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THE ICE HOUSE (1997) (AMAZON PRIME: 2 EPISODES)

Unless it’s a classic, movies made before 2000, rarely tweak my interest, or a revisit; “The Ice House” directed by Tim Fywell, starring a youthful, heavily-accented Daniel Craig, was a worthy exception; Craig, as “Detective McLoughlin”, cynically sour, cagily perceptive, tries to solve a marvelous mystery of a withered corpse (found in a dilapidated, long disregarded ice house) a missing, ... Read More »

BALTHAZAR (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) AMAZON PRIME

There are characters that harbor, rent free in fatty corners of one’s brain; they are friends, making their presence known serendipitously, surprisingly when least expected. Over the years I have embraced numerous subjects for a myriad of inscrutable reasons: “House” (a Doctor of cantankerous genius), “Foyle” (WWII British detective), “Morse” (Renaissance man, solving crimes), “Nikki Alexander”, forensic pathologist (“Silent Witness”) ... Read More »

DARA FROM JASENOVAC (SERBIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) IN THEATERS

Jasenovac: the Auschwitz of the Balkans, as seen through the eyes of Serbian, ten-year-old “Dara”; director Predrag Antonijevic concentrates on the entrepreneurial system of slaughter perpetrated on the Serbs by Ustasas (Croation Revolutionary Movement) mimicking Nazi’s “Final Solution”; ingrained xenophobia practiced without impunity on men, women and their progeny; games of execution visited upon inmates and children, witnessed by Dara, ... Read More »

A DIG (IN THEATRES & NETFLIX)

Awash in bucolic dignity “A Dig” directed by Simon Stone, is a film that is sublimely comfortable, comparable to a well-worn sweater, an unassuming evening with a forever friend, cloaked with time’s cherished reminiscences; an untarnished English landscape; practicing RAF pilots, the only hint of upcoming transitions; it is 1939 and wealthy widow, Edith Pretty (a noble, gifted performance by ... Read More »

A FRENCH VILLAGE (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) AMAZON PRIME

For almost a year, connectedness, education, entertainment have been accomplished in a Zoom milieu; enhancing enforced isolation, allowing the unseen to be seen, the learned expanding intellectual horizons; a remarkable tool, liberating the masses from mandatory house arrest. Recently, in a mini review I touted the enticements of viewing “A French Village”; seven seasons, seventy-two episodes, (2009-2017) seemed daunting, but ... Read More »

A TRIO OF FRENCH SERIES AND AN ACTOR TO VENERATE: THIERRY GODARD (Amazon Prime & Netflix)

“SPIRAL” (2005-2021) (Amazon Prime) Thumping at the pinnacle of my “Must Watch” list is this gritty, compulsively addictive, detective series; a Paris, rarely seen by tourists: dirty dens of iniquity, gory, egregiously stunning scenarios, no topic is sacrosanct, unbiased demographically, whether victim or perpetrator your proclivities are splayed, vivisected, informed by reality; justice meted in tandem with the crime. Brilliantly ... Read More »

HERSELF (AMAZON PRIME) & PIECES OF A WOMAN (NETFLIX)

Two ambitious films excavating the lives of women, justifiably, “on the verge of a nervous breakdown”. “HERSELF” directed by Phyllida Lloyd, starring writer and actor Clare Dunn, focuses on abused wife/mother “Sandra”; she is destitute, living on state benefits, residing in a hotel with her two young daughters (enchanting depictions by Molly McCann and Ruby Rose O’Hara), eking out a ... Read More »

13 COMMANDMENTS (DUTCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) (AMAZON PRIME); VS “DES” (AMAZON PRIME)

Two fascinating series based on serial killers; “13 COMMANDMENTS” focuses on a fictional avenger, vigilante “Moses” who justifies his acts by eliminating the Sodom Gomorrah milieu where the commandments are egregiously ignored, violated by those who transgress at the mortal sin measure. The avenger “Moses” tries the patience of police detectives “Peter Devriendt” (Dirk Van Dijic) and “Vicky Degraeve” (Marie ... Read More »

MINI MUSINGS TO BID SO LONG, FAREWELL, AUF WIEDERSEHEN, ADIEU TO 2020

“THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7”  (NETFLIX) Director Aaron Sorkin once again uses his magical might in creating a pristine reminiscence of a bleak period in American history; 1968, Democratic National Convention disrupted by factions against the Vietnam War: Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen, physical facsimile); Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne); Mark Rylance and Frank Langella are expert renditions of William Kunstler and ... Read More »

YEAR END MUSINGS: WORTHY WATCHING

“MANGROVE”            AMAZON PRIMEDirector/writer/ artist Steve McQueen perpetually stuns with his historical films, based on egregious tales of injustice; Mangrove, a restaurant in west London and the trial of nine black activists in 1971 is blatantly honest, radiantly performed with a prescient message more vibrant today than yesteryear. FOUR & ½ STARS!!!! “NOCTURNAL ANIMALS” (2016)  NETFLIX Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is enormous; paired with Amy Adams and stunning contemporary art, acutely satisfying. ... Read More »

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