Articles written by Debbie Lynn Elias


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  • 1MOVIE REVIEW: THE LAST FACE

    Debbie lynn elias|Jul 27, 2017

    Life is never easy even during the best of times, but when the lens zooms in on the African continent during the South Sudanese or Rwandan genocides, Ethopian famine, the West African Ebola crisis or, as is the case with THE LAST FACE, the Liberian civil war, we see what pain, suffering and the horrific brutality of life really is. Then put activist Sean Penn in the director’s chair with a fictional narrative that stars Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Jared Harris and Jean Reno, and a social a...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: LADY MACBETH

    debbie lynn elias|Jul 13, 2017

    Despite the title, and a few suspicious deaths and machinations of intrigue and deceit, you will find no mention of Shakespeare in this visceral, yet austere, telling of LADY MACBETH as screenwriter Alice Birch delves into the moral ambiguity of 1865, all to exquisite result. Based on Nikolai Leskov's Lady Makbeth of Mtensk, issues of race, class and gender make this story as timely today as it was in 1865 Russia or in 19th century rural England where screenwriter Alice Birch has relocated the...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

    debbie lynn elias|Jun 15, 2017

    If you're a parent, or someone who's grown up from the elementary school aged to teen/tween years within the past 20 years, you've heard of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS. Written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey and first published in 1997, the CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS series now includes 12 books, and three spin-offs with 70 million books sold worldwide (including 50 million in the United States alone) and translation into 20 languages. And now Dreamworks Animation brings us CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: SNATCHED

    debbie lynn elias|Jun 15, 2017

    It's been far too long since Goldie Hawn graced the silver screen which, in and of itself, makes SNATCHED a welcome addition to this weekend's movie-going. But add the direction of Jonathan Levine and comedic antics of Amy Schumer and SNATCHED bodes well for an entertaining few hours of laughter in this mother-daughter caper of epic proportion. In spite of a lackluster script by Katie Dippold, which often feels like ideas were just thrown against the computer screen and whatever stuck was incorp...

  • 2017 LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL "MUST SEE FESTIVAL FILMS"

    debbie lynn elias|Jun 15, 2017

    It's that time again! Time for the LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL. And what a festival 2017 should prove to be! Returning for the second year to its latest home base in the Heart of Screenland - Culver City - and running from June 14th through 22nd, filmmakers and fans alike will once again be blanketed by some of the richest history cinema has to offer, starting with the festival's storied location. Adding an even greater element of cinematic magic to the proceedings is that Culver City is currently...

  • 1MOVIE REVIEW: THE HERO

    Debbie lynn elias|Jun 8, 2017

    Sam Elliott. The minute you hear the name an indelible image appears in your mind. The now silver moustache, the loose finger-ready hair, a tall lanky physique, the languid deep slightly graveled voice, a slow deliberate cowboy swagger. Since 1969, Sam Elliott has graced the big and small screens, from episodic television one-offs to his first film role in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. He has played everything from bikers to hippies to military legends to cowboys in films like “Mask”, “L...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: ALIEN: COVENANT

    Debbie lynn elias|Jun 8, 2017

    proceed on their mission to Origae-6 or locate the source of the signal? Needless to say, they optto locate the signal and then, on discovering it is coming from a planet much closer to them than six-years out, decide to go to the surface and investigate. With the Covenant’s pilot Tennessee and a few other crew left on the Covenant, Christopher, Faris (Tennessee’s wife), Daniels, Lope, and Walter, along with a few others head down to the planet. Suspiciously, a space storm separates the Cov...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: THE PROMISE

