Freeze Frame: “Lotawana” (Not rated), “Flee” (PG-13)

KC based filmmaker Trevor Hawkins delivers an impressive feature film debut with “Lotawana,” a movie that he wrote, produced, and directed, shot at Lake Lotawana, Missouri. Now available on video on demand, it’s a skillfully made character study about an aimless man, played by Tom Blubaugh, who lives off grid on a boat at the lake. He begins a relationship with an equally unmoored young woman, played by Nicola Collie, that radically alters his life. The plot takes some unexpected twists and turns in the final act. While this low-key story doesn’t quite fulfill its promise, “Lotawana” is nonetheless a smart and visually creative drama.


“Flee” is an interesting and involving hybrid film that’s on three Oscar short lists, as a documentary as an animated feature and as a foreign language film. It tells the harrowing true story of a gay man who endures many hardships as he escapes his home country of Afghanistan and becomes a refugee in Denmark. “Flee” is an effective and striking story told in a uniquely cinematic way.


Also opening this week, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and their fearless crew are back in “Jackass Forever,” the fifth feature film in the series featuring daredevils who attempt comically dangerous stunts. Yes, the cast members endured multiple hospitalizations all for your entertainment pleasure.


“Moonfall” is the latest spectacle from the “Master of Disaster”, filmmaker Roland Emmerich, best known for movies like “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” In “Moonfall,” Halle Berry stars as an astronaut who seeks to avert catastrophe when the moon is knocked out of orbit.


“The Wolf and the Lion” is a family film about cubs of different species raised together and forming a unique bond. And “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” is a controversial documentary about a timely subject.

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