Elevate Difference

Reviews by Ebony Edwards-Ellis

Ebony Edwards-Ellis

Ebony Edwards-Ellis has been contributing to Elevate Difference since August, 2007. An aspiring screenwriter living in New York City, Ebony has written over twenty film reviews for ED. She is currently working on her first screenplay as she enjoys a hiatus from Brooklyn College Film School. Ebony’s blog, Random Rants Of A Nerdy Black Chick went live in August, 2010. Ebony, who has been active with the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, also manages a feral cat colony in Brooklyn.

Partir (Leaving)

David McKenzie’s Asylum is a flawed but breathtakingly compelling portrait of violent sexual obsession, deception, and mental illness. Unremittingly dark, this film also presents us with a woman who rails against the constraints placed on women in 1950s middle class Britain. Stella (Natasha Richardson) is a bored housewife who makes her home on the grounds of a mental hospital outside London.

Jack Goes Boating

I had no idea that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had such a devoted fan base. Yeah, he won Oscars for his work in Capote and Doubt and he did liven up overrated stinkers like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Magnolia. Still, I was shocked by how many people streamed into the theatre to see his directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating. Nearly all the chairs in the 600-seat space were filled.

A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop

I walked out of the screening of A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop feeling vaguely dissatisfied. While the official selection of the 2010 Berlin Film Festival bills itself as a “black comedy thriller [which serves] as an expose of how intense desires can consume humanity,” it neither thrills nor tickles the funny bone.

Modus Operandi

My younger sisters and I used to tune into Lifetime to laugh at the formulaic (read: bad) movies that were regularly broadcast on that network. While I was watching Modus Operandi, a “comical homage to low budget exploitation-style films of the 1970’s,” I kept wishing my sisters were there with me. We would have been rolling in the aisles. I found the plot to be difficult to follow so I going to quote directly from the synopsis that I received at the screening: “Two briefcases with mysterious contents are stolen from Presidential candidate Squire Parks (Michael Sottile)...


Inspired by sports movies like Rudy and The Karate Kid, and presenting smatterings of others like Lucas and Hoosiers, the John Cena vehicle, Legendary is the WWE’s ninth foray into the movie making business. The movie centers on Cal Chetley (Devon Graye), a scrawny fifteen-year-old geek who earns pocket money by farming catfish. He’s sweet-natured, and enjoys a tight bond with his mother (Patricia Clarkson).

Soul Kitchen

Soul Kitchen is a lot like cotton candy—sweet but, ultimately, not very satisfying. Like many festival favorites, the plot of this independent German film revolves around a cast of lovably quirky characters who get themselves eye-deep into trouble. Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos), a German of Greek descent, has a lot of stuff on his plate. He’s the proprietor of Soul Kitchen, a struggling eatery in a rundown section of Hamburg. The tax people, led by Frau Schuster (Catrin Striebeck), are knocking at his door.

Happiness Runs

I sat through this eighty-eight minute monstrosity two and half times. And the question that I’m still asking myself is, “What the fuck?” Set sometimes during the eighties, Happiness Runs is the semi-autobiographical story of its tyro director. Happiness Runs centers on Victor (Mark L.

For My Father

Centering on the chaste love affair between a Palestinian and an Israeli, For My Father offers the viewer a Middle Eastern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet while trying to spell out the complexities of post-intifada Israel. The film opens up on Tarek (Shredi Jabarin), a Palestinian who has decided to act as suicide bomber.


After running through a gauntlet of elevators and security guards at the Sony Tower in midtown Manhattan, I entered a small screening room to see the French film Micmacs.


A retread of Anne Fontaine’s 2003 film, Nathalie, I walked out of the theater feeling rather disappointed with Chloe. Julianne Moore plays Catherine Stewart, a successful gynecologist who is married to a college professor named David (Liam Neeson).

Our Family Wedding

Welcome to the new post-racial America, where at long last African Americans and Latinos can star together in a major studio movie every bit as crappy as anything White people have ever done. Our Family Wedding is...

Every F---ing Day of My Life

Stark, appalling, and heartbreaking are all words that came to mind when I viewed Every F---ing Day of My Life. Every F---king Day of My Life depicts a woman’s last four days of freedom before being sentenced to ten years in prison for murdering her brutally abusive husband.

The Jazz Baroness

It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set. - William Somerset Maugham The preceding quote could very well be used to describe the Baroness Pannonica ("Nica") Rothschild de Koenigswarter’s attitude toward her decidedly eccentric lifestyle. The Baroness is the subject of The Jazz Baroness, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO2.

Youth Knows No Pain

Four viewings of Mitch McCabe’s documentary, Youth Knows No Pain, have me scratching my head. I am puzzled over exactly what McCabe was attempting to say with this film. Is Youth Knows No Pain a love letter to McCabe’s deceased plastic surgeon father or an obsession with mortality? Is this is a commentary on the consumerism and increasing narcissism of Western society? How about a meditation on how youth obsessed Americans are? An exploration of how ageism and sexism conflate to render women of a certain age invisible?

District 9

In 1982 an alien spacecraft descends into the Earth’s stratosphere and hovers for months over Johannesburg, South Africa. Humans, alternately fearing that the aliens are hostile and hoping that they are harbingers of technological advances, board the ship. They are disappointed to discover that the aliens are neither, being nothing more than incredibly ill and malnourished refugees from a distant planet. Human governments around the world provide aid for the aliens while they bicker over what to do with them.

Terminator Salvation

The story behind Christian Bale’s casting in the latest installment of the Terminator franchise is as follows. Director McG approached Bale to play the role of Marcus (the role that eventually went to up-and-coming Aussie actor Sam Worthington).

I Love You, Man / Duplicity

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the theater and saw two movies in one day. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time that I was even able to afford that; I live in Manhattan, land of the thirteen dollar movie ticket. However, there were two recently released flicks that I was absolutely dying to see.

Every Little Step

Despite the fact that I have lived in Manhattan for over six years, I have never once gone to a Broadway show. In fact, I make it a point to keep away from the theater district, period. I don’t much care for the stylized (read: exaggerated) performance style that theater actors have to adopt in order to make themselves seen and heard from the nosebleed seats.

He’s Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You wasn’t a terrible movie. Despite its manipulative moments, this film did manage to skip many of the eye roll-inducing rom-com conventions. This movie just wasn’t that romantic or particularly funny.

Common Reaction

Long story short, I was hanging around in the student center at school where a flat screen television soundlessly flashed images of MTVu. Since I had largely stopped watching MTV more than a decade ago, I was pretty much ignoring it. That is, until I saw a grainy black and white cartoon of an obviously lovesick man trailing a raven-haired beauty down the street. Intrigued, I resolved to listen to the song at home and made note of the band's name—Uh Huh Her. I had never heard of the group before, and Los Angeles-based Uh Huh Her is a long way off from household name status.

Intimacy Kit

I LOVED THIS!!! But before I start raving about how great this product is, let me get a few perfunctory criticisms out of the way: The non-phallic (and, hence, non-threatening) vibrator should come with AAA batteries... or the package should sport verbiage about how batteries are required. The cardboard insert did not hold the pleasantly fruit-scented products in place. When I opened the box, I found all of the bottles had slid out of their respective places and were clustered into a messy jumble in right-hand corner of the box. 3.

That Tender Touch

I once read that it was possible to become mesmerized by bad acting. I never realized how true that was until I sat through Russel Vincent’s 1969 “dykesploitation” classic, That Tender Touch. Actually “bad acting” is too strong a term. “Campy” and “overblown” are much more accurate. The story starts with fresh-faced Terry (Sue Bernard) getting date raped.