    Debbie lynn elias|May 11, 2017

    For more than a century, much of the world has turned a blind eye to the events that transpired in 1914-1915 leading to the onset of the Ottoman Empire's systematic extermination of what would become more than 1.5 million Armenians during world War I and thereafter. As of April 24, 2015, there were more than two million Armenians within the Empire. By 1922, fewer than 400,000. During that time period Armenians were murdered, starved, led on death marches under guise of "deportation". Although...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

    debbie lynn elias|May 11, 2017

    One of the most anticipated movies of the year is finally here - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The live-action version of the beloved 1991 Disney animated classic of the same name, the first animated feature to ever receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture (as opposed to Best Animated Feature), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is brought to life under the leadership of director Bill Condon and producers Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman. The result is magnificent breathtaking beauty! Truly a...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: POWER RANGERS

    debbie lynn elias|Apr 27, 2017

    So often we see beloved television shows and characters - many times from those fun Saturday mornings cartoons and foreign imports that had us glued to the television screen in our youth - move to the big screen to disastrous result. (For example, Speed Racer, Astro Boy. Need I say more?) But every once in a while everything comes together and thanks to an innovative director and creative team, we are treated to a fun ride at the movies. And that's exactly what we get with POWER RANGERS thanks...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 2

    debbie lynn elias|Mar 30, 2017

    Like the true legend that he has quickly become, JOHN WICK is back! Ready to allay our fears and be the lone voice of reason and revenge in a world gone crazy. While there's no holds barred high-octane adrenaline rush in this action-packed one-man wrecking team, John Wick delivers much more than an explosive non-stop annihilation of the bad guy; he has a moral code that makes him stand a bit taller, fight a lot harder, and endear himself even more to the movie masses in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2. In...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: HIDDEN FIGURES

    debbie lynn elias|Mar 16, 2017

    Written and directed by Theodore Melfi and co-written by Allison Schroeder, Melfi, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, HIDDEN FIGURES is a "must see" film for every American. This is definitely perfect timing for the release of HIDDEN FIGURES and in fact, should be a double feature with "Jackie", as both take us back to the days of Camelot and the Kennedy administration when America aspired to reach to the moon and the stars beyond, and when a woman showed the world grace and dignity in...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: AMERICAN FABLE

    debbie lynn elias|Feb 16, 2017

    A film eloquently crafted and visualized. A unique story structure. A visual style best described as painterly beauty with strong framing and use of color. A story seen through the eyes of an 11-year old girl in middle America farm country in the 1982 Reagan Era. This is AMERICAN FABLE, the feature debut of writer/director Anne Hamilton. Lawyer turned filmmaker, one look at the film and you immediately see Hamilton's legal background come into play with the balance within her storytelling....

  • MOVIE REVIEW: SING

    debbie lynn elias|Feb 16, 2017

    As if the world isn't already drinking in enough Technicolored musical cheer with "La La Land", hot on its heels is an animated musical treat to make your Christmas or Hanukkah brighter than bright - SING! Move over Pixar, Walt Disney Animation and DreamWorks, there's a new kid on the block who's climbing the charts - Illumination Entertainment. The folks who brought us "Despicable Me" and "The Secret Life of Pets" now ventures into the world of the animation musical with an engaging story,...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: MOANA

    debbie lynn elias|Feb 9, 2017

    Disney’s heading back to the sea this Thanksgiving weekend with the beauteous animated feature, MOANA. Inspired by culture, legends and folklore of the Polynesians and Pacific Islanders and the many islands of Oceania in the South Pacific, directors Ron Clements and John Musker together with co-directors Chris Williams and Don Hall, tap into that history and the connection between the people and the earth, particularly the sea, to deliver a story celebratory in the ancient history of n...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: The Space Between Us

    debbie lynn elias|Feb 2, 2017

    Mars. Long a dream of mankind (and especially Buzz Aldrin) is for man to go to Mars. Not just with land rovers and satellites sending images back to Earth, but to walk upon and colonize. NASA and other space agencies have now long been working toward that very goal. Tests done on space shuttle missions, on the International Space Station, and now the "Twins" experiment with astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, are all yielding results that will further the realization of the Mars dream. Hollywood, a...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: HACKSAW RIDGE

    debbie lynn elias|Feb 2, 2017
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    It's a box office bonanza at the movies this weekend with not just an eclectic slate of new releases, but award-worthy films, among them the film is without a doubt the best picture of the year. Outstanding is a documentary from Otto Bell which tells the story of Aisholpan, a young Mongolian girl who follows her dream and breaks the centuries-old glass ceiling of her culture, soaring as THE EAGLE HUNTRESS. Don't be surprised to see this on the Oscar short list for Best Documentary Feature this...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: The Founder

