• Cinephilia

    Review: Uncorked

    Every week, all kinds of new content lands on Netflix without much fanfare. Like a tree falling in the woods, if there isn’t a pandemic to keep us all home, does anyone notice? Now that we are home, the streaming service is serving up plenty worth checking out, from a trippy limited series about big cats and the people who raise them to a galvanizing, timely documentary about the power of a collective movement. Landing somewhere between these two riveting offerings and the studio’s forgettable holiday fare is Uncorked, a perfectly charming, fairly predictable story of an aspiring sommelier from Memphis whose family would rather he take over their BBQ joint.…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Crip Camp

    If you know nothing at all about it, a film with the title Crip Camp might not immediately jump to the top of your Netflix queue. Rest assured, it should. An official selection at January’s Sundance Film Festival (back when there were such things as film festivals), the documentary—subtitled A Disability Revolution and co-directed by James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham—is an undeniably inspiring chronicle of the disability rights movement in America with one very special summer camp as the epicenter from which an entire generation of activists was born. Formally known as Camp Jened, the ‘crip camp’ was a place for kids and teens with disabilities, developmental delays or other differences—the stuff that made them…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Bacurau

    As the film industry, like the rest of us, grapples with how to move forward in the midst of a global pandemic, studios that had plans to release new films to now-closed movie theaters in the next several weeks have had to rethink things. Some are pushing the films back by months, sometimes an entire year to be safe; some are scrapping the theatrical route all together and pushing their films out on streaming platforms. This “new normal” presents unique challenges to the film economy, as venues are suddenly rendered obsolete and those making the movies have to figure out new and unique ways to get their products to audiences.…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Swallow

    Believe it or not, there is a mini-genre of independent films that center around women eating…weird shit. As riveting as it is disturbing, 2016’s Raw centers on sisters at a veterinary school who acquire a taste for human flesh after a very intense hazing ritual. After a respectable film festival run, Are We Not Cats, a sweetly weird romance about a woman with an obsession with eating hair, hit streaming channels in 2018. The debut feature film from writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Swallow starts in a place of domestic bliss, a well-to-do, beautiful young couple living a life of privilege as he (Richie Conrad, played by Austin Stowell) heads off to work at his father’s office each…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Extra Ordinary

    Heading to the movie theater might not be at the top of your list of Things To Do This Weekend, and it’s understandable if so. If, however, you’re more of the “measured-but-cautious” ilk and haven’t let recent public health concerns overly impact your day-to-day life, heading out to catch Extra Ordinary, a treat of a movie that effortlessly mashes up comedy, romance, horror and adventure, could be a great way to distract from the actual horrors of the day. The debut feature film from writing/directing duo Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, Extra Ordinary more than earns its place among cheeky genre films like What We Do in the Shadows and Shaun of the Dead.…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: The Way Back

    In a parallel universe, there’s a version of Gavin O’Connor’s The Way Back, the story of a grieving former high school basketball star tapped to coach the struggling team at his alma mater, that’s released by Disney. It’s got all the hallmarks of an underdog story from the House of Mouse, the “will they/won’t they in the face of adversity” storyline, and none of the prolific (and colorful) foul language on and off the court. It’s a line O’Connor (and co-writer Brad Ingelsby) do their best to tow, instead aiming for something more gritty and personal as Ben Affleck portrays a broken, damaged man trying to find his way through his…