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Monthly Archives: December 2016


Based on the book by Saroo (Lion) Brierley, “A Long Way Home”, directed by Garth Davis is initially commanding, compelling in telling the true tale of a 5-year-old boy, Saroo, lost in India, a precocious derelict, scrounging, living in the alleys and train stations with Calcutta’s hordes of helpless, homeless, nameless. I have seen first-hand, children begging, lying in offal, ... Read More »


Based on short stories by Maile Meloy, directed by Kelly Reichardt “Certain Women” left me as unsatisfied and disappointed as Jell-O after surgery. Four women “settlers” in the northwest, for the most part they are intelligent: “Laura” (Laura Dern) a frustrated lawyer, having an affair, and straddled with a disillusioned, dangerous client, “Fuller”,(riveting Jared Harris); “Gina”, Michelle Williams, a builder, ... Read More »


The Bollywood oeuvre has gifted audiences some mighty movies revolving around real and fictional athletes: “Lagaan”, “Bhaag Milka Bhagg”, “M. S. Dhoni: the Untold Story”, “Chad De! India”, “Sultan”; fascinating studies of teams and individuals who rise from the ashes of obscurity to renown. “Dangal” directed by Nitesh Tiwari, produced and starring Bollywood’s most innovative, imaginative “Khan” focuses on the ... Read More »


Pulverizing performances, astounding direction and the inimitable genius of playwright August Wilson (1945-2005) make “Fences” one of the finest films, not only of the year, ever made.  From commencement to conclusion it pulsates with magical realism and insight; delves into the black man’s aesthetic, dissects with formidable honesty the history of a young fourteen-year-old boy, born in 1903; illiterate, abandons ... Read More »


Never having seen the video game (nor will, after wallowing in bewilderment for two hours) I was intrigued because historically The Knight Templers and The Assassins were organizations that were informed and grew exponentially around the Crusades (1095-1291); a war for the Holy Land fought by Christians and Muslims; The Knight Templers led by French nobleman Hughes de Payens, consisted ... Read More »


Director Damien Chazelle’s contemporary musical, with an archival reference to the past, proves on its second viewing, more deliciously palatable than the first; “Mia” and “Sebastian” are pungently poignant, naïve, fanciful starry-eyed lovers; their youthful, optimistic dreams may be realized; they have yet to be stunted by life’s wrenches; they dance, sing, captivating one’s sensitivities. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ... Read More »


Jessica Chastain’s commanding and compelling performance as a cutthroat, ruthless, “take no prisoners” lobbyist is astoundingly admirable; with “Zorro’s” deftness, she lunges, parries with alarming precision, eliminating harbingers of irrelevancy with nary a scratch;  “Miss Sloane’s” mantra is to win at any cost, always being a move ahead, anticipating her adversary’s strategy, never revealing her trump card; a master, genius ... Read More »


Natalie Portman is eerily exhilarating as former first lady Jackie Kennedy (1929-1994) in the aftermath of the horrific, surreal days after President John F. Kennedy’s (1917) assassination in 1963; director Pablo Larrain’s intense, compelling biopic will profoundly resonate with those who remember this nadir in American history and prove immensely educational for those who did not experience first hand, the ... Read More »


Flirting with sensationalism, reminiscent of archival WWII movies (“Casablanca”, “From Here to Eternity”), a blend of politics, mystery and romance, “Allied” (Directed by Robert Zemeckis) is, in the words of A.O. Scott “elegant escapism”; from its luminous commencement, with the parachuting of Royal Air Force intelligence officer “Max”, (Brad Pitt) on the undulating dunes of Nazi-occupied French Morocco, 1942; part ... Read More »


Director Aleksey Mizgirev’s “The Duelist” is a mesmerizing tale revolving around the art of “duelism” a knee-jerk, punitive resolution to a legitimate or illegitimate offence; ironically, a “sport” that required noble roots; poverty-stricken sods were not allowed the expediency of dispatching, in moments, one’s foe. You may hire a titled substitute if you are not inclined to precipitously savor the ... Read More »

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