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands of British troops from the beaches of a besieged French coastal city in the early summer of 1940. We'll talk about this movie's vision of courage, despair, and victory in defeat, as well as about how it compares to other landmark works in the WWII movie genre.

Episode 85: Baby Driver / Spider-Man: Homecoming

 BABY DRIVER (2017)

BABY DRIVER (2017)

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by WNHH intern Sam Hadelman to talk about two new summer releases that follow eager young men who are cocky, talented, good-natured, and naive, destined for great professional success if they can only survive the immense personal danger that comes with their work.

Edgar Wright’s BABY DRIVER and Jon Watts’ SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING are two summer action movies replete with car chases, explosions, supervillains and extended fight sequences. One follows a youthful Atlanta getaway driver immersed in pop music, the other a frenetic Queens high school student eager to impress his superhero role models.

Episode 82: Father's Day Movies / Manual Cinema

 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Description

In anticipation of Father’s Day this Sunday, the first segment of today’s show is all about movies and dads. Host Tom Breen is joined by certified dad and movie lover Nick Schupbach to talk about movie recommendations for Father’s Day, the different ways that dads and father-child relationships are portrayed on screen, and the experience of being a dad and sharing movies with your kids.

On the second segment of the show, Breen talks with composer Kyle Vegter and artistic director Julia Miller about Manual Cinema, a Chicago-based troupe of artists who create live performances that blend aspects of theater, cinema, and shadow puppetry. Manual Cinema is one of the featured artists at this year’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and we’ll talk all about their unique approach to creating “live cinema.”

Episode 81: Wonder Woman / The Wedding Plan

 The Wedding Plan (2016)

The Wedding Plan (2016)

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a discussion of two new releases starring Israeli women whose characters brush aside the fatuous hindrances of patriarchy to realize miracles of female strength and ingenuity: the latest blockbuster comic book adaptation WONDER WOMAN and the Israeli romantic comedy THE WEDDING PLAN.

Episode 79: NHDocs 2017 / Alien: Covenant

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with Yale film studies professor Charles Musser about the 4th annual New Haven Documentary Film Festival, which runs from June 1 through June 11 at the Whitney Humanities Center and the Main Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library in downtown New Haven. Musser is a co-founder and co-director of the fest.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a review of Alien: Covenant, the latest installment in the four-decade-old sci-fi / horror series that finds a new ship, a new crew, and a new planet beset by the same old problems of merciless nature and technology, and big chomping mouths with rows upon rows of teeth.

Links

http://www.nhdocs.com/

Episode 78: Literary Adaptations / A Quiet Passion

 THE DEAD (1987) by John Huston

THE DEAD (1987) by John Huston

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with New Haven Review publisher Bennett-Lovett Graff all about movie adaptations of works of literature: what makes for a good movie adaptation of a novel, short story, or play? What are some of the challenges and benefits of making that transition from printed page to screen? What are a few examples of our favorite literary adaptations? This conversation focuses in particular on one such literary adaptation, The Dead, a 1987 film directed by John Huston and adapted from the 1914 short story by James Joyce.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by Connecticut-based poet and teacher Kate Rushin to talk about A Quiet Passion, Terence Davies’ new biopic about 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson. Although not a direct adaptation of any particular written work, A Quiet Passion offers another perspective on representing literature through movies in the way that it closely interweaves Dickinson’s poetry with her life, underscoring her preoccupations with fame, truth, beauty, and death.

Links

New Haven Review website: http://www.newhavenreview.com/

Institute Library website: http://institutelibrary.org/
 

Episode 77: Mother's Day Movies / Their Finest

 TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

Description

On the first segment of today's show, host Tom Breen and WNHH's Babz Rawls Ivy celebrate Mother's Day by sharing on moms and movies, talking about everything from favorite cinematic moms to movie picks for mother’s day to our own experiences watching movies with our moms. For the second segment of today’s show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporters Allan Appel and Lucy Gellman for a review of THEIR FINEST, Lone Scherfig’s new World War II-era dramedy about a female screenwriter recruited by the Ministry of Information Film Division to help beef up the women’s dialogue in British wartime propaganda pictures.

