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THE GOOD LIAR

THE GOOD LIAR

A preposterous premise, flirting with the absurd, leaves one groaning with its inanity; septuagenarian “Betty” (Helen Mirren) and octogenarian “Roy” (Ian McKellen) meet on a dating site (lunacy commences); coy clichés, saturated with gullibility, daffy naiveté; Betty, a supposed Oxford scholar, hoodwinked into combining her fortune with Roy’s; from the get- go, we are cognizant that Roy is the optimum ... Read More »

MIDWAY

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Why did this movie, with one of the poorest, pathetic scripts ever birthed, soar to box office heights its first weekend? Because folks wanted pure, jingoism; director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”, “White House Down”), lionized the heroic tactics of the U.S. Navy on June 4-7, 1942, defeating the Japanese at the Battle of Midway; commencing with the December 7, 1941 attack ... Read More »

THE LIGHTHOUSE

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Director/writer Robert Eggers emulates predecessors Orson Wells and William Wyler with his black and white creation, “The Lighthouse”; a tale of two freakish outliers that will fiendishly haunt you long after their filmic exit; Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, lighthouse keepers, “Tom” and  “Ephraim”;  Shakespearean in pathos, hubris and creepy comparisons to “Captain Ahab”; Tom (Dafoe at his pinnacle) is ... Read More »

HARRIET

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A paragon of fortitude, courage, selflessness; Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913) depicted with monumental, staggering, dignity by actor Cynthia Ervio; Tubman, whose visage is worthy of any currency, stamp, postcard; canonization should be hers. Director Kasi Lemmons, without empiricism, gifts Harriet Tubman the lionization she earned, won, by standing against and treading upon evil: “people were not meant to own other people.” ... Read More »

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

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From the first scene I was ambushed, happily held captive; reminiscent of archaic Humphrey Bogart movies; Edward Norton gives viewers a character of comprehensive uniqueness; afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome, in tandem with a photographic memory, private detective “Lionel Essrog” (Motherless Brooklyn) relentlessly pursues his boss and closest friend’s killer; Bruce Willis as “Frank Minna” owns this minimal but gutsy role; ... Read More »

THE CURRENT WAR

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Earlier this year I attended a lecture concentrating on the contributions, competitions, inventions of: Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), George Westinghouse (1846-1941), Nikola Tesla (1856-1943); the professor’s initial question was “who was the greater genius?”; the vast majority of upraised hands were for “Tesla”; over two hours of fascinating edification left me longing for the film, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“American ... Read More »

JOJO RABBIT

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Massively heralded by film festivals worldwide, I found director/actor Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit”  decidedly disturbing commencement, laden with solipsist sensationalism; nearing the end of WWII, German ten-year-old “Jojo” (extraordinary, mesmerizing Roman Griffin) and his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) taut the sardonic blessings of being a paragon of Nazism: blue-eyed, virulent, anti-Semitic Aryans; Jojo, armed and prepared to defend ... Read More »

THE END OF THE FEST

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After bushels of popcorn, mounds of milk duds, gallons of diet coke, but quintessentially a myriad of fine films, time to bid adieu to the 55th Chicago International Film Festival; so long to heart palpating, mind boggling, enlightening, stunning scenarios; energizing, electrifying movies that titillate, horrify, prod viewers to tear down, blast ingrained perceptions, opening highways never tread, leading to ... Read More »

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: NEARING ITS CONCLUSION

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In its 55th year and stylishly stunning in its elucidation, diversity, and searing topics; documentaries have gone beyond the pale in focusing on subjects and events worthy of exposure, illumination; highlighted are: FORMAN VS FORMAN (reviewed 10/22), THE HYPNOTIST (reviewed 10/24) MOTHER (reviewed 10/24) LOVE CHILD: winner of the Gold Hugo for Best Documentary (yet to be seen).   “THE ... Read More »

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: UPDATE

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“MOTHER” (Belgium/The Netherlands); captivating true tale of two mothers, each with three children, one a caretaker the other an early-onset Alzheimer’s patient; forbearing, long-suffering and infused with kindness; audiences watch as these two disparate women become one.   “BY THE GRACE OF GOD” (France); one of the most profound indictments of the Catholic Church and the pedophilia that is pervasive ... Read More »

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