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Monthly Archives: January 2020

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Viet Nam, and a war (1955-1975) that artistically fractured the modern era, America, no longer the universal rescuer, harbinger of safety, annihilator of the nefarious, champion of the persecuted, oppressed, destroyer of autocratic, despotic regimes; art, lost its power to change mankind by its beauty, grace, the Nabis were dead, slaughtered by misplaced jingoism.  “The Last Full Measure”, directed and ... Read More »

THE GENTLEMEN

“Gentleness” is absent in director Guy Ritchie’s slick, schtick caper with veteran actors having the time of their lives: Matthew McConaughey, “Mickey Pearson” an American drug kingpin in London, a role he can perform on auto pilot, wants to sell his underground greenhouse to the highest bidder, erecting a conflict between “Dry Eye” (Henry Golding) and “Matthew” (Jeremy Strong); Michelle ... Read More »

THE SONG OF NAMES

Based on the novel by music critic Norman Lebrecht, directed by Francois Girard “The Song of Names” lacks the heft of substantiation needed for distinction, prominence in the filmic realm; three sets of actors imbue protagonists “Dovidl” (Polish violin prodigy) and “Martin” (son of an impresario), with somber, soulful dignity; an unlikely bonding precipitated by WWII; Luke Doyle, (Dovidl, 9-13) ... Read More »

LES MISERABLES (FRENCH:ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

“There is more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher”; Victor Hugo “Les Misérables”, 1862. This gutsy, gritty slice of realism by writer/director Ladj Ly bleeds with the intensity, brutality of the Paris projects; a trio of politically correct police officers, daily patrol the claustrophobic, cacophonous streets of iniquities; cops and budding felons entwined; boundaries, ... Read More »

DOLIITTLE (DUMB & DEFECTIVE)

“Dr. Dolittle” and his shenanigans have never appealed to me; this is my first exposure to the franchise of a character capable of communicating with animals, a clever premise that goes horribly awry; directed by Stephen Gagan, starring Robert Downey Jr. (why I invested the time); the film is sluggish, poorly edited, and sinfully boring; Downey’s undefined accent varies throughout ... Read More »

PENEFLIX PREDICTIONS: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS

Peneflix is taking a hiatus from a competitive contest this year; not reneging on listing my “best” picks; ignoring the overlooked, concentrating on the testosterone-driven, “hueless” candidates; no “will/should”, just my feverish, instinctive selections:   BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Brad Pitt, “ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD”  *PENEFLIX PICK* Tom Hanks, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Anthony Hopkins, THE TWO POPES Al ... Read More »

CHHAPAAK (SPLASH) HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Director Meghna Gulzar and actor/producer Deepika Padukone bring to the screen the insidiously wicked, immoral, degenerate acid attacks exponentially occurring throughout contemporary India; perpetrated by those ignored, rejected, shunned by women for a myriad of reasons; these crimes are minimally prosecuted, and the penal system, and its forgiving incarceration is a shameful blot on India’s code of conduct/justice. Exquisitely beautiful ... Read More »

JUST MERCY

Nelson Mandela states that “the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”; Bryan Stevenson (impeccably depicted by Michael B. Jordan) a Harvard-educated lawyer is the paradigm of courageous resolve, overturning insurmountable odds, supplying justice, a voice, for death row inmates: disenfranchised, marginalized, poorly defended, fraudulently incriminated and cast off by a ... Read More »

77TH GOLDEN GLOBES, MINIMIZED

Listening to Ricky Gervais, who for the most part behaved himself, and the myriad of acceptances from winners and honorees, one comment resonated long after the glamorous conclusion; Patricia Arquette (winner of Supporting Actress in a miniseries) stated that this night will not be remembered; the profundity of these few words struck a realistic, valid cord: Australia, burning; women empowerment, ... Read More »

IP MAN 4: THE FINALE (CHINESE CANTONESE, ENGLISH: SUBTITLES IN ALL LANGUAGES)

During this ponderous hiatus, waiting for the winners of the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, I periodically step out of my comfort zone, imbibing in genres I know little about and have minimal interest in; martial arts falls into this category; even though a neophyte, I found “Ip Man 4: The Finale” dimensionless, pejorative, sophomorically written but plausibly entertaining in ... Read More »

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