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Film Miv Evans

DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING – So Far

By Miv Evans

Downfall is a documentary about the two Boeing airplanes that crashed out of the sky four months apart. There was an investigation, but Big Air has Big Pockets and the cover-up was slick, or so they thought. Enter Rory Kennedy, veteran documentarian, looking for human injustice. Enter any US corporation. This time it’s Boeing.

Downfall.JPG
DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING movie poster

The airline giant began life in 1916 Seattle. Over the next five decades, it became the gold standard for flying. Its unerring commitment to passengers’ safety paid off. A spectacular success story. That is, until 1997, when the airline was purchased by McDonnel Douglas. They decided to take their new acquisition in a different direction, promptly transferring Boeing’s commitment to the shareholders. Everyone and everything got swept up in the change.

Prototypes are expensive, so innovation no longer featured on Boeing’s To Do List. Execs preferred to spend their days in the Board Room, finding ways to cut staff benefits. Whilst they were preoccupied, Europe’s Airbus quietly doubled its order book, supplying the world with bigger, better and faster, at Boeing’s expense. Open-mouthed execs looked on in disbelief. But far from realizing the error of their ways, they doubled down.

THE DO-OVER

Try to imagine installing the engine from a 12-carriage train into a Honda hatchback. Adjustments would have to be made to, well, everything, including the actual body size, but it would still be a Honda hatchback. This means its launch wouldn’t be delayed by expensive testing and, God forbid, teaching people how to drive it. Boeing’s hatchback was the same model that made its debut in the 60s. They ‘redesigned’ it and called it the 737 Max.

THE TRAGEDY

A total of 346 people died in the Indonesian and Ethiopian crashes. With such a horrific body count, not even the lobbyists could bribe their way out of an inquiry. When the time came, some of the ‘crash families’ travelled to Washington, seeking answers. But when they got there, not only were answers sparse, but they got told they couldn’t bring their placards into the Hearing. The placards were photographs of their dead loved ones.

THE TABLEAUX

Clearly, Washington has no respect for the bereaved and doesn’t care who knows it. Why would they? People turning up in droves might have an effect in Europe, where governments fear the people, but in the US, the people fear the government. And that’s why the stench emanating from the Boeing execs drifted over to the Federal Aviation Administration staff, who certified the plane. Big Government and Big Air make quite a team.

Don’t get on a Boeing without watching this film!

Streaming on Netflix Feb. 18, 2022
Watch the trailer
Directed by Rory Kennedy
Produced by Moxie Films
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival Jan. 2022   

Posted by Entertainment Magazine

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Film Miv Evans New Releases

Free Chol Soo Lee

By Miv Evans

This documentary tells the story of a young Korean immigrant who is plucked off the lawless streets of Chinatown by a justice system that shows no justice.  It’s a David and Goliath tale but this time, David has no sling until the battle is over.  As well as shining a painful spotlight on the plight of child immigrants, it also highlights the searing inequities of life in America in general.  It’s definitely not pretty.

Free Chol Soo Lee.JPG

Chol Soo is born in the crossfire of the Korean war to a single mother.  When she marries an American, she abandons both her land and her child.  12 years later, and newly divorced, she swoops back in and takes Chol Soo to live in a country he’s never even heard of.   He’s isolated both in school and in his neighborhood.  His mother beats him daily, simply because she can.  Chol Soo often runs away and, as time goes by, he stops going back home at all, and drifts onto the streets that are ruled by violent gangs.

By association and a minor rap sheet, he comes to the attention of the local police.  And when they need a fall guy for a major crime, he’s their victim of choice.  Despite evidence to the contrary, 20 year-old Chol Soo is convicted of murder and handed a life sentence.  He undoubtedly would have stayed there had it not been for the fortitude of an intrepid investigate journalist.

K.W. Lee was a Korean reporter when he came across Chol Soo’s case.   He realized a grave injustice had been done, and in an attempt to highlight the young man’s plight, Lee turned to the Korean community for support.  And support him they did.  Not only did they fight for justice, but they inspired a whole generation of Pan Asian American activists.  They even wrote a song, ‘The Ballad of Chol Soo Lee’ that filled the airwaves for months.  The charismatic young Korean became the symbol of their cause.      

