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NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES OFTEN (AMAZON PRIME)

Writer/director Eliza Hitman’s painfully insightful portrait of a teenager’s journey to terminate an unwelcome pregnancy resonates with the bleakness of director Cristian Mungiu’s 2007, “4 months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”; “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” unveils the trauma, bullying of “Autumn” (presciently depicted by first time actor Sidney Flanigan), a pregnant small town Pennsylvania high schooler and her cousin “Skyler” ... Read More »

JESSE EISENBERG, DOUBLE DOSE: “VIVARIUM” (NETFLIX) & “RESISTANCE” (ON DEMAND)

Vivarium: an enclosure adapted or prepared for keeping animals under seminatural conditions for observation or study; from its inception we recognize that “Gemma” (Imogen Poots) and “Tom” (Eisenberg) are stepping into a parable concocted by writer/director Lorcan Finnegan, in which they are the observed specimens; infused with bludgeoning metaphors: “Yonder”, suburbia of cloned homes, an address, number “9”, inescapability, release ... Read More »

WOMEN SCORE: NETFLIX SERIES: “SELF MADE”, & “UNORTHODOX”

Watching these two stunning biographical tales, it was shocking the commonalities these two women shared despite being over a century apart in age. “Self Made” based on the life of Sarah Breedlove/Madame C. J. Walker (1867-1919), the first self-made, female, African-American, millionaire, depicted royally by Octavia Spencer; “Self Made” is an examination of ambition and fortitude in an ambiance fraught ... Read More »

ANOTHER ROUTE TO ESCAPISM

HBO has long been a harbinger of quality, innovative entertainment (“Game of Thrones”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Veep”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, etc.); here are a few recent programs that are binge-worthy distractions, from an enforced, monotonous, interminable confinement: “THE OUTSIDER”: filmic interpretation of Stephen King’s creepy, compelling story about the invasion of evil, assuming identities of the innocent; Cynthia Erivo is supernatural ... Read More »

PENEFLIX MISTAKES: WHAT TO AVOID

                                                                    AMAZON PRIME has three films that were running in theatres the day of the apocalypse; you may now purchase them. “THE INVISIBLE MAN”: THREE & 1/2 ... Read More »

PENEFLIX IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Skipping platitudes, metaphors; distractions are of extreme importance; many of you have requested suggestions of what to view, as an escape from an uninvited reality. In calmer times I have written posts on the plethora of choices gifted to viewers with streaming capabilities. Reducing redundancy, you may check the past, before investing in future enticements: “Potpourri of What to See ... Read More »

THE POSTCARD KILLINGS

Our priorities and expectations have been seriously transformed; this applies to home entertainment; what, in the past, was instantaneously dismissed, now is given more license, case in point, is director Danis Tanovic’s, “The Postcard Killings”, starring dimpled Jeffrey Dean Morgan as “Jacob Kanon” a New York detective whose daughter and son-in-law have been grotesquely slaughtered in London; the slayers send ... Read More »

STOP THE WORLD: I WANT TO GET OFF

Throughout life, Anthony Newley’s 1961 musical, in times of stress, has profoundly resonated; now, ironically the world has been halted by Corvid-19, and universally we are on “pause”; rarely, if ever, have the continents been so in sync; mankind is in this together, in a vacuum, hibernating as a whole. It is catastrophic but also reflective; a time to survey ... Read More »

FIRST COW

An unlikely partnership, is rarely found or experienced as in writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s quirky, strangely hypnotic, story of two disparate “outliers” joining forces in the Oregon Territory, 1820’s;  “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro) a displaced baker, joins an outlaw “King Lu” (Orion Lee) in a money-making scheme, revolving around the milking theft of “Chief Factor’s” (Toby Jones) cow, the first and ... Read More »

HOPE GAP

Poetic evaluation of a “hopeless” partnership, commencing with one dissatisfied member, the other oblivious to, what viewers recognize, the obvious: twenty-nine years of marriage, cauterized, well before we meet “Grace” (inimitable Annette Bening) and “Edward” (dour Bill Nighy); she exudes bliss, in tandem with his robotic gloom; their only child “Jamie” (sensitive, Josh O’Connor) is conscripted as referee; his keen, ... Read More »

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