Review: ‘Summerland’ is charming family love story.

During World War II, reclusive writer Alice has her sequestered life upended when Frank, an evacuee from the London Blitz, is left in her care. Despite initially resolving to be rid of him, Alice finds herself and her emotions reawakened by him.

This is a surprising script. Filled with whimsy and an unexpected love story. Gemma Arterton plays two distinct sides of one woman. She is a lonely recluse, working day in and day out on her academic thesis. She was once a free spirit with an open heart. Her performance is stunning. Lucas Bond as Frank is simply darling. He represents a new start for Alice. He cracks her curmudgeonly shell. Through his innocent curiosity, her walls slowly come down. He is extraordinarily perceptive. She shares her studies in folklore. This leads to inevitable magic about the script, highlighting the location, and letting the score shine. His performance is a revelation.

Dixie Egerickx as Edie, Frank’s suspicious classmate is a wonderful addition to the story. She essentially represents both the townspeople and Alice, all at once. Her wit and hardened confidence match Alice at every turn. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is simply lovely as Alice’s long lost love. Their flashback scenes are lush with color and you can almost feel them radiate through the screen.

The screenplay and editing are gorgeous. It hones in on Alice’s abandonment trauma. This explains Alice’s writing. Summerland, mythic pagan heaven. This seems like a perfect escape for her emotionally fraught past. There is a pretty shocking twist that will leave you breathless and more invested in the story than you thought possible. Summerland is a beautiful film that deserves an audience.

Jessica Swale is an Olivier award-winning theatre director and was hailed as one of Variety’s Brits to Watch in 2019. The film stars Gemma Arterton (THEIR FINEST, VITA AND VIRGINIA), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, BELLE), Penelope Wilton (DOWNTON ABBEY, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), and Tom Courtenay (45 YEARSDOCTOR ZHIVAGO). Subject to theater availability, IFC Films will release the film in select theaters and on VOD/Digital on July 31st, 2020

Netflix News ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ streaming immediately after the Super Bowl

In the near future, a group of international astronauts on a space station are working to solve a massive energy crisis on Earth. The experimental technology aboard the station has an unexpected result, leaving the team isolated and fighting for their survival.

Directed by: Julius Onah
Produced by: J.J. Abrams, p.g.a. and Lindsey Weber, p.g.a.
Story by: Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Screenplay by: Oren Uziel
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Roger Davies, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, and Zhang Ziyi

New Trailer: Matthew McConaughey stars in ‘Free State of Jones’ set during the Civil War

Free State of Jones-Poster

Written and directed by four-time Oscar® nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), and starring Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.



Review: ‘Concussion’ Tackles the Growing Problem of Head Injuries in The NFL

Concussion poster

Director Peter Landesman (Kill The Messenger) tackles the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who fought against efforts by National Football League to suppress his research on the brain damage suffered by professional football players. Omalu, is portrayed by Will Smith in this powerful drama that will leave you angered, speechless and saddened by the treatment of the players who have made the game of football so beloved in this country.

Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures' "Concussion."

Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Concussion.”

Dr. Bennet Omalu is a well educated African man who came to this country with a dream of making a difference in this world. Settling in the city of Pittsburgh, Omalu works as a forensic pathologist for the city and has come face to face with an epidemic that has no name. After the tragic death of Steeler legend Mike Webster (David Morse), Omalu discovers that his death maybe caused by trauma to the brain. CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) as it comes to be known, has been left undetected and hidden from the public and players in the NFL, but it might be the exact thing that is killing so many young men after their careers are over. After several attempts by the NFL to deny the problem and to disparage the doctor, Omalu gets an unlikely ally in this fight from Dr. Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin), former Steelers team doctor, who believes what Omalu is saying is true. As the two take on the most powerful corporation in this country, their wills will be tested and their careers in jeopardy, but the truth must come out to speak for those who have been left behind to this deadly disease.

Alec Baldwin , left, and Will Smith star in Columbia Pictures' "Concussion."

Alec Baldwin , left, and Will Smith star in Columbia Pictures’ “Concussion.”

Written by director Peter Landesman, based on the 2009 GQ exposé Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Concussion is a powerful story of corporate cover-up and hits directly at the heart of the National Football League. Will Smith is fantastic in his portrayal of Doctor Bennet Omalu. The determination and will to do right of Omalu shines thru in Smith’s performance and helps the audience, who may not know who Omalu is, understand his importance to the medical field and the players of the NFL. Alec Baldwin delivers a sobering look at the inside actions of the medical doctors employed by the NFL and, along with Albert Brooks, lend credence to the authenticity of Smith’s performance. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a calming figure that helps lead Smith’s character thru the toughest of times and helps to keep him focused on the importance of his task.

Concussion is a eye opening look at the violence of football and a spotlight on the corporation that brings it into our homes six months a year. It is a film not to be missed.


3 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?