Conscious Film Reviews by Brent Marchant
A lifelong movie fan and longtime student of metaphysics, Brent Marchant is the author of Get the Picture: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies, a…
Similar ideas popular now
‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’ chronicles creative mastery at work | VividLife.me
Two giants of cinema, François Truffaut (left) and Alfred Hitchcock (right), meet for a historic summit on moviemaking in 1962, the subject of Kent Jones’s new documentary, “Hitchcock/Truffaut.” Photo by Philippe Halsman, courtesy of Cohen Media Group.
‘Concussion’ hails the merits of value fulfillment | VividLife.me
Even if it’s not always apparent, we all have a purpose in life. In some cases it will be patently obvious, while in others it’s about as seemingly unlikely as one can imagine. And it’s that latter scenario that provides the basis for the story line in the new fact-based sports drama, “Concussion.” #VividLife
‘Joy’ celebrates pursuing one’s dreams | VividLife.me
Joy (Jennifer Lawrence, left), a budding entrepreneur and inventor, gets a big boost for her fledgling business with the assistance of cable television executive Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper, right) in “Joy.” Photo courtesy © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
‘Youth’ explores what we make of life | VividLife.me
The meaning of life is something that has mesmerized, perplexed and confounded mankind throughout the ages. And, much of the time, we come away from asking this question with no definitive conclusions. But making the effort to find answers is ultimately what counts, especially before the end arrives, an undertaking pursued in earnest by a colorful cast of characters in the moving new cinematic meditation, “Youth.” #VividLife
‘Spotlight’ exalts the courage to crusade | VividLife.me
Crusaders come in many forms. Some are obvious, like those who fearlessly take up arms in the pursuit of justice. Those who rely on other tools, like the power of the press, are probably less known, though their contributions are certainly no less noteworthy. Such is the case for a group of courageous journalists whose investigative efforts helped bring about groundbreaking change, as depicted in the new highly acclaimed historical drama, “Spotlight.”
‘Room’ assesses our perceptions of reality | VividLife.me
When it comes to understanding our existence, most of us probably believe we have a good handle on the subject. But do we? Are our perceptions of reality on target, or are they skewed by faulty or incomplete beliefs? And how do we correct such misperceptions (or would we even want to)? Those are among the thorny philosophical questions raised in the new suspenseful thriller, “Room.”
‘The Walk’ tests the limits of personal resolve | VividLife.me
When we set our minds to accomplishing something, there’s usually nothing to stop us except for the roadblocks we place in our own way. But, in the absence of such hindrances, we’re generally free and clear to proceed with fulfilling our objectives, no matter how unlikely they may seem to others. That point is driven home with dramatic flair and heart-pounding thrills in director Robert Zemeckis’s exhilarating new historical drama, “The Walk.”
‘Irrational Man’ proves beliefs can be funny things | VividLife.me
Have you ever heard someone utter something that seems totally inappropriate or ludicrous, only to find out that the statement in question is one the speaker’s most cherished beliefs? Hard to fathom, isn’t it? Yet such instances are commonplace, since beliefs are highly personal, heartfelt sentiments, notions that everyone holds onto zealously (and that are generally unshakable except under the most coercive circumstances). That seemingly strange though routine proposition gets put under...
‘Power of the Heart’ plumbs the capabilities of a remarkable resource | VividLife.me
When we speak of something having “heart” or of the need to “follow our heart,” what exactly does that mean? For many of us, such expressions seem warm and inviting but are, nevertheless, understandably vague. However, in the recently released DVD and companion book “The Power of the Heart,” director Drew Heriot and writer Baptist de Pape help to eliminate much of the confusion surrounding this often-nebulous topic, offering clear, concise answers applicable in both practical and philosophical c
‘Me and Earl’ explores finding one’s place in the world | VividLife.me
Finding one’s place in the world can be a daunting challenge, especially when ideas of how to do so are elusive. But sometimes our inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of circumstances. That’s the scenario that unfolds in the engaging new comedy-drama, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”
‘Love & Mercy’ probes creative discernment | VividLife.me
Learning selectivity can be challenging in almost any undertaking. That’s especially true if we lack the means to effectively sort through the many options available to us. In fact, without such a filter, we may quickly find ourselves overwhelmed, circumstances that can have devastating consequences, as seen in the engaging new biopic, “Love & Mercy.”
