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Well-Acted ‘LITTLE WOODS’ a Dour Scene of Poverty-Inflicted Desperation 

Little Woods is the kind of movie that makes you wonder about the backstory of writer-director Nia DaCosta (who is signed on to direct the Jordan Peele produced Candyman remake), who enriches the film with down-home specificity that it feels like much more than just a facsimile of authenticity. Her’s is the kind of movie that feels written from personal experience, that pulls from the specifics of a life harshly lived, that doesn’t wallow in its poverty porn setting, and though dour and depressing, never compromises its optimistic, full-spirited edge and push towards the light. It’s a neo-western in construction – the story of a good person doing a bad thing for good reasons, and DaCosta teases out the drive for self-preservation by any means by focusing on character first and foremost. Read More

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Out in Theaters: CINDERELLA

From the first time they put pen to paper, the House of Mouse changed things. Classics from Snow White to Sleeping Beauty capitalized on groundbreaking innovation, brokered a new medium for entertainment and launched the phenomenon of the Disney princess, a cultural landmark that lasted for decades. Maybe it was my being a teenager and all, but from what I gathered, that cultural landmark dried up around Y2K, petering out with a string of computer animated duds. Dinosaur, Atlantis, Brother Bear and Chicken Little all represented a low point for the imaginative power of the ubiquitous studio, especially when juxtaposed with the meteoric rise of Pixar. With a certifiable hit in Princess and the Frog reviving the old-fashioned charm of the Disney engine a year earlier, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland arrived on the scene to dominate the box office to the tune of a billion dollars. Dollar signs in their eyes, the once great studio turned its attention to recycling old mainstays with new CGI to the collective groan of people everywhere. Read More