What’s In A Name?

Synopsis

A couple of friends get together for dinner to talk about Vincent and Anna’s unborn child. However the friendly meeting quickly becomes strained when Vincent reveals the child’s controversial name. This leads the friends to questionable strategies to overthrow the name and unintentionally opens a door for secrets to come out – some of which, would’ve been better left unsaid.

Review

What’s in a Name? is a philosophical story that analyzes the emphasis we intellectually and emotionally assign to the names we pick for our children. Although, humor is used as an undertone throughout the film, we can definitely feel that for the characters, and even for ourselves, name picking is in fact no simple matter. Its focus on history, language  and culture is exquisitely entwined with the sarcastic, sassy and often offending banter between the friends who, in the end, realize the real purpose behind a name.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Wine!!

Outstanding Performances

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Charles Berling: It is not often that viewers are fascinated by a “know-it-all” character. As a matter of fact, Berling’s interpretation of Pierre is outstanding not for his abundance of literacy knowledge but for his tone and deliverance of said knowledge. Among his wonderful traits is the ability to go from funny to sarcastic to angry in less than a second and still maintain his train of thought in an academic dispute. This of course, only makes Pierre more of a worthy opponent for his brother-in-law Vincent and ensures that the pair will prolong a battle of wits for the already hooked audience.

Patrick Bruel: Pierre believes that Vincent is a person who knows nothing. However, Bruel’s clever, daring and witty personification of Vincent allows him to be the opposite of what Pierre considers him to be – a “know-it-all.” Nevertheless we must not compare the tactics used by these two when bantering for they differ in one essential way – Pierre is quick to argue, while Vincent, much like Socrates, is quick to question not only his argument but also the knowledge behind it.

– PopNach

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Naked Among Wolves

Synopsis

After Hans Pippig, a concentration camp prisoner, discovers a smuggled Jewish child inside a suitcase, he and his comrades decide to be the boy’s safekeepers. However, as the need for revolution increases so does the possibility of turning in the child for the promise of food, medicine and freedom.

Review

Naked Among Wolves portrays a very fundamental question that is present during times of unbearable circumstances – how much is morality worth when compared to saving my life and the life of my loved ones? This dilemma, of choosing between the “greater good” or settling for the present good, allows the film to focus on the effects our priorities have in the outcomes that rely on our decisions. The purpose of the film then, isn’t to tell a heart-wrenching story but rather to compel us to examine and reflect on our present priorities while at the same time keeping in mind that our morality is often fragile during times of struggle.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Soup and Bread!!

Outstanding Performances

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Photo Credit to TBIVision

Florian Stetter: From the beginning of the film we are introduced to Hans and his protective tendencies that are completely evident towards his dad and later towards the child. Stetter’s personification of Hans is very commendable due to the fact that he is very adamant on protecting the child from the SS while also preserving the child’s youth by endorsing his smile and laughter.

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Peter Schneider: Höfel, unlike Hans and Marian, is not as devoted on protecting the child since he is aware of the punishments that go along with that responsibility. However, after having his morals questioned by Hans, he has no other choice than to join the others on this guardian-like duty. Schneider’s portrayal of Höfel is convincing and relatable seeing as we can clearly experience his inner struggle of keeping the child safe even if it means that others will be persecuted for it.

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Rafael Stachowiak: Marian’s character is by far the most intriguing of the three mentioned in this article. Although we get bits and pieces of Hans and Höfel’s lives before going to the concentration camp throughout the film and how their past lives account for their current behaviors – no background is ever given for Marian. Hence, Stachowiak’s determined and brave character is really stellar in that nothing can pinpoint the reason for his behavior except, perhaps, for a naturally courageous heart.

– PopNach

Miss Granny

Synopsis

After becoming aware of her presence being a burden to her family, Oh Mal-soon decides to go away and give them space. Feeling a little bit dramatic, she takes a picture at a photo shop to use at her funeral. Little does she know however, that her decision will have a lasting effect on her appearance and potentially help her accomplish her lifelong dream – to sing.

Review

Miss Granny portrays the well-known tale of being given the opportunity to redo life with a youthful appearance at the expense of giving up everything that has been accomplished so far. However, its focus on how this new found youth can be used to help loved ones is typically unheard of. This, combined with its sassy humor and strong family values, is what gives the film an endearing feel and easily makes viewers get attached to its characters.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Corn on the Cob!!

