Tag Archives: la weekly

Cleaver’s Destiny (2013)

(Originally published in LA Weekly) A teenager tries to connect with her amnesiac, homeless father in this underwhelming little film entirely ill-equipped to deal with its serious and important themes. Seventeen-year-old Amy (Jenny Leona di Gennaro) has just been dumped by her boyfriend, who is also her teacher and twice her age, and is struggling […]

A Strange Brand of Happy (2013)

(Originally published in LA Weekly) You want to like A Strange Brand of Happy. After the hand-drawn, animated opening credits, there’s hope it may be a kind of Juno-esque, quirky-but-poignant indie comedy that arthouse audiences love. But try as it might, A Strange Brand of Happy is never as funny or compelling as it seems […]

The Lesser Blessed (2013)

(Originally published in LA Weekly) You’ve probably seen most of the elements that make upThe Lesser Blessed before: the icy, desolate rural town, teens who get high and have sex because there’s nothing else to do, two friends who want the same girl, a family that can’t communicate. But The Lesser Blessedcan be forgiven for treading on […]

Free China: The Courage to Believe (2013)

(Originally published in The Village Voice and LA Weekly) Free China: The Courage to Believe delivers a powerful, if at times heavy-handed, warning: The systematic and state-sanctioned persecution of peaceful citizens is alive and well in China. The hourlong, talking-head documentary tells the story of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice combining Buddhism and Daoism, which took […]

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2013)

(Originally published in LA Weekly) Turn on your spaceships and fire up the jukebox. In writer-director Paul Bunnell’s supremely ridiculous tale, 1950s-style rebel Johnny X (Will Keenan) and his coed gang of dropouts, the Ghastly Ones, are exiled to Earth from their faraway planet. Their crime, it seems, is performing selfish deeds involving a powerful […]