With so much publicity, Chol Soo’s murder conviction was eventually revisited.  It could be assumed that the result of this retrial is where the story ends but, in fact, this is not the case.  

Chol Soo’s saviors had done such a great job of alerting Chicago to his plight, by the time he returned to court, he had reached the status of an icon.  That’s a high bar for anyone to balance on, but if you’re a street urchin who’s only known hardship, it’s difficult to know where to start. In other words, when Chol Soo finally got handed a sling, he had absolutely no idea what to do with it.  

Premiered at Sundance 2022.

Released August 19, 2022 in UK and Ireland.

DIRECTED BY
Julie Ha & Eugene Yi

PRODUCED BY 
XTR
[email protected]
www.xtr.com

DISTRIBUTED BY
MUBI
546 Bryant St
San Francisco
CA 94107
[email protected]
www.mubi.com

Posted by Entertainment Magazine

Categories
Film Miv Evans New Releases

Americanish

By Miv Evans

Americanish is about three Muslim women negotiating the dating scene.  This is a rich vein to tap but, unfortunately, the film is so packed with clichés, and so bereft of conflict, predictability lurks on every corner.   The acting is superb but that’s never enough.  

Two sisters, Sameen (Aizzah Fatima) and Maryam (Salena Qureshi) live with their mother, Khala (Lillete Dubey) in Queens, New York.  Maryam is still in high school and has a crush on one of the other students.   Sameen works for a marketing company and is planning to get her own place to live.  Their cousin, Ameera (Shenaz Treasury), arrives from Pakistan in pursuit of a rich husband and Khala assists her niece with her quest.  She makes it clear to her two daughters that it’s time for them to start similar endeavors of their own.  

The first stumbling block this film crashes into is that, whenever one of the girls meet their ‘Mr. Right’, a neon light flashes This Is the One!  It really is that obvious.  It doesn’t help that all the ‘Mr. Rights’ are woefully undeveloped and they all simply go along with whatever is convenient for the plot.  This is particularly irritating when a hot American business owner agrees to marry a woman he’s never even been on a date with.  All things are possible, of course, but if the audience doesn’t get an explanation for something unlikely, it just seems silly.         

While Maryam and Ameera’s storylines stick to romance, Sameen’s goes off at a tangent.  New themes about race, careers and ethics emerge that have nothing to do with her own love interest or, in fact, anything else in the film.  This disconnect is a signature of the writing and the reason there are three separate endings.  Sitting the characters around the same table for the final scene is clunky and doesn’t solve anything.

This movie is being promoted as the ‘First Muslim RomCom Directed by an American Muslim Woman.’  With so many prolific American Muslim female directors around, this is a sweeping claim.  But what can’t be disputed is that RomComs, by definition, have to be about a romance between two main characters.  As Americanish is definitely not that, perhaps the filmmakers should redefine its genre as ‘RomCom-ish.’   

Directed by Iman Zawahry.

Written by Iman Zawahry and Aizzah Fatima. 

Produced by Roy Wol, Studio Autonomous
 http://www.autonomouspictures.com

New York, NY 10001

Posted by Entertainment Magazine

Categories
Film Miv Evans

Free Chol Soo Lee

By Miv Evans

This documentary tells the story of a young Korean immigrant who is plucked off the lawless streets of Chinatown by a justice system that shows no justice.  It’s a David and Goliath tale but this time, David has no sling until the battle is over.  As well as shining a painful spotlight on the plight of child immigrants, it also highlights the searing inequities of life in America in general.  It’s definitely not pretty.

Chol Soo is born in the crossfire of the Korean war to a single mother.  When she marries an American, she abandons both her land and her child.  12 years later, and newly divorced, she swoops back in and takes Chol Soo to live in a country he’s never even heard of.   He’s isolated both in school and in his neighborhood.  His mother beats him daily, simply because she can.  Chol Soo often runs away and, as time goes by, he stops going back home at all, and drifts onto the streets that are ruled by violent gangs.

By association and a minor rap sheet, he comes to the attention of the local police.  And when they need a fall guy for a major crime, he’s their victim of choice.  Despite evidence to the contrary, 20 year-old Chol Soo is convicted of murder and handed a life sentence.  He undoubtedly would have stayed there had it not been for the fortitude of an intrepid investigate journalist.

