May 23, 2013
THE NEW documentary "Crafting a Nation" spends about an hour and a half fussing over exactly what makes America's craft beer so special. It's hard work by small businessmen. It's all-natural ingredients. It's fresh, locally made and produced with care for the environment. It's about overcoming the odds and the local building inspector. Apparently, though, it's not about actually drinking the stuff. Well-researched, beautifully photographed and set to the meaningful strum of an acoustic guitar, "Crafting a Nation" nevertheless manages to almost completely miss the key attraction of craft beer: It tastes good.
May 21, 2013 |
IT'S NO SECRET that a lot of legendary players have hooped it up at New York City playgrounds. On Wednesday, the documentary "Doin' it in the Park" opens in the Big Apple - a homage to the city's courts and players. As far as we know, no one has done a similar film about Philly, even though the city has a rich history of guys and girls who honed their skills in pickup games on asphalt courts. Players like (in no particular order), Wilt Chamberlain, Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble, Gene Banks, Bryant "Sad Eyes" Watson, Guy Rodgers, Earl Monroe, Walt Hazzard, Lewis "Black Magic" Lloyd, Aaron "AO" Owens, Randy Woods, Wali Jones, Lionel Simmons, Marilyn Stephens, Linda Page, Yolanda Laney and Debbie Lytle.
May 10, 2013 |
For all the talk about immigration, rarely does the conversation veer into why so many Latinos have come to the United States. Harvest of Empire attempts to fill in the gaps, and the reasons don't include some naive notion about streets being paved with gold. The documentary, based on the book by journalist Juan Gonzalez, makes a persuasive argument that immigration from Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, and other nations is the direct result of American maneuvering in Latin America. The film follows a pattern, looking at each country individually and hearing personal tales from immigrants before taking a deep dive into the history of that nation.
May 5, 2013
Movies The Great Gatsby See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Harvest of Empire This documentary attempts to draw a connection between past U.S. expansionist policy in Latin-America and the current immigration problems. Hava Negila: The Movie A documentary on the meaning and history of the popular Jewish song. Kiss of the Damned See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Midnight's Children See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Tyler Perry Presents We the Peeples Nothing goes as planned when a young man (Craig Robinson)
April 24, 2013 |
The Philadelphia region supports film festivals targeted to virtually every fan base and demographic, from gays and lesbians to Asian Americans and African Americans to horror geeks. Except, that is, for the region's growing Latino community. It's an oversight that local cineastes David Acosta and Beatriz Vieira are trying to remedy. "It has been such a void in the city and the region," said Vieira, vice president for philanthropic services at the Philadelphia Foundation. "And there is such a breadth of film and video work coming from Latin America and the Latin community in the United States.
April 19, 2013 |
Jason Osder was 11, a kid at the Miquon School, when the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb on the MOVE house at 6221 Osage Ave. in West Philadelphia. It was May 13, 1985. By the end of the night, six adult members of the Afrocentric back-to-nature organization - long in conflict with city officials, with police, with neighbors - were dead. So were five children, trapped inside the house. And 60 other rowhouses in the surrounding area had been destroyed by a fire left unchecked.
April 16, 2013 |
BEFORE MICHAEL or Le-Bron, there was Julius, the high-flying, gravity-defying NBA superstar better known as Doctor J. Those too young to have seen Julius Erving in his prime can see footage of him operating when NBA TV airs "The Doctor," a 90-minute documentary set for June 10 at 9 p.m. "If you ever hear Michael Jordan talk, he always says he looked up to and aspired to be like Doctor J," Miami Heat star Le-Bron James said in a statement....
April 9, 2013 |
50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS. 9 p.m. Monday, HBO. EVERY SO OFTEN, a documentary comes along with a story so good, it's easy to imagine it as a feature film. "50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus," which premieres on HBO on Monday to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, is one such documentary: It has the characters, the plot points, and most importantly, it has the goose bumps. Which makes it all the more remarkable that the story of Philadelphians Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who left their own two children behind to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi Europe, wasn't much talked about until recently.
March 29, 2013 |
* FALL TO GRACE. 8 p.m. Thursday, HBO. JIM McGREEVEY and Alexandra Pelosi were bound to cross paths sooner or later. McGreevey is the subject of "Fall to Grace," Pelosi's latest documentary, which premieres Thursday on HBO. The former governor of New Jersey, McGreevey resigned in 2004 after what he said was an affair (a former aide was claiming sexual harassment), famously declaring himself, as his wife looked on, to be "a gay American. " He now works with poor women, many of them in prison, trying to help them turn their lives around.
March 27, 2013 |
For former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, an Irish prince, the story was supposed to end with him in the Oval Office. Instead, he is in and out of jail in Hudson County. Not as a prisoner, but working as a spiritual counselor to a group of incarcerated women - and, at the same time, on what he calls his own journey of redemption. In 2004, McGreevey fell from grace with a thud, resigning office as he famously declared, "I am a gay American. " The married governor quit because an ex-lover - a man McGreevey hired as a top security aide in the wake of 9/11 - was blackmailing him with a threatened sexual harassment suit.