WE DARE TO DREAM
A look at several athletes who trained to become part of the Olympic team made up of refugees. This is a solid film about something most of us don't think about, what do world class athletes do when they can't be part of their national team because they had to flee their homeland. Don't let the fact that this is a short review stop you from seeing this super film.
COMEDY OF WAR: LAUGHTER IN UKRAINE
A group of Ukrainian stand up comics travel to the front lines and into bomb shelters to make people laugh. Split personality film would have been better either as a short or a film with more focus on the comedians and their shows. While the comedy sequences and talks with the comedians about their lives are truly great, the sequences going through the bombed out buildings and discussing how bad the Russians are don't play all that well. Not because there is anything wrong with them but because there have been too many other films doing the same thing, and because the sequences feel like padding and are not part of the central narrative.
RISE THE SIYA KOLISI STORY
Portrait of the legendary rugby player is a complete mess. Edited as if by a blender the film doesn't work as a whole. Details are left out, things happen out of order, his wife tells of being introduced to Siya's parents a half an hour before he hear the story of their meeting, and there is no effort to put anything into context. I knew nothing about the man going in and I kind of feel that way coming out. Not even remotely recommended.
Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music
A look at Taylor Mac's 24 hour show will make you want to see the entire thing. An epic retelling of history through the music that was popular it's a wild fantasia on reality that will make you think, more so when you see the behind the scenes stuff that puts sequences into context. I can't wait to see it again
John Early: Now More Than Ever
Until this film I some how never had connected with John Early. A record of a performance of one of his shows intercut with made up behind the scenes stuff this is a show that will thrill some and annoy others. Personally I loved his singing and I thought the writing of his jokes was brilliant. His eye is razor sharp and wit is pointed, however his need to play things at a dumbed down and smart ass level takes away from the brilliance of what he was saying. I was constantly thinking that if he just did the material without the smarmy delivery we could see how comedy god-like the jokes were. Then again what the hell do I know many people in the audience were eating this up