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Showing posts from September, 2023

Film Review: A Million Miles Away (2023)

It is rare these days for a film to be as inspiring as A Million Miles Away . This beautifully-told biographical drama about the life of José M. Hernández, the first Mexican-American astronaut who came from very humble beginnings, is a must-see. It is to director Alejandra Marquez Abella's credit that this exceptional film is one of the year's best. Abella knows how to tell a great cinematic story and does so with mastery. The film moves at a quick pace, never wallowing in the many setbacks our hero experiences throughout his exhausting but determined journey. Instead, the audience recognizes these setbacks as the stepping stones they are, each leading Hernández to fulfilling his lifelong dream, igniting his passion even more each time they occur. Hernández is the ultimate underdog and we, his inspired audience, can't wait to see his victory. From a production standpoint, this film is near perfect. As our protagonist, Michael Peña gives an award-worthy career-best performan

Film Review: Yield to the Night (1956)

From the intense and violent opening scene of a woman being gunned down on a city sidewalk by a gun-wielding blonde, J. Lee Thompson's cinematic masterpiece Yield to the Night grabs a hold of its audience and never lets go. Based on the novel of the same title by Joan Henry, the film offers an intimate look into the life of a woman driven to murder. Told partly in flashbacks, we feel sympathy for Mary Hilton, a woman who has been sentenced to hang and is waiting on death row for her execution. Yet, before we get to the dreaded final act, we're treated to outstanding performances from a mostly female cast, led by our leading lady Diana Dors. Playing against the blonde bombshell roles she was typically cast in, Dors gives a career-best award-worthy complex performance that is both powerful and haunting. Pushing past her stunning aesthetic seems like a lot to ask of the audience. Yet after the first few scenes, you realize that Dors is giving everything she has to tell this woman