Monday, October 25, 2010

Building the Boardwalk Empire

Check out this cool time-lapse footage of the creation of the set for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Film Review: Conviction

A sister’s love and attachment to her imprisoned brother is put to the test as she works to put herself through law school in an effort to free him while raising a family in Tony Goldwyn’s new film Conviction. The film, which stars Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, is based on the remarkable real-life ordeal of Betty Anne Waters and, at its core, is an untraditional love story between siblings.

Conviction is really an actor’s film and Goldwyn, the actor-turned-director (best known for his role as the corporate villain in Ghost) does a wonderful job of eliciting great performances while using the plotline to pull at the heartstrings without ever feeling corny. Sam Rockwell’s Oscar-worthy performance in this film is captivating as he balances rage and misery with charm and charisma into the truly fleshed-out character of Kenny Waters. The supporting cast is also well-seasoned as it features Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher, Melissa Leo, and notably Juliette Lewis, who is truly dynamic in her brief appearances onscreen.

The film’s depiction of families and the modern justice system is quite reflective of the times we live in. While the film has a Hollywood feel, it manages to retains some real grit to it and should appeal to both men and women.

For: Short&SweetNYC

Friday, October 15, 2010

Film Review: Tapped

In the 1980’s bottled water was something of a gimmick, but once big corporations like Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi began producing it due to the drop in soda sales, it caught on and today its a billion dollar business. The new documentary Tapped, directed by Stephanie Soechtig takes a look at the environmental and financial consequences.

The film highlights some of the facts about bottled water that the public is unaware of, the most startling being that a good percentage of the water is essentially tap water, taken free of charge from locations around the country without any filtering or outside testing because its free from many of the rules of the Food and Drug Administration. The financial issues that the film raises while alarming are inconsequential compared to the environmental and health consequences that arise from the plastic containers which often end up floating in large pockets in our oceans and sometimes contain Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, a known estrogenic which can leach into the water causing problems for both people and wildlife.

The documentary makes some strong points and follows up with some well researched facts that are illustrated in a variety of ways from short animations to interviews with people on both sides of the issue as well as reactions from the public. The film stands out as one of those documentaries like Food Inc. or Sicko that might forever alter your awareness and understanding of the issue and might well cause a stir with the public if it manages to reach the masses.

For: Short&SweetNYC