Rebekah Johnson

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Liberty Heights Review


Good
Liberty Heights is a coming of age story, a comedic drama about two brothers growing up Jewish in Baltimore in the mid-1950's. Against the tumultuous backdrop of McCarthyism and racial integration, Van (Adrien Brody) and Ben (Ben Foster) Kurzman, together with their parents, Nate (Joe Mantegna) and Ada (Bebe Neuwirth) face the daily trials of social, religious and racial discrimination.

Those familiar with Barry Levinson's other works, such as Diner and Tin Men, may find Liberty Heights disappointing. This picture strives to project a social consciousness but falls tragically short of the mark set in 1990 by Levinson's Academy Award-nominated Avalon. The powerful subject matter Liberty Heights attempts to address is never fully pursued, quickly falling away behind a glut of gimmicky coming-of-age scenes lacking both in sincerity and originality. At times the characters are so stereotypical, they border on offensive.

Continue reading: Liberty Heights Review

Latter Days Review


OK
It's not Angels in America, but Latter Days takes a stab at covering some of the same ground, namely what happens when a closet-case Mormon finally decides to let his freak flag fly and suffers the confusion and uncertainty (not to mention the damnation) that inevitably follows.

Call it fate (or call it the grinding gears of C. Jay Cox's screenplay) that plops a quartet of young Mormon missionaries including the tormented Aaron (Steve Sandvoss) into the LA apartment complex where shallow West Hollywood superstud and overall gay Adonis Christian (Wesley A. Ramsey) just happens to live across the way. Christian, his roommate Julie (Rebekah Johnson), and the other waiters at the restaurant where they work are highly amused by these uptight guys in white shirts and ties who seem to have landed from another planet. A bet is quickly made (grind, grind goes the screenplay): If Christian can bed a Mormon and snag his "sacred underwear," he'll win $50. It shouldn't be tough for a sexually magnetic guy who seems to have left a trail of satisfied one-night-stands from Santa Monica to San Bernardino.

Continue reading: Latter Days Review

Liberty Heights Review


OK

A comical and retrospective memoir of segregation and discrimination in America's golden age of denial, "Liberty Heights" is director Barry Levinson's fourth movie built around his memories of Baltimore in the 1950s and '60s.

Told from the perspective of Ben Kurtzman (Ben Foster), the younger of two brothers living in an almost exclusively Jewish enclave of the city, the foundation for Levinson's story is the brothers' experimentation with the era's cultural polarization.

Ben's school has just been desegregated and he befriends a pretty new black student named Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson), something that doesn't sit well with either kid's folks.

Continue reading: Liberty Heights Review

Rebekah Johnson

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Rebekah Johnson Movies

Liberty Heights Movie Review

Liberty Heights Movie Review

Liberty Heights is a coming of age story, a comedic drama about two brothers growing...

Latter Days Movie Review

Latter Days Movie Review

It's not Angels in America, but Latter Days takes a stab at covering some of...

Liberty Heights Movie Review

Liberty Heights Movie Review

A comical and retrospective memoir of segregation and discrimination in America's golden age of denial,...

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