K.W. Lee was a Korean reporter when he came across Chol Soo’s case.   He realized a grave injustice had been done, and in an attempt to highlight the young man’s plight, Lee turned to the Korean community for support.  And support him they did.  Not only did they fight for justice, but they inspired a whole generation of Pan Asian American activists.  They even wrote a song, ‘The Ballad of Chol Soo Lee’ that filled the airwaves for months.  The charismatic young Korean became the symbol of their cause.      

With so much publicity, Chol Soo’s murder conviction was eventually revisited.  It could be assumed that the result of this retrial is where the story ends but, in fact, this is not the case.  

Chol Soo’s saviors had done such a great job of alerting Chicago to his plight, by the time he returned to court, he had reached the status of an icon.  That’s a high bar for anyone to balance on, but if you’re a street urchin who’s only known hardship, it’s difficult to know where to start. In other words, when Chol Soo finally got handed a sling, he had absolutely no idea what to do with it.  

Premiered at Sundance 2022.

Released August 19, 2022 in UK and Ireland.

DIRECTED BY
Julie Ha & Eugene Yi

PRODUCED BY 
XTR
[email protected]
www.xtr.com

DISTRIBUTED BY
MUBI
546 Bryant St
San Francisco
CA 94107
[email protected]
www.mubi.com

Read more movie reviews by Miv Evans

Posted by Entertainment Magazine

Categories
Film Miv Evans

MAIKA – The Girl from Another Galaxy

By Miv Evans

This is a delightful children’s adventure, brought to us all the way from Vietnam.   Despite a lack of originality, it stays the course, proving that if you give the right actors sparkling dialogue, the plot doesn’t have to work that hard.  The right actors on this occasion are three budding thespians, who fill the screen with such charm the grown-ups don’t get a look-in. 

Hung (Lai Truong Phu) is an only child whose mother delights in filling his head with magical tales.  Her favorite is The Moon Cake, which inspires her to nickname her treasured son ‘Little Star.’  Just before she tragically dies, she tells him that if ever he’s missing her, he should look to the sky.  Every moment of the day, she’s going to be there, watching him.  

Hung’s widowed father (Ngoc Tuong), does his best to take care of his son but it’s a struggle.  One day, he’s so exhausted, he forgets he promised to take Hung to watch a meteorite shower, so Hung goes alone. The young boy sees something mysterious fall from the sky and decides to investigate.  To his amazement, he’s confronted by a young girl (Chu Diep Anh) who’s come to earth to find her lost comrade.  She’s from the planet Maika and laden with special powers.   Hung is entranced.     

A movie about a young boy teaming up with an alien from outer space is obviously nothing new and, despite its oriental roots, Maika offers no new perspective.  This is particularly surprising, as Vietnam is rich in fairy tales and legends that have, so far, not been exploited by the West.  An orbiting cake with a Moon Girl aboard would be far more intriguing than an alien in a spaceship who will, sooner or later, have to ‘go home.’      

While the highly appealing Hung and Maika take center stage, a powerful little bundle named Beo (Tin Tin) regularly slips in and fairly demands the audience’s attention.  He makes his entrance as Hung’s adversary, but then when Maika falls absent, he steps in.  It would have been so much more dynamic if the three kids had gone on their Big Adventure together.  Beo’s pedal-to-the-metal attitude would have ensured they got in more trouble than even the filmmaker could have imagined.  

Although this film is well worth a trip to the movies, the use of sub-titles might limit its success.  The producers may have decided dubbing would detract from the actors’ appeal, but children’s reading ability is a bigger threat.  When parents are deciding which film to take their kids to see, it could be they’ll decide to skip the one that risks two hours of “What does it say?” ringing in their ears.  

RELEASE INFORMATION
Arrives in Northern American theatres June 3, 2022
Click here for details

Screened at Sundance, 2022

Director and Writer: Ham Tran

Produced by: FPT Play 

Public Relations Wildworks PR, FilmsGoneWild.com

 Distributed by: Well Go USA Entertainment

ABOUT MAIKA:
Vietnam’s first children’s sci-fi feature and the country’s second-ever entry to the sci-fi genre. The film is based on a beloved 1970s Czechoslovakian television series that became a cultural sensation throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Read more movie review by Miv Evans.

(Posted by Entertainment Magazine)