“The true story of a Navajo boy who was also a girl,” Lydia Nibley’s powerful doc “Two Spirits” is essential viewing for everyone. By combining the story of the brutal murder of trans teen Fred Martinez, as told by his mother Pauline Mitchell, friends and observers, with that of the nádleehi (Navajo for “male-bodied person with a feminine nature”) and their role in Native American culture, the tragedy takes on profound meaning.
Living in a trailer court in Cortez, Colo., Mitchell was the kind of mother who loved her son, “no matter what.” She was aware of the hostility Fred faced from his peers and the school administration and did her part to provide a loving and safe home for him.
Following a suicide attempt, Fred emerged stronger, more determined to be the person he wanted to be. But an unfortunate encounter with a meth dealer resulted in Martinez’s brutal slaying.
Augmenting the story are interviews with various Two Spirit people, Navajo scholar Wesley Thomas, gay author/photographer Mark Thompson, activist Cathy Renna, journalist Gail Binkly and others.
When Phil (Bradley Cooper) says, “It happened again,” at the beginning of “The Hangover, Part II,” it can mean only one thing. Someone got lost. This time it’s in Bangkok, which is apparently a much worse place to lose someone than Las Vegas.
One week earlier, the reunited “wolfpack” – grown-up childhood best friends Phil, divorced dentist Stu (Ed Helms) and “stay-at-home son” Alan (Zach Galifianakis) – are making plans to head to Thailand for Stu’s marriage to Lauren (Jamie Chung). After being urged by Phil and Doug (Justin Bartha) to extend an invitation to the socially inept man-child Alan, Stu reluctantly relents. Eager not to have a repeat of what occurred prior to Doug’s wedding, Stu sets some ground rules, including no pre-opened containers at any pre-wedding events.
But Alan, who takes an instant dislike to Lauren’s genius younger brother Teddy (Mason Lee, son of Ang Lee), a 16-year-old pre-med student at Stanford and a musical prodigy, has other plans.
Pretty soon the guys are running around the city looking for Teddy with a miraculously revived Chow, a cigarette-smoking monkey (Crystal) and a monk in a wheelchair. Meanwhile they’re being pursued by drug-dealing Russian mobsters and confronted with black market weapons dealer Samir (Bryan Callen) and short-fused businessman Kingsley (Paul Giamatti).
Without giving away too much, let’s just say that anything that can go wrong does. As sequels go, “The Hangover, Part II” is drunk with humor and harrowing moments, a potent cocktail indeed.
If you are willing to overlook the formulaic nature of J. J. Abrams’ summer blockbuster “Super 8” and fork over the extra bucks to see it in IMAX, then you might find yourself entertained.
This story begins on a somber note, at the funeral of Joe’s (Joel Courtney) mother, who was killed in a factory mishap. But “Super 8” doesn’t linger long on the down side. Joe’s best buddy Charles (Riley Griffiths) is a budding filmmaker and with his Super 8 camera in hand, he goes forward with his plans to make a zombie movie in the kids’ Ohio hometown in the late 1970s.
Disobeying the wishes of his shutdown sheriff father Jack (Kyle Chandler, looking more handsome than ever), Joe meets up with his friends Cary (Ryan Lee), Preston (Zach Mills), Martin (Gabriel Basso) and Alice (Elle Fanning) to begin filming Charles’ movie, well past his bedtime. But just as they are in the middle of a shot, they witness their science teacher Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman) drive his pick-up truck onto the train tracks and intentionally derail a freight train.
Soon the military has arrived at the crash site and strange things begin to happen. Metal objects and materials begin disappearing, along with many of the town’s dogs and a few of its citizens. Joe is feeling strange too, but it could just be hormonal as he is falling in love with Alice.
Fun, fast-paced, loud (although not as loud as “Thor”) and surprisingly touching, “Super 8” is just that – super.