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BEAST

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“Because inside me is a beast that snarls, and growls and strains toward freedom…. and as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.” (Veronica Roth) “Beast” is a deliciously twisted, slightly diabolical film, that tantalizes and terrorizes simultaneously; the barren, unfriendly landscape of Jersey is home to troubled “Moll” (steaming, seething performance by Jessie Buckley), twenty-seven, living at home ... Read More »

THE SEAGULL

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Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) an iconic Russian playwright excavates, with brilliant acuity, the artist’s poetic license, hubris, and fragile temperament. “The Seagull” is the most autobiographical of his major works, brutally vivisecting every character’s unappealing foibles; escaping his caustic pen, impossible! Written for the stage, the film initially stumbles, but corrects itself, with the profundity of the acting. Annette Bening gives ... Read More »

THE BOOK CLUB

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A number of years ago a friend challenged me to read the “50 Shades Trilogy”; over a 10- day time span I tackled E. L. James’ salacious scenario only to discover that she capitalized, and brought into the twenty-first-century, what had been practiced for millenniums in Asian cultures; Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele became paradigms of kinky, cutting edge, contemporary ... Read More »

RAAZI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Diminutive, dazzling Alia Bhatt conquers stardom with her dynamic performance as  “Shemat” a Muslim girl willing (raazi) to sacrifice her life for the love of India; marrying a Pakistani man “Iqual” (Vicky Kaushal), she fills her dying father’s (Rajit Kapoor) wish, to take his place as a spy for India; the story revolves around the Indo-Pakistani 1971 war. “Raazi” is ... Read More »

LET THE SUNSHINE IN (0N DEMAND & IN THEATRES (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Juliette Bincohe’s giftedness as an actor is squandered in this trite, supposed romantic journey; director Claire Denis (“White Material”) focus on “Isabelle’s” (Binoche), a talented artist, quest for “Mr. Goodbar”, lacks electricity, intelligence, titillation; Isabelle is divorced with a ten-year-old daughter, looking for love in “all the wrong places”; bed-bouncing from one meaningless relationship to another, losing bits and pieces ... Read More »

RBG

RBG movie

Amazing, that this tiny, wizened vessel houses one of the finest legal minds of the twenty-first century. Ruther Bader Ginsburg, born in Brooklyn, 1933, the beautiful second child of immigrants, soared from an early age until the present. She is a mega-force as a Supreme Court Justice (appointed by President Clinton in 1993), now known more for her dissents than ... Read More »

DISOBEDIENCE

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Director Sebastian Lelio (“Fantastic Woman”) gifts viewers a profound glimpse into a world of concrete, inflexible dictates; religious dogma that shuns flexibility, turning away from an alternate lifestyle; cauterizing, condemning individuality; painful to experience but impossible to ignore. “Disobedience” focuses on “Ronit” (dazzling Rachel Weisz) a photographer, living in New York, returning to London, after her father’s death; her agony ... Read More »

TULLY

Charlize Theron stars as Marlo in Jason Reitman's TULLY, a Focus Features release.

Actors Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis give worthy performances in a film that never satisfies, just overwhelms in its averageness. Theron, as  “Marlo” a pneumatic, beleaguered housewife, sinking unconstrained, into an emotional morass after the birth of her third child; enter “Tully” (Davis) a night nanny, designed to cure postpartum depression with huge injections of effervescence. It works for awhile ... Read More »

THE RIDER

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There’s a quiet serenity, gentle integrity informing the entirety of this autobiographical movie; real people recording a traumatic, life-altering episode in their lives; Brady “Blackburn”(Jandreau) a Lakota Sioux cowboy, plays himself; he has sustained a severe head injury in a rodeo ring, his performance is staggering in its sincerity, not an ounce of self-aggrandizement, or pity touches his young spirit; ... Read More »

KINGS

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The single redeeming factor of  director/writer Deniz Gamze Ergoven’s (“Mustang”) “Kings” is the archival footage of the March 3rd, 1991 beating of Rodney King and the subsequent riots on April 29th, 1992 after three police officers were acquitted of the crime; South Central L.A. suffered a conflagration of catastrophic proportions; one of the bleakest, historical stains of the twentieth century. ... Read More »

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