Two Great Films, and more to Pass the Time

"We Need to Talk About Kevin"
starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rocky Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Alex Manette, James Chen
written and directed by: Lynne Ramsay

Remember when The Who sang "The Kids are Alright"? Yea, this film proves that is not the case as it attempts to define nature versus nurture versus just plain evil (and are you simply born that way). This is a modern American (almost strictly American, by the way) horror story. One all too real in the wake of Columbine and all subsequent mass killings (at schools, specifically) since that awful day. We always struggle to understand why things like that happen and how they got this way, what drives someone to murder.

This is the story of a boy-turned-teenager through the eyes of his mother, and her struggle with raising him and then answering for his crime.

Swinton, as Eva, is flat-out amazing. Since much of the film unfolds in flashback with Ramsay drop…

More Movies.

"Jesus Camp"
written and directed by: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

We always have something to say when we learn how third world countries are recruiting children to fight in their battles/wars. Well, it's happening stateside as well.

If you’re not afraid of the political influence of the Christian right wing, you probably will be after watching this fly-on-the-wall account of the annual Lakewood Park Bible Camp, a gathering for children as young as 5, hosted by Pentecostal minister Becky Fischer in Devil’s Lake, N.D. Filmmakers Ewing and Grady (Boys of Baraka, a SXSW Special Jury award winner) don’t editorialize much, but they set the events of the documentary against the nomination and confirmation of junior Justice Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court.

The film follows two children, specifically: 12-year-old Levi is a bright, born leader whose homeschool lessons teach that evolution is an “idea” and global warming “isn’t really that bad”; shy Rachael loves to…

A Bunch of Films

"Straight A's"
starring: Ryan Phillippe, Anna Paquin, Luke Wilson, Riley Thomas Stewart, Ursula Parker, Tess Harper, Powers Boothe, Christa Campbell, Josh Meyers
written by: Dave Cole
directed by: James Cox

Remember Ryan Phillippe? His movie star(dom) really rose in the '90s and then he kind of disappeared, perhaps because he chose family life over acting once he and Reece Witherspoon got married and had kids (they've since been divorced).

Scott (Ryan Phillippe) has been in and out of rehab for the past 10 years. He surprises his high school sweetheart Katherine (Anna Paquin) by showing up unexpectedly. His dead mother has appeared to him and told him to return home and see his brother Williams (Luke Wilson), now married to Katherine, and his sick father (Powers Boothe). Katherine’s two children are enthralled with Scott, and Katherine begins to feel a connection between the two again. William is away on business, and struggling with fidelity issues of his own. Sc…

Top Albums of the Year (2017)

I always love looking at end-of-the-year music lists because it helps me discover new music that I may have missed over the course of the year. It also makes me think about the music that I found myself drawn to and returning to over the course of the past 12 months. Those albums that just hit me with the feels (for whatever reason it may be), the struck a nerve within me, that forced me to listen (closer). Music helps create a dialogue, be it arguments or just conversations, with friends, family, strangers. In creating my list, I hope to spark a conversation, but more importantly I hope to show you music you may have missed or turned a blind eye to previously.

I'm going to start in perhaps an odd place, separate from my year-end list, but please, allow to veer off for a few moments of your time... (and understand where I'm coming from, but don't be detracted from the rest).

Some great "country" artists were discovered this year, or ones that I've recently di…