Princess Saves the Day in Musical Adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen Classic

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  Frozen Film Review by Kam Williams   Given the toll the polar vortex has been exacting on the continental U.S. lately, I think plenty of people can relate to the frigid predicament of the people living in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. Disney’s Frozen is an animated adventure loosely based on “The Snow Queen,” a classic […]

Ex-Con Opens Chess Club for At-Risk Kids in Ghetto-Based Biopic

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  Life of a King Film Review by Kam Williams   Eugene Brown (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) was so worried about returning to his neighborhood in inner-city Washington, DC after serving 17 years for bank robbery that he shared his concern with his cellmate Searcy (Dennis Haysbert). The wise, old elder responded by making an analogy […]

Troubled Teen Transforms behind Bars in True Tale of Redemption

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  Jamesy Boy Film Review by Kam Williams   James Burns (Spencer Lofranco) ended up behind bars in spite of his frustrated mother’s (Mary-Louise Parker) best efforts to keep him on the straight and narrow path. When he was 14, she took him down to the police station for a good talking to after she found a […]

Mom Seeks Long-Lost Son in True Tale of Overwhelming Regret

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  Philomena Film Review by Kam Williams   Philomena Lee (Dame Judi Dench) made a big mistake as a teenager, namely, having unprotected sex with a cute boy (D.J. McGrath) she had just met at a carnival. The naive girl was left pregnant by the one-night stand, which was no minor matter in Ireland in 1952. Before […]

Streep Heads Stellar Cast in Melodramatic Adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play

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  August: Osage County Film Review by Kam Williams   In 2008, August: Osage County not only won a Pulitzer Prize, but it also took home a quintet of Tony Awards, including Best Play. However, the screen version of Tracy Letts’ haunting tale about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family is unlikely to be as well-received, given […]

Joaquin Phoenix Pushes Envelope Again in Another Mindbending Adventure

  Her Film Review by Kam Williams   A few years ago, Joaquin Phoenix released I’m Not Here, a novel mockumentary which chronicled his supposed retirement from acting in favor of a career in rap music. What made the movie mesmerizing was how hard it was to tell whether or not he’d really had it with […]

Retro Dramedy Revisits Abscam Scandal during Gaudy Disco Era

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  American Hustle Film Review by Kam Williams   In the late Seventies, a half-dozen Congressmen along with a United States Senator were caught on camera taking bribes from FBI agents posing as wealthy Arab sheiks. The elaborate sting in which the disgraced politicians became ensnared was code named Abscam, a contraction of Arab Scam. […]

Period Piece Recounts Disney Effort to Secure Rights to Mary Poppins

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  Saving Mr. Banks Film Review by Kam Williams   P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) was the pen name of Helen Lyndon Goff (1899-1996), the creator of the children’s classic “Mary Poppins.” When his daughters were young, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) promised to turn their favorite book into a movie, since they were so enchanted by the British […]