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Author Archives: Peneflix

ANTHROPOID

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Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942), aka the “Butcher of Prague”, architect of Hitler’s Final Solution was assassinated by Czech resistance fighters on June 4th, 1942. Director Sean Ellis personifies the seven courageous parachutists who willingly sacrificed their lives to fulfill their ambitious, bleak mission. Focusing on Jozef Gabcik (intensely, efficaciously portrayed by Cillian Murphy: “Breakfast on Pluto”, “Wind that Shakes the Barley”) ... Read More »

EQUITY

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Wall Street has its share of female financiers, brokers, bankers; director Meera Menon focuses on their ambitions, struggles to best their testosterone-infused competitors; “Equity” is a reality check and a viable one. Anna Gunn as tough, investment banker “Naomi Bishop”, nails the psyche of someone who suffers no nonsense; her meager background was the fodder for success; she has the ... Read More »

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS

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Notwithstanding, Meryl Streep’s iconic acting acuity and director Stephen Frears good intentions the film is lackluster and sparkless compared to France’s  “Marguerite” (with the incomparable Catherine Frot); Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) was a music patron, completely tone deaf,  delusional in fancying  herself an opera diva; because of her wealth, generosity and protective partner, many suffered through her screeching interpretations of ... Read More »

INDIGNATION

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My entire Philip Roth (1933) literary lexicon has been informed by a perpetual pull between spheres of ecstasy and disgust. “Portnoy’s Complaint”, “American Pastoral”, “The Human Stain”, are classics that exponentially astound with each reading; “Sabbath’s Theatre” was profoundly revolting from its commencement and is the only book I have ever returned, unfinished. Roth has been fearless in his analytical ... Read More »

JASON BOURNE

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Does anyone care if the script is only five pages in its entirety? Or the cost of carnage, runs into the tens of millions? Unequivocally, no. He’s back….Robert Ludlum’s (1927-2001) over-the-top, charismatic, iconic  “megasaver”…..”Jason Bourne”. Matt Damon imbues him with the proper attributes we crave in our action heroes: sensitivity, Herculean strength and the inscrutable intelligence required to validate his ... Read More »

CIEN ANOS de PERDON (TO STEAL FROM A THIEF) SPANISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

ICULT  película CIEN AÑOS DE PERDON

Here is the perfect parcel for lovers of “heist” films ( “The Italian Job”, “Oceans 11”, etc. “The Bank Job”); director Daniel Calparsoro serves  a Spanish/Argentine thriller that guarantees total satisfaction; I did not want it to end! Commencing on a tsunami- drenched day in Valencia, Spain, a frazzled,  frustrated bank manager (stunning Patricia Vico) realizes her position is in ... Read More »

LIGHTS OUT

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Admittedly there’s always been the lure, titillation of the horror genre; would need therapeutic analysis, but recognize the myriad of company I’d have sharing the “couch”, and since it does nothing to cramp my daily duties, there’s no sense in “reasoning why”. Plus “Lights Out” is really good; insightfully written, directed and performed; never laughable, audiences are silently cemented to ... Read More »

CAFE SOCIETY

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The benign title references Woody Allen’s forty-seventh film; bereft of new material, Allen is comfortable cocooned in aged memories; wallowing in the vapid company of Hollywood’s elite or New York’s gangster milieu,  predictability ensues; it’s 1936 and Allen’s doppelganger, in the guise of Jesse Eisenberg (mimics to perfection Allen’s inimitable cadence and posture), as “Bobby Dorfman”, leaves his stereotypical Jewish ... Read More »

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR

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Paris. Yemen. Tunisia. Turkey. Paris. California. Brussels. Orlando. Nice.  The list is interminable of those whose mission is to indiscriminately destroy the “other”; having ignored the first two “Purge” films I “elected” to see what the hoopla was all about. The premise is egregiously repulsive: once a year, from midnight to dawn anarchy reigns, accountability is non existent; rape, murder, bombings ... Read More »

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

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(l to r) Nicholas Hamilton stars as Rellian, Annalise Basso as Vespyr, Samantha Isler as Kielyr, George MacKay as Bo, and Viggo Mortensen as their dad Ben in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.
Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street

Viggo Mortensen has practiced incredible discretion when selecting his filmic personages, from “Lord of the Rings”, “History of Violence”, “The Road”, iconic “Eastern Promises”; his characters are strong, strange and silent, marinated in intelligence, often inscrutable, always fascinating. As “Ben” in “Captain Fantastic” he is at his enigmatic best,  the father of six, living off the grid in a forest ... Read More »

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