film review

Review of the film ‘This is My Year’

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Connor Miller, wannabe screenwriter, moves to LA for a make or break year in her efforts to get a script accepted. In ‘This is My Year,’ from director, James Brindle, we follow the adventures and misadventures of Connor and her friends over that fateful year.

This film is hard to categorize for someone of my generation; much like the milennials in the story, it seems to be going way, but ends up going another. That’s not a negative assessment, by the way. I found the film, like the milennials I encounter each summer in my writing workshop, stimulating and interesting. I was particularly impressed with Kanani Rose’s performance as Connor. That mask of apparent wide-eyed innocence that covers a hard mask of cynical realism that knows nothing is permanent and that life is often totally screwed up, was brilliant.

So, while I can’t tell you whether this film was a romantic comedy or a drama, I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and strongly encourage you to see it when it’s finally released. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview. The film is due for an October 10 release.

Here’s the link to preorder the movie on iTunes:  :


Review of ‘Marza’ – A Different View of War

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MV5BMjI1NTIxMTQwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODQ5MzAxOQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_ Every war spawns a whole host of books and films, and the second war in Iraq is no exception. Most, though, focus on the relationships among those who fight. ‘Marza,’ a film written, directed and produced by former Marine Regan A. Young is a film with a difference.

The story of a cynical, battle-hardened Marine sergeant (played by Josh Ansley) who meets and befriends a quizzical, precocious young Iraqi girl, Marza (Claire Geare) who likes chicken and ice cream shows us the human side of war that is seldom portrayed. Sergeant John Whitacre is a man who has seen much war, and as a result has a decidedly dark view of life in general. Marza pulls him out of his funk in ways he could never have anticipated, and teaches him to feel again.

This is a film that has both dark and light moments – and enough death to lift it from the category of a mood movie and firmly into the ‘war’ category. Young, a veteran of tours in Iraq, writes and directs this short film with a sense of awareness of the realities of war that most in the business lack. Moreover, he takes us into the depths of emotions that run rampant when death is a constant companion, and shows that even at the darkest hours, there is a glimmer of light and hope.

If ‘Marza’ doesn’t get an award for best short, independent film of 2014, there is no justice. And, if you can watch it with dry eyes, I’d suggest an immediate trip to an ophthalmologi