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PENEFLIX BEST AND NEAR BEST FILMS OF 2017

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As I peruse other critics best and worst films I feel fortunate that, because of my pay grade, have rarely seen many of the “worst”; no matter the product, each year there are enough quality films, that in retrospect my passion¬† is satiated. Granted I have not seen, “The Post”, “Phantom Thread” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”.¬† So here ... Read More »

TIGER ZINDA HAI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Here is a mixed marriage, not seen since the Jodha/Akbar era; fifty-one-year-old, pneumatic, perennial bachelor Salman Khan (“Tiger”) paired once again with Katrina Kaif (“Zoya”) as East Indian and Pakistani agents sent to battle militants in Tikrit, Iraq; based on an actual event in 2014, terrorists took over a hospital and held 46 nurses (Indian and Pakistani) captive; the rescue ... Read More »

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

(l to r) Andrea Piedimonte Bodini, Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg in TriStar Pictures' ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.

Ridley Scott’s biopic, revolving around the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s (1892-1976) grandson, sixteen-year-old, high school dropout, J. Paul III, seethes with the despicability of an amoral man, whose zealous quest for wealth consumed any human decency, that should have led to philanthropy, but instead to egregious greed and Olympian, myopic, insensitivity, heartlessness. In the 70’s Getty’s oil empire ... Read More »

MOLLY’S GAME

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Aaron Sorkin’s feature directorial debut shines a beacon on Molly Dubin Bloom (1978-), the “Princess of Poker” and her revealing book “Molly’s Game” (2014); the film is smart, really smart, but you don’t have to be an intellectual to comprehend its nuances, just recognize that they’re there. I, for example, with the exception of “face” or “tell”, know bubkis about ... Read More »

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

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Years ago, I experienced one of the “greatest” performances ever actualized on the stage, Hugh Jackman in “The Boy from Oz”, a dynamo of incredible proportions, he sang, danced, played the piano and flawlessly morphed into every stage of songwriter Peter Allen’s career; an unimaginable exploit, anchored forever in my archival theatric treasures. “The Greatest Showman” is not in that ... Read More »

I, TONYA

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Tonya Harding from her birthdate, November 12th, 1970, never stood a chance at normalcy; fathered by her mother’s (LoVona) fifth husband, absconds early in her life, exists in poverty outside Portland, Oregon; a skating prodigy, but perpetually abused verbally, physically, emotionally by a harridan from hell, LoVona Harding. Allison Janney gives a dazzling depiction of a disgruntled, humbug who feels ... Read More »

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

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Director/writer Luca Guadagnino paints a portrait of luscious sensuality, a sublime, ethereal sensuousness;¬† intimacy vivisected on an altar of rarefied goodness; “Call Me By Your Name” is painfully, palpably beautiful. It is the summer of 1983 and American antiquity and archaeology Professor, “Pearlman” (insightfully wonderful Michael Stuhlbarg) invites a graduate student to spend the summer at his retreat in Crema, ... Read More »

THE SHAPE OF WATER

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Writer/director Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) once again capitalizes on his fecund imaginative prowess and serves a delicious banquet of fantasy, enchantment, deviousness and subterfuge; “The Shape of Water” weirdly wonderful, is a fantastic, tantalizing, titillating, exquisitely romantic experience. It is 1962, at a Baltimore research facility an “asset” (Doug Jones) is delivered, caged and howling (aka King Kong) from ... Read More »

DARKEST HOUR

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Audiences have recently been satiated with a myriad of “Winston Churchill” depictions: John Lithgow,”The Crown”, Brian Cox,”Churchill”, Michael Gambon,”Churchill’s Secret”, but not one can compete with Gary Oldman’s dazzling, intuitive interpretation of a man who changed the course of history. Director Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” brilliantly concentrates on Churchill’s initiation as England’s Prime Minister; it is 1940, Hitler with blitzkrieg ... Read More »

MUDBOUND (NETFLIX & In Theatres) repost

Mudbound (2017)

Director/writer Dee Ree’s riveting masterpiece, focuses on racial divisiveness after WWII, in rural Mississippi; two families: “McAllan”, husband and wife “Laura” and “Henry” (Carrie Mulligan, Jason Clarke), brother “Jamie McAllan” (Garrett Hedlund) and “Pappy” (Jonathan Banks); “Jackson”, “Hap” and “Florence” (Rob Morgan, Mary J.Blige) and son “Ronsel” (Jason Mitchell); except for ownership, both families live within the eye of poverty’s ... Read More »

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