Author: David Hart

‘Gifted’ Boasts a Great Cast, But Doesn’t Pass the Test

Overview: A man grapples with the difficult process of raising his highly intelligent niece. 2017; Fox Searchlight Pictures; PG-13; 101 minutes. Uneven Emotionality: Gifted, the story of an uncle raising his prodigy of a niece, has all of the ingredients of a crowd-pleaser designed to pull at the heartstrings of the audience. Included in these ingredients is a precocious child prodigy, and numerous courtroom scenes that will determine whether her uncle should be her legal guardian. The aforementioned child, Mary Adler (McKenna Grace), is presented unevenly. One example of this is the constantly changing maturity level of the character...

Read More

The Ticket Boasts Great Performances But Needs Focus

Overview: A man, long blind, recovers his sight inexplicably. His life changes in expected and unexpected ways. 2016; Shout! Factory; Not Rated; 98 minutes. More Style Than Substance: The Ticket is the story of a man who regains his sight in near miraculous fashion. Additionally, it offers an exploration of the human psyche and the effects of such a gift. The film focuses on the effects of regaining sight as opposed to explaining what is happening medically. Regardless of the lack of explanation, it’s unfortunate that more time is not spent on James (Dan Stevens) before this major event. In a...

Read More

The Zookeeper’s Wife is a Heartfelt Testament to Humanity

Overview: A married couple decides to do the right thing in the most difficult moment, sheltering fleeing Jews in their zoo during the Holocaust. Focus Features; 2017; Rated PG-13; 124 minutes. Beauty Contrasted: The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on the book of the same name written by Diane Ackerman, covers some well-trodden ground with a new perspective. There have been, of course, many films set during the Holocaust. With The Zookeeper’s Wife, the major immediate draw here, before the performances even, is the unusual setting. As the title indicates, the majority of this film takes place at the Warsaw Zoo. The opening...

Read More