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Author Archives: Peneflix

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 »

GHOSTBUSTERS

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You know the expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; as I was tormented watching this insipid female remake of the 1984 classic, questioning my discretion, I valiantly tried to unearth the entertainment value of director Paul Feig’s mission. Tremendous exertion led to the paltry, positive aspects of “Ghostbusters”: 1. Melissa McCarthy, with tremendous comedic acuity, saved the film ... Read More »

THE INFILTRATOR

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Bryan Cranston gives a blistering performance as Robert Mazur, a U.S. customs agent, impersonating a money launderer in the 1980’s; Columbia’s drug cartel led by Pablo Escobar is the target of Mazur’s mission (based on Mazur’s book featuring the “sting”); Cranston’s titillating intensity captures the galvanizing strength demanded for the success of Mazur’s ruse; his partner Emin, played with insouciant ... Read More »

THE INNOCENTS (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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December, 1945 Poland. The brutal, blanched landscape has no intention of thawing, continuing to camouflage an isolated convent where atrocities have been initiated; piety butchered by unadulterated, unaccountable Russian soldiers. Director Anne Fontaine’s formidable “The Innocents”, based on an actual event,  challenges viewers to tread where sanctity has been annihilated, dehumanized by man. The second world war is over and ... Read More »

SULTAN (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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The first time I saw Salman Khan (“Marigold”) I was overwhelmed by his stunning beauty, a luminous countenance worthy of launching a thousand films; it mattered little that the film was awful, looking at him justified the price of admission. Now, almost ten years later, gone is the beauty, replaced by burgeoning brawn and surprisingly honed acting acuity. He is ... Read More »

OUR KIND OF TRAITOR

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Based on John le Carre’s (1931) 22nd book, directed by Susanna White, would have fared better as a television mini-series; even then it could not match the recent BBC production of “The Night Manager” staring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie. The tepid title lends little legitimacy to what the masses surmise as traitors: Mata Hari, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Aldrich ... Read More »

THE BFG (BIG FRIENDLY GIANT)

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This enchanting fairy tale is poignantly real, heart warming, painful and beautiful; adult viewers will be moved, not just to uproarious laughter, but also frequent tears. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, director Steven Spielberg and writer Melissa Mathison excavate the vast corridors of their imaginative souls and gift besotted audiences a gentle giant and bespectacled orphan destined to inhabit ... Read More »

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