‘In My Dreams’ assesses matters of perspective | VividLife.me
Are you happy with your life? Does it bring you the satisfaction and fulfillment you seek? Or does it fall below expectations? If it comes up short, why do you think that’s so? Answers to these thorny questions may be elusive, but, when they reveal themselves, they may be full of surprises, especially when it comes to identifying who’s responsible for the nature of one’s existence. It’s an unlikely subject for exploration in a romantic comedy-drama, but that’s just what happens in the new heartf
‘Tomorrowland’ asks, ‘What kind of world do we want?’ | VividLife.me
Is the world we live in something that we create, or is it something that’s capriciously thrust upon us? Consequently, should we look upon our circumstances with supreme optimism or eternal pessimism? Indeed, what are we to make of it all? In the end, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers to these questions, for it all ultimately depends on what we believe. And that’s where the story begins in the new summertime action-adventure, “Tomorrowland.”
‘Madding Crowd’ celebrates choice, independence, discernment | VividLife.me
Many of us are favorably impressed by those savvy individuals who exude confidence and have a knack for self-assuredness. Their independent spirits make them objects of emulation. Indeed, who wouldn’t want to be like them? Regrettably, a good many of us look upon them in intimidation or envy, wishing we could follow their leads (and frequently believing that we can’t). But looking to their experiences is exactly what we should do if we ever hope to change our own circumstances. One particularly inspiring example is more than amply set by the Victorian heroine in the classic Thomas Hardy novel, “Far from the Madding Crowd,” recently released in a beautiful new cinematic adaptation.
‘Welcome to Me’ probes the awakening of self-awareness | VividLife.me
Becoming self-aware is something we each do in our own way. Much depends on what we feel we need to discover about ourselves in the first place, which obviously varies – sometimes considerably – from person to person, based on the circumstances we’ve each created in our respective existences. This task can be especially daunting when those circumstances are characterized by particular types of challenges in need of resolution, as evidenced by the experience of a lost soul in search of herself in the hilarious new dark comedy, “Welcome to Me.”
‘Tangerines’ indicts the perils of belief entrenchment | VividLife.me
We all get stuck from time to time. Whether it’s the funk of a rut or something more debilitating, the feelings it engenders are often quite strong. That can be especially true when elements of spite work into the mix, producing emotions that take on a life of their own and often prevent us from seeing our way clear of it. Such is the case in the gripping Estonian wartime drama, “Tangerines” (“Mandariinid”).
‘Desert Dancer’ reveals the undeniable power of creation | VividLife.me
Iranian-born dancer Afshin Ghaffarian (Reece Ritchie, right) and his performing partner, Elaheh (Freida Pinto, left), stage a secret recital for a select audience in the desert when doing so in public was otherwise impossible in the new fact-based biopic, “Desert Dancer.” Photo courtesy of Desert Dancer Production LTD.
‘Gett’ puts perspective on trial | VividLife.me
To many of us, the resolution of certain types of situations may seem obvious. But are they really? Some might contend that such views are overly simplistic, that multiple impressions – and outcomes – are possible. This is especially true in courtroom settings, where the advocates for each side present compelling arguments for their clients. How everything shakes out depends on who makes the better case, a result that’s based (at least in part) on the beliefs employed in interpreting those contentions. That’s the scenario that unfolds in the engaging new Israeli drama, “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem.”
‘Marigold Hotel 2’ says, ‘you’re never too old for an adventure’ | VividLife.me
Upon reaching a certain age, many of us may be tempted to settle in for the home stretch, getting comfortable while waiting for the inevitable end to come. But is that enough? Even though physical and financial limitations and personal fears might seem like impediments, should they be allowed to keep us from living life to the fullest, especially when the clock is running short? That’s the question for all concerned in the delightful new comedy sequel, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
‘Wild Tales’ looks at revenge, responsibility and karma | VividLife.me
When we’ve been wronged, many of us no doubt want to seek restitution. But how far do we go with this? When do we cross the line between seeking redress and pursuing vengeance at all costs? Those are among the questions addressed in the hilarious Argentine anthology comedy, “Wild Tales.”