Author Stacia Kissick Jones

From the moment she heard that computer ask, "How about a nice game of chess?" Stacia has been devoted to movies. A film critic and writer for the better part of a decade, Stacia also plays classical guitar, reads murder mysteries and shamelessly abuses both caffeine and her Netflix queue.

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 9.37.39 PM

Two twenty-somethings, homeless, addicted to heroin and very much devoted to each other, survive on theft and grifting in Collin Schiffli’s Animals, a warm and touching look at love in trying times. Written by David Dastmalchian, who also stars as Jude, Animals is sensitive and compassionate, but also very much grounded in reality. Jude and Bobbie (Kim Shaw) enjoy the alleged freedom their life gives them …

NP Approved Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 9.05.04 PM

Are you wearing ten bracelets on your wrist at once? Does your wardrobe come mostly from hip little thrift shops no one else seems to know about? Have you adopted a pair of glasses with chunky, dark frames as part of your signature look? Then you might be interested to know that nonagenarian socialite and fashion maven Iris Apfel beat you to your own style by a few decades… and she looks ….

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 10.19.18 PM

Alicia Ricosi (Fanny Ardant) is in crisis. A French fashion designer with the world at her feet, she’s hit a creative wall thanks to being dumped by her beau of only a few weeks. When Alicia threatens to not only cancel her upcoming show but quit the fashion world forever, fashion house manager Alan (Laurent Stocker) demands her assistant Hélène Birk (Marina Hands) convince Alicia to stay in the ….

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 7.47.20 PM

Based on the life of Marie Heurtin, blind and deaf from birth, Marie’s Story tells the tale of the young girl’s harrowing struggle to escape what her biographer once deemed a life imprisoned. It’s the late 1800s, and Marie (Ariana Rivoire), who has lived in rural France for her entire short life, is brought by her father to the Larnay Institute. Her family hopes this school for the deaf run by a …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.51.03 PM

Golf prodigy and incurable hayseed Augie (Jeremy Sumpter) is just hanging around his small Southern town, playing cross-country golf and throwing coins on porches, when a flashy professional gambler known only as Riverboat (Christopher McDonald) wanders into his life. Riverboat sizes Augie up and senses a fine hustling opportunity. With the help of his lady friend Jessie (Katherine LaNasa) and a stack of hundred dollar bills, Riverboat convinces Augie to ….

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.34.06 PM

Two ancient Māori tribes find themselves at war in The Dead Lands, the latest from director Toa Fraser. When Māori chief Tane (George Henare) welcomes the army of a nearby tribe, lead by Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka), he expects the men to talk peace. Instead, Tane’s teen son Hongi (James Rolleston) discovers Wirepa desecrating the bodies of his own ancestors in a bid to provoke war. Before Tane can assemble his men, Wirepa’s army slaughters the tribe, leaving ….

NP Approved Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 6.39.41 PM

Francesco Munzi’s Black Souls (Anime nere) is an unflinching tale of one family’s prolonged descent into Hell. Three brothers, all involved in the Calabrian crime syndicate known as the ‘Ndrangheta in various ways, clash in what at first seems to be a standard, if evocative, crime drama. Soon, however, we realized that the film’s swift navigation through a series of seemingly unrelated incidents, from stealing goats to organizing international drug deals, is peeling away …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 8.56.19 PM

Fans of low-budget American indies from the 1950s and 1960s are familiar with the concept of “filler”; that is, stock footage or useless scenes included just to pad out a film’s length. Schlock producer George Weiss once noted that his frequent colleague Edward D. Wood, Jr. relied heavily on filler to achieve the 70-minute runtimes required by distribution companies, leaving his films full of interminable scenes of people getting into cars, people driving their cars …

Film Festival Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.04.05 PM

Wolfgang Beltracchi lived a life of lavish parties and exquisite art, gorgeous villas and expensive vacations, and it was all paid for with forgeries. For decades, Beltracchi had been scamming the art world out of millions of dollars by faking the works of masters of early 20th century art. This highly profitable scam came to an end in 2010 when Beltracchi, his wife and two associates were arrested for fraud, and …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.11.05 PM

In film noir, nothing good comes out of the past, but the present ain’t so hot, either, and anyone with an ounce of self preservation knows that someone who speaks of a bright future ahead is offering up a hot, steaming plate of false promises. Though it rejects the past as well as any other film noir of the period, Louise Milestone’s The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) also stated that the only way to survive was …

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