REVIEW: Ya Tayr El Tayer [The Idol] [2016]

“People are dying and you’re singing?” Biopics are often difficult because the subject’s life may not contain the suspense and intrigue necessary for a film to succeed. This is why many focus on a brief period of time rather than a full life—honing in on the moment that made this person worthy of having his/her story told to the masses. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem for Mohammad Assaf, the Gaza-raised Palestinian who defied odds to compete on “Arab Idol’s” second season in Egypt. Here’s a young man…

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REVIEW: לבנון [Lebanon] [2009]

“Man is steel. The tank is only iron.” The First Lebanon War began in June 1982 when the Government of Israel launched a military operation against the PLO and their Syrian and Muslim Lebanese allies. Rather than tell that story in a broad, war epic way, writer director Samuel Maoz decided to encapsulate the fear, horror, and chaos by creating a story around an Israeli foursome on a simple mission, the tank support for a platoon dispatched to search a hostile town. לבנון [Lebanon] ends up being the Rear Window…

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REVIEW: The Kingdom [2007]

“If we go slower, next time we might pick out livestock” Here is the introduction of screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan, brother of high-octane director Joe Carnahan. With this being his first film, it appears as though he has already reached A-list status. I mean his next three scripts will be brought to the screen by Oscar winner Robert Redford, Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald, and his brother. After viewing this entry, I must say I am looking forward to the others, if not with a little trepidation, very much. The Kingdom…

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