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Author Archives: Peneflix



Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as the solitary, mathematical genius Alan Turing is stratospheric; his every nuance, prophetic stuttering, gleaning gesture resonate with profound empathy for a man whose intellect changed the world, saved countless lives, accomplished the “unimaginable”. Based on Turing’s book “The Enigma” the film faithfully follows his scrupulous mission at Britain’s Bletchley Park (members of MI6 and Government Code ... Read More »


“Tomorrow” seemed like an eternity away, not just a day, watching this bastardized version of America’s irresistible, adorable “orphan”; sophomorically-written, plastically-performed “Annie” is the poorest adaptation of a musical to be visited upon the screen, ever. Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) is a dynamic, tremendously talented tyke, but she and her overabundance of saccharine “cuteness” cannot save this ... Read More »



Cecil B. DeMille’s  1956 “The Ten Commandments” still shimmers as one of the most iconic films of all time; technological wizardry, blatantly remarkable, set the bar for future filmmakers; it is a masterpiece enjoyed yearly by millions as a Passover/Easter traditional viewing experience; Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner are memorably cemented as the eponymous embodiment of “Moses” and “Ramses”. Christian ... Read More »



Woefully, for the first twenty minutes of this abused Bollywood theme (saviors vs villains) my impulse was to run, demand a refund, conserve my sanity, luxuriate in the freedom of three undetermined hours; reasoning aside, I remained. Ajay Devgan is the Eastern composite of: Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis,  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise; superheroes who have felled thousands of ... Read More »


In 1977 Robyn Davidson trekked 1,700  miles across Australian desserts; she lionized her pilgrimage in “Tracks” a heartfelt, blatantly honest account of her journey; the 2013/14 film starring Mia Wasikowska is prescient in depicting Davidson’s vicissitudes during her seven-month odyssey. Eighteen years later (1995) Cheryl Strayed, driven by grief and moral turpitude, straps on a hundred -pound backpack, the “Monster” ... Read More »


Frederick Wiseman’s masterpiece takes place over three hours in the hallowed halls, galleries of one of the world’s richest museums, ensconced on Trafalgar Square in London; the length of the documentary adds to its depth; we troll the galleries with visionary educators, blinders removed, intensely looking, intellectually devouring iconic works; works still thriving, long after their masters have perished; painstaking, ... Read More »


It is refreshingly restorative watching a man withering physically, soaring intellectually. Eddie Redmayne (“Les Miserables”), gives a tour de force performance as Stephen Hawking (“A Brief History of Time”) who quested to discover “one single unified equation that explains everything in the universe”; diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 1963 (twenty-one- years old); glum prognosis, two years to live; he ... Read More »



Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”) depicts a remarkable, somewhat fictionalized, tale of one man’s “red badge of courage”; in 2009 Maziar Bahari (“Then They Came for Me”) was arrested and incarcerated for filming the riots in Teheran, Iran after the election; Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal soars as “Bahari” an Iranian-born, London-based journalist working for Newsweek; Western confidence and ebullience ... Read More »



In the profoundly silent first moments of the film we watch a solitary wrestler in a balletic performance with an  anthropomorphic partner; Mark Schultz, Olympic Gold medalist, practices his quintessential wrestling techniques; Channing Tatum gives the greatest performance of his career as this lost, isolated athlete, living in the shadow of his older brother (17 months), Dave, also an Olympic ... Read More »


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Knowing that audiences were to be served only a portion of the third book in Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy; leaving partially satiated appetites, unanswered dilemmas, lacking the magnetism of previous “Game” movies; light on energy, heavy on angst; difficult to be invested in the half-baked. The commencement is ploddingly slow: “Katniss Evergreen” (abundantly talented Jennifer Lawrence) must psychologically accept ... Read More »

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