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DETROIT may be AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL but an important STEP in moving forward.

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, talks box office numbers and new releases Detroit, An Inconvenient Sequel and Step on Vocalo. He is joined by his daughter, Carri Ponder, The Reel Critic’s Critic.

Okay, my headline might be a bit corny but here’s my thinking:  The story we find in Detroit is not new.  In fact it is more than a sequel given that we have seen this narrative over and over again.  While sad, it is important to understand this part of history to provide a foundation for the similar situations we face today.  The story may hurt and be “inconvenient” to watch but important nonetheless.  And speaking of Inconvenient, the sequel is just what we need to better understand what is happening to our planet and what we can do about it.  An Inconvenient Sequel my not be in lock-step with the current presidential administration but it should keep the conversation and the innovation alive.  Finally, Step follows a few high school girls and their step team.  We get to see their problems, their possibilities and their performances.  So now, do you get it? Detroit may be An Inconvenient Sequel but an important Step in moving forward.  How clever, right?

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An Inconvenient Truth Sequel- Truth To Power

This sequel to An Inconvenient Truth lives between despair and hope. Despair in that we have surely done damage to this planet and even if people don’t believe the science they are experiencing the dramatic effects. Hope in that we can do something about this issue. Directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk give us a hard pill to swallow yet a prescription for recovery.  See what they have to say about the film and what we can do.

The Guardians are fun but the Galaxy is not as interesting as the original

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, talks box office and reviews Guardians of The Galaxy Vol, 2

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The Oscars in LA LA Land

La La Land is the darling of Hollywood with 14 Oscar nominations.  Will La La Land walk away a big winner? I discuss the potential winners and losers and well as the new release Get Out with Matt Fagerholm (@IndieOutlook),  Jean de St. Aubin (Executive Director of the Gene Siskel Film Center) and hosts Jesse Menendez and Jill Hopkins on The Morning AMp on 91.1 FM Chicago/Vocalo.org

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LA La Land’s Director Damien Chazelle

La La Land has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards.  Many people feel that this film marks the renaissance of the musical.  If so, it is a new type of musical. One that pay homage to the films of yesterday with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers but one which attempts to ground itself in reality according to writer/director Damien Chazelle:

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I liked this film and I did feel the humanity, however, I also wanted to FEEL the dancing. Unfortunately, I felt the level of dance difficulty was so common, so human that I could do those moves myself.  And while that is what it appears that Chazelle and team were going for, I wanted more.  I wanted to see something greater than myself – dancing that excites and inspires.  May this desire to see phenomenal dancing is why I LOVE movies like Singin’ In The Rain, West Side Story, The Wiz and All That Jazz – The dance numbers were aspirational if not unattainable for the mere fan.  They set a standard and I felt a bit let-down with La La Land. The high dance quality in the films mentioned above made performers like Kelly, Rogers and Astaire special – the real triple threat! For me, the story, the music and the acting in Chazalle’s film might have one floating in La La Land but the dancing left his cast outside the studio with the rest of us trying out our moves on a cardboard box on Hollywood and Vine.

THE AAFCA REPORT: BEHIND THE SCENES OF LA LA LAND

Check out The AAFCA Report

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, on “Central Time” with Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett.

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, makes his year-end appearance on “Central Time” to discuss the films nominated for the Golden Globes as well as holiday releases we have all been waiting for. From award nominated films like Moonlight, Manchester at Sea, and Hell or High Water to new releases like Fences Rogue One and Assassin’s Creed, Reggie, Veronica and Rob talk movies and take a few calls.

Fences: Stephen Henderson & Jovan Adepo Talk with Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic

Fences stars and is directed by Denzel Washington.  Reggie Ponder got a chance to talk to two of the ensemble members about the film.

 

SouthSide With You Writer/Director Richard Tanne Talks with Reggie Ponder

Reggie Ponder, The Reel Critic, take with Richard Tanne, Driter/Director of the new film Southside With You – Michelle Robinson’s and Barack Obama’s first date. “Tika made me aware that we are going to show people who look like her falling in love on screen which became a significant reason to make this movie” – Tanne

 

John Legend on new movie Southside With You

Got a chance to catch up with John Legend at Chicago Red Carpet event for SouthSide With You, the movie about Michelle Robinson’s and Barack Obama’s first date.  Mr. Legend is an executive producer of the film. He also wrote some of the music.