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Monthly Archives: November 2019


Without the quilt of a quisling, or Judas Iscariot, I imbibed for three and a half hours in Martin Scorsese’s epic narrative of mob culture, in the comforting confines of my home; instead of feeling cheated of the darkened theatre, I felt a surprising intimacy with the characters; up close and personal, aided by digital age-erasure technology, the major protagonists ... Read More »


“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” This quote by Socrates speaks to the avaricious heirs of deceased billionaire “Harlan Thrombey” (marvelous, aplomb depiction by Christopher Plummer); mystery writer of shared legacy with Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett; a questionable suicide demands the attention of ... Read More »


Shia LeBeouf has accomplished the unfathomable, by cloning his father, in one of the most astounding performances on today’s screen; searing, illuminating pain informs his characterization of “James Lort” a washed-up rodeo clown, recovering alcoholic, living off the largess of his twelve-year-old son, “Otis” (remarkable, Noah Jupe, “Ford vs Ferrari”) a juvenile movie star; LeBeouf, facing his own demons, diagnosed ... Read More »


A nuclear family living an upwardly mobile lifestyle on a bucolic tree-lined street, in sanctified suburbia: teenagers “Tyler” (Kelvin Harrison, Jr. “Luce”)  and “Emily” (Taylor Russell) lovingly, firmly trapped under the tutelage of their father, “Ronald” (Sterling K. Brown); stepmother “Catherine” (Renee Elise Goldsberry), a physician, softens the dictates of inexorable Ronald; Tyler is a gifted, competitive wrestler, hiding his ... Read More »


Aching in its exquisiteness, director/writer Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is paralyzing with its candor, straightforwardness, dignity, veracity; a couple who’ve lost their tenuous hold on togetherness, the “ties that bind”, now shackle; love’s elasticity threadbare, worn, irreparable. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, give Academy Award performances as the broken couple, “Charlie” and “Nicole”; he is a wunderkind stage play director, ... Read More »


Director James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) gratuitously, spectacularly blesses audiences with a film designed to please, placate, entertain, not just racing enthusiasts, but all film devotees. Matt Damen and Christian Bale dominate the screen (reminiscent of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) imbuing their friendship with simple, sublime sincerity; integrity rarely demonstrated. Bale is ... Read More »


A preposterous premise, flirting with the absurd, leaves one groaning with its inanity; septuagenarian “Betty” (Helen Mirren) and octogenarian “Roy” (Ian McKellen) meet on a dating site (lunacy commences); coy clichés, saturated with gullibility, daffy naiveté; Betty, a supposed Oxford scholar, hoodwinked into combining her fortune with Roy’s; from the get- go, we are cognizant that Roy is the optimum ... Read More »


Why did this movie, with one of the poorest, pathetic scripts ever birthed, soar to box office heights its first weekend? Because folks wanted pure, jingoism; director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”, “White House Down”), lionized the heroic tactics of the U.S. Navy on June 4-7, 1942, defeating the Japanese at the Battle of Midway; commencing with the December 7, 1941 attack ... Read More »


2019’s Asian films have held Western audiences enthralled: “Parasite”, “My People, My Country”, “Gully Boy”. “Better Days”, is a stunner, based on reality, director Derek Tsang, despite controversy, is breaking records, surpassing 190 million USD; focusing on the insidious, universal epidemic of bullying; “Chen Nian” (brilliant, Zhou Dongyu), a teenager struggling with a debt-ridden mother, being taunted by her contemporaries ... Read More »


Director/writer Robert Eggers emulates predecessors Orson Wells and William Wyler with his black and white creation, “The Lighthouse”; a tale of two freakish outliers that will fiendishly haunt you long after their filmic exit; Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, lighthouse keepers, “Tom” and  “Ephraim”;  Shakespearean in pathos, hubris and creepy comparisons to “Captain Ahab”; Tom (Dafoe at his pinnacle) is ... Read More »

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