‘Chemical Hearts’ has some magic

“Chemical Hearts” – “You’re never more alive than when you’re a teenager.” – Henry Page (Austin Abrams) Raise your hand if you’ve heard a version of Henry’s aforementioned statement during your teenage years.  Parents, teachers, or older brothers or sisters are usually the main prophets to bestow this wisdom, but in this case, Henry is narrating his story, as he looks back on his high school senior year.  Before meeting Grace (Lili Reinhart), Henry never really believed it, though. He never felt it. Nothing emotionally noteworthy rocked Henry’s universe, but…

Movie of the Week: ‘Burning’

Bong Joon-ho and his landmark film “Parasite” (2019) made Oscar history with his Best Picture Oscar win on Feb. 9, 2020, the first foreign language movie to win the award. South Korea has a long, fruitful history in cinema, and this week, AHFW looks to a brilliant film from Bong’s countryman Lee Chang-dong.  “Burning” (2019) is potent drama that sparks unconventional mysteries. “Burning” (2018)– Director Lee Chang-dong’s picture – which is South Korea’s 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry – is about haves and have-nots, belief and uncertainty, clear direction…

Here’s an enthusiastic vote for ‘Boys State’

“Boys State” –  “Political parties are likely to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.” – George Washington, 1796 The aforementioned quote appears at the beginning of “Boys State”, a highly compelling documentary – from directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss – that presents Texas Boys State, an American Legion-promoted event in which over 1,000 teenage boys descend on Austin to engage in a government simulation. Given the…

Watch this Viola Davis double feature on her birthday

Happy Birthday, Viola Davis!  Yes, this Oscar-winning actress turns 55 years young on August 11, and she’s starred in countless films since 1996, including “Out of Sight” (1998), “Far From Heaven” (2002), “Doubt” (2008), “The Help” (2011), and “Suicide Squad” (2016).  To celebrate her birthday, we recommend this terrific Davis Double Feature! In “Fences” (2016), Viola delivered an Oscar-gold performance as Rose Maxson, a wife and mom who is confronted head-on by her disconnected husband Troy (Denzel Washington). ⭐⭐⭐  out of  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ When Veronica’s (Davis) husband (Liam Neeson) dies during a…

Aug. 12 – Free Double Feature Night at the Drive-In

AHFW misses catching movies on the big screen.  Sigh.  Well, Amazon and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are here to help!  They are sponsoring “A Night at the Drive-In” in July and August 2020! Every two weeks (on Wednesday nights), drive-in theatres all over the country will feature a double feature, and the movies and concessions are free! Video message from Michael B. Jordan!  Here are all the facts that you need: getting tickets, the schedule, the locations, and background on the project! Getting tickets:  Just to go here:  http://amazonscreenings.com/anightatthedrivein…

Movie of the Week: ‘Two Days, One Night’

With millions and millions out of work, AHFW looks to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s gripping masterpiece about one woman’s (Marion Cotillard) struggle to keep her job in “Two Days, One Night” (2014). “Two Days, One Night” (2014) – Rightfully nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, a woman in dire emotional and financial stress.  Her employer lets her go (under conflicting circumstances), but she reluctantly fights to keep her job and pleads her case to 16 co-workers over the course of a weekend.  Writers/directors Jean-Pierre and Luc…

‘The Secret Garden’ doesn’t quite bloom

“The Secret Garden” – After a prolonged, winding political road, India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947. This historical moment scooped up Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), a 10-year-old girl living in India at the time.  This young Brit – nestled in the lap of financial luxury as a child ex-pat – suddenly lost her parents.  She also gained her independence, but in the most unwanted way.   Now, this newly orphaned girl baths, sleeps, and eats on her schedule, but she soon discovers that proper sustenance, direction, and boundaries become…

Movie of the Week: ‘Waking Ned Devine’

Do you need an escape?  With COVID still disrupting nearly everything these days, why not virtually get away to Ireland?  Tullymore, actually, and you can meet Jackie, Michael and the whole town in “Waking Ned Devine” (1999).  This hilarious and heartwarming comedy is AHFW’s Movie of the Week! “Waking Ned Devine” (1998) –  In the little Irish town of Tullymore (population: 52), someone won the national lottery!  But who?  Jackie (Ian Bannen) did not strike gold, but he hopes that the lucky ticket holder will share some of the winnings…

‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ isn’t a nightmare

“The Secret: Dare to Dream” – “My whole life, my gut feeling is that something really bad is going to happen, and it does.” – Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) These days, Miranda carries a ton – possibly two – of responsibility on her narrow shoulders.  Her husband passed away a few years ago, and she’s raising three kids on her own.  Not entirely by herself, because her mother-in-law Bobby (Celia Weston) regularly swings by and watches the kids.  This helpful soul is also the only character – in this movie…

Movie of the Week: ‘Shadow of the Vampire’

AHFW takes a trippy trip to 2000 and a look back at E. Elias Merhige’s highly memorable “Shadow of the Vampire” starring Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich.  Merhige’s flick is part-drama, part-comedy and part-horror, as it retells director F.W. Murnau’s (Malkovich) making of “Nosferatu” (1922).  The wrinkle is that Murnau personally hires actor Max Schreck (Dafoe) to play Count Orlok, but this unknown thespian displays bizarre behavior and – for some reason – never removes his makeup. Mmm, it makes you think that maybe….. Well, don’t speculate, we recommend that…