Outstanding Performances

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Photo Credit to Soompi

Mun-hee Na: Oh Mal-soon’s character would have been hard to pull off without the sassiness and strictness of Na’s interpretation. In fact her character’s personality is hard to love due to her harsh outbursts, yet at the same time curiously hard to steer away from due to her emotional versatility. Of course this makes it difficult to predict the viewers’ reaction to her since we aren’t really sure how she will behave during scenes. It is important to note however, that although her presence is limited throughout the film, she definitely sets a high bar for Shim’s interpretation of Oh Doo-ri, the younger version of Oh Mal-soon.

Eun-kyung Shim: Unlike Oh Mal-soon’s character, Shim’s interpretation of Oh Doo-ri is assertive yet reserved. Yes, her self-confidence remains bold and firm but her assertiveness is no longer pridefully hiding her past errors and harshness. Plus, this new found reservation allows her to be more aware of the surrounding struggles and how she can help ease them. It was, to say the least, very intriguing to observe Oh Doo-ri’s character growth throughout the film.

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In-hwan Park: There is something very likeable about Park’s character Mr.Park. Maybe it’s his unyielding devotion and respect for Mrs. Oh Mal-soon. Maybe it’s his comedic lines or his determined will to win the heart of his one true love. To be honest I can’t really decide but whatever it is, maybe the combination of all the qualities I mentioned above, Mr.Park is undoubtedly my favorite supportive actor in the film.

– PopNach

Boy Meets Girl

Synopsis

For transgirl Ricky, life has always been about defining and embracing her true identity even under the strain of constant ridicule. Now that she is all grown up however, she is adamant about investigating the aspects of her sexuality  – a journey that becomes even more interesting when a charming debutante comes into town.

Review

Boy Meets Girl explores the wonderful and intriguing characteristics of human sexuality in a world where the terms identity and choice are often undifferentiated and used incorrectly. The film focuses on the overpowering emotion of passion, love and identity while at the same time providing an inside look into the struggles that transexual individuals face everyday. Its message is simple and yet so powerful: we are not a title, orientation or classification – we are just human.

*The recommended snack for this film is: A latte!!

Outstanding Performances

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Michelle Hendley: If, like me, this was the first time you heard about this actress trust me when I say you will need to remember her. Although Hendley’s acting was phenomenal in the film, her personification of Ricky was even more sincere, relatable and hard to forget due to the fact that she is a transgirl herself. With sarcastic comments and sassy replies, Ricky makes it hard for the audience and lovers not to fall in love with her.

Alexandra Turshen: The interaction between Ricky and Francesca is very intriguing because both of the characters are curious about unexplored sexual desires. Turshen’s interpretation of Francesca as a caring, hopeful and understanding character is refreshing since it showcases a more positive attitude towards the trans community. All in all, their on-screen chemistry and friendship is undeniably something to learn from.

– PopNach

The Fundamentals of Caring

Synopsis

When Ben first applied to be Trevor’s caregiver he never really thought about the consequences of being hired. After accepting the job however, he is determined to provide Trevor the assistance he needs plus the motivation to get out of his comfort zone and explore the world.

Review

The Fundamentals of Caring perfectly combines dark humor, sarcasm and eccentricity in its motivational portrayal of friendship, trust and hope. Its focus on the relationships and effects of our life choices offers the audience a different perspective into the shaping of an individual’s character. Overall, this film is an exceptional tale that definitely needs to be spread and endorsed to everyone – specially those of us that are in need of some inspiration.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Slim Jim Beef Jerky!!

Outstanding Performances

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Photo Credit to Selena Gomez News

Paul Rudd: In spite of the fact that we are used to Rudd’s dry humor and often sarcastic remarks in most of the movies he acts in, his portrayal of Ben was a deep and emotional one. In fact, throughout the story we see a couple of glimpses of his past and begin to understand the reasoning behind his actions that, without context, would be considered remorseful and on occasions resentful.

Selena Gomez: The majority of us are used to seeing Gomez in films that depict her as innocent, funny, and cheerful. However, during the film she surprised the audience with a rebellious and darkly optimistic attitude in her supporting role as Dot. To tell the truth this has been by far her most impressive performance since Disney.

Craig Roberts: Although Rudd and Gomez were amazing in the film – Roberts’ performance was the cherry on the top. As a matter of fact, his impeccable comedic delivery and facial expressions can only be topped by the incredible emotional emphasis he provides to his character.

– PopNach