Movies: Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, Vox Lux, Free Solo

Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

In these insane days of national politics, this just released documentary film exposes the rise and fall of Republican Party booster Roger Ailes and his management of the Fox News organization.

Be warned depending on your political perspective, this film about unchecked power and ambition may be quite difficult to watch and absorb.  The facts speak for themselves and they are cringe worthy.

The film chronicles Ailes history from Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to Trump and exposes the underbelly of politics of sexual misconduct at Fox News in 2016.  There is a lot to absorb, much of it revolting, disgusting and ultimately disturbing.

The film is not rated.  It is listed as a Documentary with a run time of 107 minutes.


Vox Lux

This is an exceptional late release film with a timely, relevant message about pop culture and its place in the this century.  It begins in 1999 but takes a fast track forward to 2017.  That makes parts of the story a bit of a challenge for the viewer.

The cast is A-List:  Natalie Portman is amazing as Celeste.  Raffey Cassidy plays two roles, one a young Celeste and later her daughter Albertine.  Judy Law is the band manager, Willem Dafoe is the voice of the narrator and Jennifer Ehle plays the publicist.  Another 50 actors round out the cast.

The story spans a number of topics, including stardom, tragedy, loss of innocence, celebrity and fame.  It’s rated R for language, some strong violence and drug content.  It is not suitable for younger children.  The run time is 112 minutes.

We predict several award nominations from one or more award venues.


Free Solo

We did not know what “Free Solo” was when we first heard about this film by National Geographic Documentary Films.  It’s the story about rock climber Alex Honnold and the first solo climb of Yosemite National Parks’s El Capitan’s  3,000 foot vertical face.  ‘First solo’ means no ropes or equipment, just pure physical skills.

It is filmed by the award winning filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and the world renowned photographer Jimmy Chin.  The scenes of the mountain from the base up or the top down are breathtaking, stunning and mind numbing at the same time.

The cast is tiny.  Alex Honnold is the focus of the film.  Sanni Candless is his girlfriend.  Jimmy Chin is the photographer and Tommy Caldwell is a fellow climber.

While the location is stunning, it’s the pure energy, skills and experience of Alex that makes this feat possible.  The result is a jaw dropping, nerve shattering movie going experience.

Do not miss this ground breaking film.  It is sure to be nominated for numerous awards.

It is rated PG-13 for brief strong language.  It’s genre is Documentary with a run time of 1 hour, 40 minutes.


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