Tag: Documentary

Image courtesy of CNN Films.

* ½ (out of 4)

It’s hard to overstate just how big an impact Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had on American society. Back in the ’70s, the now-85-year-old Supreme Court justice already earned a claim to fame with her advocacy in landmark cases like Frontiero v. Richardson. When she arrived at the high court in the ’90s, she only further cemented her place in history with her opinions in cases like U.S. v. Virginia. And now, in the sunset of her life, Ginsburg has also become the most unlikely of pop culture icons, a “notorious” celebrity who’s referenced just as often in Hollywood blockbusters as in law reviews.

Ginsburg’s story, in short, is the kind that practically begs to be recounted, dissected, and interpreted on the silver screen. Unfortunately, however, Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s new documentary RBG proves woefully ill-equipped for the task.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Reviews - DVD

Image courtesy of Gunpowder & Sky.

(Note: This review was originally published here.)

** (out of 4)

Jake Bickelhaupt, the Chicago-based chef who’s the subject of the new documentary 42 Grams, has a life story that ought to be inspiring. He first discovered his passion for cooking while growing up with his divorced mother in a Wisconsin trailer home. Afterwards, he spent several years working for some of Chicago’s best chefs (including Charlie Trotter, Michael Carlson, and Grant Achatz), but he eventually quit so he could start an “underground” restaurant in his own apartment. In 2014, he and his then-wife (Alexa Welsh) decided to open an actual restaurant, 42 Grams, in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood – and in a feat few restaurants have ever matched, it earned two Michelin stars a mere 10 months after its inauguration.

Unfortunately, in the hands of director Jack C. Newell, the remarkable story of Bickelhaupt’s rise proves distinctly underwhelming.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals