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Author Archives: Peneflix

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 »

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

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Predictability, sensationalism, oftentimes, can be comforting; knowing the “hero” will be around to fend off future threats to society; evil felled,  appropriate “bad guys” slain, all in the name of righteousness and a day’s work. “Mike Banning” (ubiquitous Gerard Butler) perpetual savior, initially lacking the spryness of past heroics, eventually saves the nation(hardly a spoiler) with the aid of his ... Read More »

AFTER THE WEDDING

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If a foreign film deeply resonates, oftentimes the American version, is acutely disappointing;  two recent examples, “The Upside” is an anemic adaptation of France’s,  “The Intouchables”, an even sorrier scenario is “Florence Foster Jenkins” contrasted with, again, France’s “Marguerite”; another pale imitation was “Gloria Bell”, Hollywood’s rendition of Chile’s 2014 “Gloria”; 2006’s Danish film, “After the Wedding” ranks as a ... Read More »

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

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A yummy, creamy, crunchy slice of filmic fun; directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” serve a chunk of ingenuity, packaged in the form  of Zack Gottsagen as “Zak”, a “Down Syndrome character” who creatively escapes his smothering institution to fulfill his wrestling career; Shia LaBeouf is startling, in his best role in years, as a ... Read More »

WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?

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“Bernadette Fox” (ambitionally strained, Cate Blanchette) is mean, misanthropic, acerbic and if that isn’t enough, psychologically unbalanced; we intensely dislike her by the time we learn she won a MacArthur Genius Grant for architecture, over twenty years prior to the commencement of this flat, lifeless scenario; married to a savvy techie, “Elgie Branch” (clueless, lost depiction by Billy Crudup) and ... Read More »

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

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A film of such exuberant wonderment, I never wanted it to end; a dream actualized by the power of an artist to inspire; similar to Stockholm Syndrome, kidnaps and converts one to its cause; Bruce Springsteen, approaching seventy, has to be kvelling with this homage. Directed by Gurinder Chadha (“Bend it Like Beckham”), starring Viveik Kalra, as “Javed”  (memoir of ... Read More »

THE NIGHTINGALE

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Australia’s Jennifer Kent exceeds brutal boundaries in her latest petrifying revenge movie; those of a squeamish nature will be tested in the initial scenes; set in 1825 Tasmania, a British colony off the southeast corner of Australia; Kent owns the film as its writer, director and producer, and is fearless in her representation of genocide, colonial abuse and sexual sadism. ... Read More »

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