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Author Archives: Peneflix

ME BEFORE YOU

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There are minimal films where an actor is so remarkable that their performance transcends sentimentality: 2014’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, whose profound characterizations pulverized the tear ducts of the most frigid cynics, and now “Me Before You’’ (based on the novel by JoJo Moyes) director Thea Sharrock’s weepy, wonderful story of a beautiful, ... Read More »

WEINER (ON DEMAND & IN THEATRES)

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The creators of “The Good Wife” based their long-running television series (2009-2016) on women who stick by their politicians; husbands, caught and publically exposed, egregiously in violation of their marital vows. Anthony Weiner, a bombastic U.S. Representative (D. New York), resigned from Congress in 2011, after his midnight electronic trysts were unveiled. Directors Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman gift “Weiner” ... Read More »

MAGGIE’S PLAN

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You live long enough, regrets are part of the process; what in heaven’s name possessed me to buy this house, take this job,  accept this marriage proposal? Herein lies Maggie’s conundrum: she wants a child, not a husband, finds a “donor”, then surprisingly is cursed with a self-absorbed, pseudo-intellectual, totally ineffective in the “husband” department and the film mushily proceeds ... Read More »

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP

Love-Friendship

Oh, for the era when barbs were delivered deftly, charmingly, the victim unaware of being vivisected until exsanguination affirms that the arrow, skillfully aimed,  has hit its mark.  (Films starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy). Director Whit Stillman has masterfully interpreted Jane Austen’s novella “Lady Susan” and Kate Beckinsale splendidly gifts the lambent, conniving, shrewd widow with inimitable control over ... Read More »

THE LOBSTER

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At 2015’s Cannes Film Festival it was impossible, no matter the length of time spent in line, to get into this monumentally-hyped film by director Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth’); I viewed it today with six others in a cavernous theatre. It is one the bleakest, saddest, cruelest movies I have ever witnessed and I fervently wished I hadn’t. It takes place ... Read More »

HIGH-RISE (ON DEMAND AND IN THEATRES)

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Dystopian detritus.  Periodically you experience a film that is unquestionably idiotic; blatantly bludgeons credibility; leaving viewers wondering about the validity of such “muck”; a metaphor gone disastrously awry. Based on the 1975 book by J.G. Ballard, director Ben Wheatley casts mega talents Tom Hiddleston (“I Saw the Light”, “The Night Manager”) and Jeremy Irons (“A Man Who Knew Infinity”) as ... Read More »

A BIGGER SPLASH

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Revisiting the stunning 1969 “La Piscine” directed by Jacques Deray or 2003’s  “The Swimming Pool” directed by Francois Ozon and starring the inimitable Charlotte Rampling; this version unfortunately does not have the energy and potency of a “bigger splash”. Androgynously elegant Tilda Swinton plays “Marianne Lane” a rock star at the “Prince” level recuperating from throat surgery on the Sicilian ... Read More »

MONEY MONSTER

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Totally preposterous, jejune imitation of Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money”; Cramer,  Harvard-degreed, author, Hedge Fund manager has been the legitimate host of Mad Money for over ten years, in other words a man who knows what he is screaming about. George Clooney as “Lee Gates” the emcee of “Money Monster” is a glib imposter; his schtick, charlatan dance numbers, placid intelligence ... Read More »

VIVA (SPANISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Raw. Poignant. Perfectly, powerfully performed and executed in present-day Havana; “Jesus” and his miscreant father “Angel” live atop “the most beautiful slum in the world”. There is so much beauty in “Viva”, achingly personal and real, that investment in every character is cemented with the first introduction: “Jesus” (Hector Medina) survives by shaping the wigs of drag performers; he wistfully ... Read More »

THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY

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The decimal number system can be traced to the Indus Valley (3000 BCE); the concept of “zero”,  the ubiquitous ruler, all were conceived in India. Indians have a natural affinity for mathematics and science. Writer/director Matthew Brown delves into the remarkable story of gifted, unschooled mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) born in Tamil Nadu, India and brilliantly educated G.H. Hardy (1877-1947) ... Read More »

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