Waikiki

When we meet Kea (played by Danielle Zalopany), she’s working as a singer in a karaoke bar, living in her van and broke. Her ex shows up during her shift and is furious about her working in a place filled with sleazy patrons. Not long after, Kea drives off and makes a terrible mistake. In… Continue reading Waikiki

Cane Fire

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 1964: Rock and roll singer and actor Elvis Presley in a movie still with a woman on the set of 'Blue Hawaii' at Paramount Pictures in April of 1961 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“Cane Fire,” the new documentary by Anthony Banua- Simon (who directed, filmed and edited), starts with the search for the long out-of-print, “White Heat,” a 1934 drama, which was the first film shot on Kauai. Interviews with Banua-Simon’s elderly Uncle Henry and others within his circle become the starting point for this documentary. It becomes… Continue reading Cane Fire

Water Like Fire

When we meet Chanel (played by Taiana Tully), the lead of “Water Like Fire,” she is striving to get through each day and nurture an inner healing that needs to take place. Not only is Chanel carrying the weight of losing both her parents, her brother Caleb (played by Randall Galius Jr.) is a drug… Continue reading Water Like Fire

Let Him Go

Kevin Costner and Diane Lane star as George and Margaret Blackledge, an older couple who are coping with a sudden tragedy. When their eldest son dies, their widowed daughter-in-law remarries an abusive lout, who unexpectedly moves her and his young stepson out of state. Ma and Pa Blackledge, who have an extreme affection for their… Continue reading Let Him Go

Aloha Surf Hotel

PC: John Rodarte

At the start of Stefan C. Schaefer’s “Aloha Surf Hotel,” Tai Alonzo (played by stand-up comedian Augie Tulba) has hit rock bottom. Alonzo, a one-time surf legend-turned-college-student, has just lost his support from a university, is unemployed, has a daughter to support and a van with everything he owns being towed away. His one shot… Continue reading Aloha Surf Hotel

Antebellum

“Antebellum,” the racially charged horror film from writer/directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, opens with this quote from William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Then we see a traveling shot, done in one take, in which the camera covers the daily operations taking place on a vast slave plantation. We… Continue reading Antebellum

Bill and Ted Face the Music

Bill S. Preston, Esquire (played by Alex Winter) and Ted Theodore Logan (played by Keanu Reeves) are back. Twenty-five years later, two of the dumbest high school students from San Dimas, California, who became time travelers and saviors of mankind, are now middle aged. They have yet to create the song that was going to… Continue reading Bill and Ted Face the Music

The Haumana

The late Keo Woolford was a charming, extremely versatile actor who was best known for his role as Sgt. James Chang, which he played on the latest and extremely popular version of “Hawaii 5-O.” Woolford, who tragically died in 2016, at the age of 49 (due to a stroke), had an impressive stage career, left… Continue reading The Haumana

April Fool’s Day

This isn’t an April Fool’s Day gag but a genuine recommendation, especially if you’re “not into scary movies.” Die-hard horror fans, on the other hand, know that Fred Walton’s 1986 sleeper, which just turned 30 years old, is a real keeper. It’s also an essential genre entry, as it was decades ahead of its time… Continue reading April Fool’s Day

A Hidden Life

At the beginning of Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” Franz Yagerstatter (played by August Diehl) is returning home to his family. Living in Austria during the early days of Nazi recruitment and the war to come, Yagerstatter has been training as a soldier but finding his conscience at a crossroads and wanting nothing to do… Continue reading A Hidden Life