“Monterey Pop”.. digitally re-mastered and playing at the IFC here in Manhattan and at The Showroom in Asbury Park and opening a week from now at The Nighthawk in Brooklyn “Monterey Pop” is the first concert film of its kind focusing on the concert that started festival concerts exactly 50 years ago. Two years before Woodstock, America was first introduced (on a large scale) to The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and so many more. This movie, capturing the start of the counter culture and the summer of love, had me smiling so much, my face hurt. It takes your right into the moment, 50 years later. There’s no narration. Director D.A. Pennebaker was able to do this because he perfected a new type of synching camera. He got pissed at me for calling him the director in my “Sonstein Sunday” interview, because he considered all the cameramen directors. You must must must see this. Best on the big screren- putting you in the audience of music history.
“47 Meters Down”…42 years after “Jaws” scared us out of the water, now it’s time to scare is out of shark caging!!! Mandy Moore, who has re-invented herself thanks to the beloved “This Is Us” on NBC, is on a Mexico vacation with her sister to get over being dumped for being “boring”. So what better way to make the ex-jealous than to show her bravery in a shark cage. And everything goes wrong. The 2 sisters end up on the ocean floor, running out of oxygen. Despite being pretty predictable, this is one of the better summer sharkies – definitely more time-worthy than this year’s “Sharknado. Mandy Moore gets a big thumbs up . And it clocks in under 90 minutes!!!!
“Cars 3”..I didn’t see but the general buzz is this franchise has returned to its roots of 11 years ago and doesn’t feel like a commercial. And there’s nothing like Pixar so you can’t go wrong for family fun.
Gets 68% on Rotten Tomatoes
“The Journey”.. one for the adults- especially history buffs. This is based on an historical occurrence 11 years which led to the peace agreement in Northern Ireland. Back in the day, it was common for opposing politicians to travel together to avoid being assassinated. Really! So when Sir Ian Paisley flew to his 50th wedding anniversary party, his arch enemy , who once led the IRA, traveled with him. Director Nick Hamm turned into into a politicians road trip movie- a dramedy starring the wonder Timothy Spall (who won an Oscar for Mr. Turner) and Colm Meaney. Great lessons for us all in this politically turbulent I-won’t-talk-to-my-politically-different times.
“Maudie”..this is one of my favorites of the year. Flat out, I have to say Sally Hawkins should be Oscar-nominated for her role as real life Nova Scotia folk artist -Maud Lewis, who like Grandma Moses, came into her talent and fame later in life. Born in 1903, Maud was afflicted with severe arthritis, crippling her hands and gait. In those days, the physically disabled were also seen as mentally disabled . Maud got the only job she could go for: cleaning the 2 room house of a recluse (Ethan Hawke). This is an unlikely love story and an even less likely success story. It’s also a lesson in what brings us joy in life. And it ain’t money!!! Director Aisling Walsh made such a beautiful film- both in story and landscaping. It’s art on art. What a gem. BTW, my husband loved it as much for me, so don’t discard as “a chick flick”. You can catch my interview with director Walsh on my podcast “Sonstein Sessions” on the iHeartRadio app and Q1043.com.