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Author Archives: Peneflix

LABYRINTH OF LIES (GERMAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Imagine the perfect, idyllic childhood: all your needs and whims met by adoring parents; parents you strove to emulate, please, desiring only to meet or surpass their expectations; then as an adult discovering that they were complicit in the most horrific, catastrophic crime visited on humanity since its birth. This moral dilemma is addressed succinctly, passionately, without platitudes or obfuscations  ... Read More »

THE WALK (A MUST IN 3-D)

Watching this stunningly sensational film, directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Forest Gump”) and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as funambulist, Philippe Petit, who on August 6th, 1974 floated between the rooftops of New York City’s World Trade Center aka the “Twin Towers”, I was overwhelmed by a powerful, wrenching sense of nostalgia, not just for the loss of lives and the erasure of ... Read More »

EVEREST (A MUST IN 3-D)

On April 14, 2009 a friend and I flew in a twelve-seater airplane around Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain at 29,029 feet; a daunting experience being in the presence of one of nature’s most intimidating, unfriendly, hostile behemoths. The frigid colossus lacked man’s interference that day. Director Baltasar Kormakur’s magnificent, prescient “Everest” focuses on the catastrophic events of May, ... Read More »

THE MARTIAN

Director Ridley Scott and actor Matt Damon bless audiences with a film that has it all: breathtaking, mystical planet Mars; there is something positively spiritual about the otherworldly landscape; compelling, futuristic scientific strategies; actors trained (similar to Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”) to maneuver corridors of the gliding spaceship, “Hermes” (the Greek god of of the underworld,  a messenger); a script ... Read More »

99 HOMES

2008 was the year of global financial reckoning; banks imploded;  helium fizzled, at a stratospheric rate, from the real estate market; accountability has yet to be determined; those who believed their homes would always escalate in value were devastated when the reverse occurred; incapable of paying their mortgages, the banks foreclosed on their egregious loans and countless evictions ensued. The ... Read More »

PENEFLIX PICKS AND SKIPS: CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (OCTOBER 15-29TH)

After a gluttonous, film- frenzied week at the Cannes Film Festival (May 2015) I posted a mini synopsis of those movies I experienced; repeating again, hoping to inspire those umbilically attached to their couches, to valiantly severe the relationship and venture forth to the darkened, silent anonymity of AMC 21 Theatres. This year’s selection is especially stunning, with over 200 ... Read More »

PAWN SACRIFICE

There is an addictive fascination for the game a chess; a game demanding tremendous mental acuity, agility and as much stamina and strength as any contact sport. The subject has held the same “draw” for filmmakers and documentarians in recent years: “Queen to Play”, “Bobby Fischer Against the World”, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and 2015’s “Pawn Sacrifice” ; directed by ... Read More »

THE INTERN

“The Intern” is not a great film, it will not take up permanence residence in your movie archive, but there was something sweet, possibly too saccharine, about the scenario; the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway is palpable and testament to their inimitable skills as actors. Hathaway is workaholic, “Jules Ostin” dynamic founder of an online “fashionista” company; ... Read More »

COMING HOME (CHINESE: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

The Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-76) is a compelling anomaly, the fodder for a myriad of fictional and nonfictional accounts by scintillating writers: “Wild Swans”,Jung Chang; “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”, Dai Sijie; “A Leaf in the Bitter Wind: A Memoir”, Ting-Xing Ye; and the incomparable Pearl S. Buck’s “Three daughters of Madame Liang”.  Director Zhang Yimou’s film adaptation of ... Read More »

BLACK MASS

Johnny Depp is captivating, mesmerizing as satanic James “Whitey” Bulger, Boston’s quintessential crime and drug sovereign in the 1970’s-80’s; warped dictator of the “Winter Hill Gang”.  Director Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” is imbued with hefty performances from Joel Edgerton, as untoward FBI agent, John Connolly; Kevin Bacon, a righteous FBI agent, Charles McGuire; Benedict Cumberbatch, minimally used as Billy Bulger ... Read More »

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