Robin Holabird

Commentator, Robin Holabird's Film Review

Robin Holabird reviews movies for KUNR. A former radio news reporter, Robin appreciates that the KUNR format explores stories in depth. Robin's reviews have aired on KUNR for more than 30 years. During that time, she has had a high profile in the Nevada film community. She worked as a Nevada Film Commissioner for more than 20 years, helping producers use state locations and resources for such projects as "Love Ranch," "C.S.I.," "Sister Act," and hundreds more. She is a founder and first president of the Reno Film Festival and active in other cultural groups like Sierra Arts. When not hanging out in darkened movie theaters, Robin is an outdoor enthusiast who has run the Boston Marathon six times.

Movie poster for the Broken Hearts Gallery. Two people sitting on a couch and looking at each other.
Sony Pictures

The chance to see Geraldine Viswanathan in three new projects makes it a great season for her. “Who?” you might ask. The actress defies old-fashioned movie star traits, yet she headlines the theatrical release of The Broken Hearts Gallery and boasts the title role in Hala, a film streaming on Apple Plus. Throw in a key part for HBO’s Bad Education with an Emmy-nominated Hugh Jackman, and Viswanathan not only runs a pace worthy of any certified star, but she also shines in all her works.

A movie poster for the film 'Tenet'
Warner Brothers

When you watch a movie by writer-director Christopher Nolan, you find either time travel, explosions, or Michael Caine. Nolan provides all three in his newest release called “Tenet.”

Long-haired man and woman in hijab look at each other while sitting in pews
Izaak Todd / Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Full of classic Shakespeare plotting elements, an updated version of “Measure for Measure” moves smoothly into modern-day Australia.

Tesla movie poster. A man's back is facing the camera. He is looking over his shoulder toward the camera.
IFC Films

Northern Nevadans know Tesla as the name of a big job provider in the region, but film director Michael Almereyda sees something different. Here's KUNR's Robin Holabird with a review on the new biopic on Nikola Tesla.

An astronaut next to a smoking piece of futuristic technology
Courtesy of IFC Films

In its own warped way, COVID-19 adds extra resonance to horror films, demonstrated by two new releases that deal with types of fear.

Black Is King movie poster. Typography of the movie name against a black background.
The Walt Disney Company / Wikipedia Commons

The Disney+ channel released two in-depth projects demonstrating the evolution of the company’s musical endeavors.

The Old Guard challenges traditional action movie conceits by putting women front and center as director and stars. Sure, D.C.’s Wonder Woman already did that—but with colorful, form fitting costumes designed to please comic book fanboys.  While The Old Guard’s graphic novel source bears similarities to comics, the team dresses in practical army gear.

Covid-19 failed to stop Reno’s annual movie festival, despite the closing of traditional venues. Joining with Artown for several free presentations, Reno’s Cordillera Festival put its “summer shorts” lineup at the West Wind El Rancho Drive-in. I watched all seven entries and love the quality, ingenuity, and insights the dedicated filmmakers create.

The movie Rag Doll gets its punch from a twist on the sports film genre by focusing on a young woman whose fight to survive takes her into mixed martial arts. 

Covid Cinematic alternatives flourish this month in Reno during Artown.

Disney Plus puts “The Room Where It Happens” in homes for streaming a version of the play Hamilton, once bound for movie theaters. Covid-19 changed those cinematic plans, moving the project’s release up to the thoroughly appropriate July Fourth weekend. 

Both the grim and bright sides of humanity show up in the documentary Runner about one of Sudan’s Lost Boys war victims. 

With a nod to the old Twilight Zone series, a new movie called The Vast of
Night takes viewers back to the nineteen-fifties through a television screen
leading to Paradox Theater and a set of strange events. 

Two projects originally slated for theaters probably get better play with their recent Covid induced straight-to-streaming release rather than fighting it out with giant projects in big movie houses.

In the tradition of Clueless and The Easy A, the new Netflix release called The Half of It transfers a classic piece of literature to a high school setting while maintaining the source material’s ultimate message. 

With a track record that includes Glee, American Horror Story, and Feud, Ryan Murphy puts his own fantasy spin on movie history in his project called Hollywood. Setting the story in nineteen forty-eight, Murphy and his co-creators imagine a world where an openly gay Rock Hudson finds work, while non-whites like Anna Mae Wong manage to win Oscars.

People continue finding flexible and creative movie watching methods as Covid-Nineteen restrictions continue. For instance, Reno’s science film festival called Sci-on goes completely online next Monday rather than use its usual base at the National Automobile Museum.

Besides catching up on all those streaming options you meant to watch for the past three or four years, the Covid-19 pandemic provides opportunities to start your movie making career. 

Reaptown

Apr 17, 2020

A look at a horror film shot in Ely, Nevada.

Tiger King

Apr 10, 2020

The new Netflix documentary.

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