    debbie lynn elias|Jan 19, 2017

    Super-sized ideas! Super-sized dreams! Ray Kroc was the epitome of both. Always a hard-working man of vision, nothing topped his greatest vision when he met with brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California for the purpose of verifying an order for milkshake machines. Kroc didn't just make the sale, he laid the groundwork for achieving the quintessential American Dream by way of hamburgers, french fries (400 degrees until slightly golden), pickles, milkshakes and the idea of...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: A KIND OF MURDER

    debbie lynn elias|Dec 15, 2016

    Long a fan of Patricia Highsmith's novels, it is always with much trepidation that I approach cinematic adaptations. Known for complexity, psychological intrigue, depth and richness to her works, translating the literary layers from the mind's eye to the big screen is challenging at best. Last year's "Carol" was exquisitely adapted for the screen by Phyllis Nagy, so much so as to deliver even more depth and emotional texture in the relationship between the characters than what we felt on the pag...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: BLEED FOR THIS

    debbie lynn elias|Nov 17, 2016

    A big year for boxing movies with Jonathan Jakubowicz's "Hands of Stone" with Edgar Ramirez as Roberto Duran and now writer/director Ben Younger's BLEED FOR THIS with Miles Teller handily playing the charismatic Providence, Rhode Island boxer Vinny Pazienza aka the Pazmanian Devil aka Vinny Paz. (Ironically, during his career Paz twice defeated Duran.) With contrasting storytelling approaches, while Jakubowicz integrates key bouts of Duran's career into his story and showcases actual boxing as...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

    debbie lynn elias|Nov 11, 2016

    It is rare to find a perfect match between filmmaker and material; rarer still to see that match made in heaven come to fruition with glorious result. But that is exactly what we have with Tim Burton and MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, a gloriously goth, visually imaginative and engaging film yet with a caring, sweet edge that finds Tim Burton once again at the top of his game and almost assuredly, at the top of the box office. Directed by Burton and written by Jane Goldman based...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: AMERICAN PASTORAL

    debbie lynn elias|Nov 3, 2016

    It has long been a running banter between myself and Ewan McGregor as to when he would move from in front of the camera to behind the lens. His response has consistently been, "When I find the right project." Well, the "right project" finally came along with the adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning AMERICAN PASTORAL. Often described as a complex and challenging work, and rightly so, this 1997 Roth work is perhaps the hallmark of his prolific career. And while many of Roth's works...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: SULLY

    Debbie Lynn Elias|Nov 3, 2016
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    Nice to know that should Clint Eastwood choose to continue directing, he has a future career with Lifetime movies as that is exactly what his latest big screen foray with SULLY is. That's not to say there's anything wrong with Lifetime movies. I have watched more than my fair share over the years as I am sure many of you have. While solid workmanship, there's a reason those films are "made for tv" and that's exactly where SULLY belongs; on tv and not on the big screen. We all know the story of...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE

    debbie lynn elias|Oct 27, 2016

    As if David MacKenzie's award-worthy "Hell or High Water" wasn't enough of a reason to celebrate cinema, and particularly the American western, Antoine Fuqua brings us the high octane stunning reimagination of "The Magnificent Seven." But now lauded horror genre writer/director/editor Ti West enters the corral with IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE, a real rootin' tootin' western but with a Ti West twist, proving yet again that the western is alive and well and very much beloved. As we saw with "The...

  • MOVIE REVIEW DOUBLE FEATURE: PRICELESS ● DESIERTO

    debbie lynn elias|Oct 13, 2016

    There has been little attention in movies paid to the issue of sex trafficking, particularly the "human" aspect of it; 2007 gave us Kevin Kline in "Trade"; in 2008 we saw "Taken" where a father saves his daughter after a kidnapping; a 2005 mini-series with Donald Sutherland and Mira Sorvino was more of a procedural. With the exception of "Trade", the stories have been clinical with little said about redemption, salvation or turning lives around. All that changes with PRICELESS thanks to its...

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