Solutions (2017)

Derek is a man who can do big things for big people, and one night he meets with a politician who wants to become the next president. With a lot of money at hand, Derek begins fixing operations for Derek and investigating his rivals. The only catch this time is that Derek has his son Damon alongside him and is showing him the business of getting to know people, and not trusting anyone. Zachary Halfter’s “Solutions” is a fine movie that mixes “Roger Dodger” with “The Sting” in that it’s about a teacher imparting some tough lessons on an apprentice.

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Shadow (2018)

Nicholas Goodwin’s “Shadow” is a masterfully done drama about exploitation and an all too common look at how society perceives sexual standards among men and women. I wish “Shadow” had a longer time to dwell on the ideas it presents, as well as the event that goes unnoticed more times than not. Revell Carpenter is excellent as a young girl named Jane who is struggling with her feelings while in college.

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Ekaj (2015)

Cati Gonzalez’s “Ekaj” presents an interesting conundrum for me, because while they compare their film to “Midnight Cowboy” they also compare it to “Kids.” I for one loathe “Kids” while loving “Midnight Cowboy.” The latter is the tale of the American dream and our grasping for it that is often unattainable. Thankfully while “Ekaj” can sometimes have the guerilla filmmaking of “Kids,” it’s thankfully much more steeped in “Midnight Cowboy,” in the end, which is why I probably enjoyed it.

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