Episode 75: The Lost City of Z / Magneticfest 2 / Breakfast with Curtis

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a review of The Lost City of Z, a new movie from director James Gray that looks at the life of Percy Fawcett, a real-life British explorer, cartographer, and artillery officer who made several expeditions to the Brazilian Amazon in the first quarter of the 20th century before mysteriously disappearing in the heart of what the British Empire referred to as the green desert, or the green hell of the Amazon jungle.

On the second segment of the show, Breen talks with Lyric Hall’s Joe Fay and filmmaker Laura Colella about two movie-related events that will be taking place at Lyric Hall in Westville this weekend: this Saturday will see Magneticfest 2, a VHS swap meet and screening day organized by Fay, and this Sunday will see a screening of Colella’s 2012 indie comedy Breakfast with Curtis, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker and the cast.

Links

http://lyrichallnewhaven.com/events/magnetic-fest-2/

http://lyrichallnewhaven.com/events/breakfast-with-curtis/

Episode 74: Les Blank Music Docs

 Brian Slattery on the banjo.

Brian Slattery on the banjo.

Description

On today’s very special episode of the show, host Tom Breen talks with writer-editor-musician Brian Slattery about the music documentaries of Les Blank, a pioneering independent filmmaker who made over 40 movies between 1960 and 2015, many of which focused on the diverse traditional musical subcultures of the American South. Over the course of the show, Brian plays songs on the guitar, fiddle, and banjo that are inspired by or some way related to the music in Les Blank's movies.

Other Links

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/3381-les-blank-s-cinema-vitalite

Episode 70: Strange Cinema / Beauty and the Beast

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with Joe Fay and Alex Dakoulas about Strange Cinema, a new bi-monthly screening series and collaboration between Lyric Hall and Strange Ways in Westville that looks to celebrate 80s and 90s underground culture, from low-budget horror movies to patches, pins, and VHS. On the second segment, Breen and Allan Appel share some thoughts on the latest Disney re-make of Beauty and the Beast.

Other Links

https://www.facebook.com/events/257005164726923/
https://www.strange-ways.com/
http://lyrichallnewhaven.com/

Episode 69: David Sikora / I Am Not Your Negro

 David Sikora

David Sikora

Description

On the first segment of today's show, host Tom Breen talks with local freelance cinematographer David Sikora about two films that have helped shape his love of cinema: Oliver Stone's 1994 blood-soaked satire Natural Born Killers and Darron Aronofsky's 2000 hallucinogenic drama Requiem for a Dream. For the second segment, Breen talks with Madison Art Cinemas director Arnold Gorlick about the new James Baldwin documentary, I Am Not Your Negro. For a complete archive of Deep Focus episodes, go to deepfocusradio.com.

Episode 68: A United Kingdom

 A United Kingdom

A United Kingdom

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel a review of A United Kingdom, Amma Asante’s new based-on-a-true-story movie about an interracial relationship between an African prince and an English clerk in the 1950s that had surprisingly profound international political consequences, coming at a time of the collapse of the British Empire, the rise of African national independence movements, and the paranoid simmer of the Cold War.

Episode 67: Get Out

 Jordan Peele's GET OUT

Jordan Peele's GET OUT

Description

On today's review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by Narrative Project founder Mercy Quaye and Ugly Radio producer Preston Wilson for a review of GET OUT, Jordan Peele's new horror satire about a young black photographer from New York City who his making his first, terrifying visit to his white girlfriend's family home in the suburbs.

Episode 66: The Salesman

 THE SALESMAN by Asghar Farhadi

THE SALESMAN by Asghar Farhadi

Description

On today's episode of Deep Focus, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel review The Salesman, the new Oscar-nominated movie from acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi that tells the story of Emad and Rana Etesami, a married couple who live in Tehran and who are playing the lead roles in their theater company's new Farsi production of Arthur Miller's 1949 play, The Death of a Salesman.

Episode 65: The Founder

 THE FOUNDER by John Lee Hancock

THE FOUNDER by John Lee Hancock

Description

On today's review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen talks with Allan Appel and Lucy Gellman about The Founder, a new movie from director John Lee Hancock that charts the bullish rise of Ray Croc (played by Michael Keaton), an over-the-hill milkshake salesman from suburban Illinois who charmed, clawed, and exploited his way to the top of the American food chain through his expansion of the fast food restaurant McDonald’s from a local burger joint in San Bernardino, California to an international franchise behemoth.