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Author Archives: Peneflix

DOWNTON ABBEY

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Incomprehensible that this was my initiation into the “Downton Abbey” syndrome; fortunately, my last foray into the old British elitist, titled microcosm; servants and their mean-spirited, acerbic, acidic characters dampen any expectations of ingenuity, even the King and Queen’s entourage reek of pompous, pitiful, pettiness; their doomed, dour contribution ruin, what should have been a rambunctious, halcyon romp into a ... Read More »

FAGARA (MANDARIN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director/writer Heiward Mak has taken an overwrought, stale scenario and revitalized it with a charming injection of kindness, wit and discovery; three young women from disparate backgrounds bond over the death of their father (poignantly perfect, huggable Kenny Bee), from three different women; Li Xiao, Megan Lai, Sammi Cheng are exquisitely cast as struggling ladies in contemporary China; working together ... Read More »

HUSTLERS

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On occasion you see a movie infused with decent acting but leaves one wondering why it was worthy of being made; “Hustlers” directed by Lorene Scarfaria, a true narrative, based on women who used their pneumatic, curvaceous forms to bilk Wall Street charlatans out of their supposed ill-gotten gains; alcohol, drugs administered during salacious, staged encounters, where victims are financially ... Read More »

THE GOLDFINCH

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Donna Tartt’s 2014’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel translates into an anemic, poorly edited, lackluster rendition of a scenario, that I found flawed and overwrought in reading, and excruciatingly tedious in viewing. Tartt’s gifted, descriptive prose is wasted;  Nicole Kidman, gives a stilted performance as “Mrs. Barbour”, the matron who housed “Theo Decker” (credible Oakes Fegley) after his mother was killed ... Read More »

FIDDLER: MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

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For as many times as I have seen “Fiddler of the Roof”, this documentary written and directed by Max Lewkowicz, added clarity, and depth that was truly miraculous; based on tales by Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916), protagonists Tevye and his daughters resonate with a contemporariness that vibrates with its universality. Since 1964, with its Broadway debut, “Fiddler” has exponentially enchanted audiences, ... Read More »

OFFICIAL SECRETS

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The Official Secrets Act: 1989, Act of Parliament, UK, removing the public interest defense, prohibiting disclosure of official documents, considered sensitive by the government; in 2003 Katharine Gun (imposing performance by Keira Knightley) working as a translator for GCHQ (NSA), after huge trepidation leaks a memo implying that the George W. Bush Administration (Tony Blair, complicit) was manufacturing egregious inadequacies; ... Read More »

AQUARELA

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Director Viktor Kossakovsky’s bludgeoning, bombastic documentary on man’s insignificance, is eighty-nine minutes of terrifying, unpredicted, uncontrolled, volcanic implosions; massive tons of icebergs, cascading regally into nothingness; from Russia’s Lake Baikal, where vehicles are swallowed greedily by thinly, lethally veiled lakes and rivers, to Venezuela’s Angel Falls and the bewitching hurricane “Irma” redesigning Miami’s thoroughfares; compelling, haunting cacophony of thunderous, belching ... Read More »

BENNETT’S WAR

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Pulverizing, thrilling from its commencement in war ravaged Afghanistan; Marshall Bennett (phenomenal, Michael Roark) a key in the U.S. Army Ranger Motorcycle Unit, injured in the line of duty, saving his partner; returning, disabled to his wife “Sophie” (lovely, feisty, Allison Paige) and father “Cal” (terrific Trace Adkins) and young son; dealing with his damaged foot, depleted financial status, realizing ... Read More »

READY OR NOT

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“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Out of desperation I visited this “horror” film solely to analyze Australian Samara Weaving’s performance as “Grace”, a nascent bride on her wedding day, forced to play a game of initiation into one of the weirdest, wealthiest filmic family’s ever invented; writers Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy along with directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler ... Read More »

BOLLYWOOD DOUBLE HEADER: BATLA HOUSE & MISSION MANGAL (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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What makes both of these films highly watchable is that they are based on actual events and more importantly, the iconic Bollywood stars who supported them with their “starship”. Unlike Hollywood, Bollywood actors have a huge say in the production, plot evolution and outcome of the storyline.  Hunky, handsome John Abraham, tackles the role of ACP Sanjay Kumar in the ... Read More »

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