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THE LITTLE STRANGER

the little stranger

A puzzling story; a compilation of intrigue, mystery, horror but primarily, percolating at its creepy core, is a tale of class, entitlement; recalling “The Great Gatsby” a man of mighty wealth, never embraced by America’s old monied elite. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) “The Little Stranger” prevails in a bucolic glen outside of London, shortly after WWII; “Hundreds Hall”, its ... Read More »

SEARCHING

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By far the most interesting and contemporary film of the year. Ex-Google employee Aneesh Chaganty’s “Searching” erases barriers between technique and the viewer, familiarity replaces mystery in filmmaking, masses are comfortable, no longer intimidated, by accessible technology; ubiquity of the internet and its myriad devices is part of today’s functional environment; Amazon’s effectiveness has increased productivity, eliminating hours in the ... Read More »

OPERATION FINALE

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It is truly astounding that so many millennials have never heard of Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962); the architect of one of the most profound atrocities, visited upon mankind; Eichmann lived in a cocoon of normalcy until his capture in Argentina by Israelis (Mossad) in 1960; keenly complicit in the annihilation of six million Jews; he stood trial in Jerusalem; convicted and ... Read More »

PAPILLON

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Blazing, metaphorical pageant, over two torturous hours of “man’s inhumanity to man”; director Michael Noer’s, valiant attempt to recreate 1973’s scenario, starring  Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, struggles and sluggishly sinks into a lethargic morass; Charlie Hunnam (“The Lost City of Z”), in McQueen’s role of “Papillon”, doffs close to fifty pounds (aka, Michael Fassbender in 2008’s “Hunger”) as a ... Read More »

JULIET, NAKED

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With his career’s progression Ethan Hawke’s scruffy, unwashed, unkempt persona has lost its repugnance and become cultish in its appeal.  Hawke’s performance in “Juliet, Naked” is a resounding testament of an actor’s aptitude to actually become, inhabit the soul of his character; “Tucker Crowe”,  a washed up American rock singer, with some renown, from the 90’s; lionized by “Duncan” (naïvely ... Read More »

THE WIFE

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“Behind every successful man is a woman.” Director Bjorn Runge’s adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 prescient novel portrays, with bludgeoning force, the veracity at the core of this adage. Glenn Close’s performance as “Joan Castleman”, the dutiful, obsequious wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning author “Joseph Castleman” (caddishly wonderful, Jonathan Price) is astounding in its depth; at seventy-one her strength and intelligence ... Read More »

GOLD (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Bollywood gifts celestial status to India’s sport triumphs: “Chak De India”, women’s hockey; “Lagaan”, cricket, “Iqbal”, cricket; “Bhagg Milkha Bhagg”, running; director Reema Kagti’s “Gold” effortlessly, smoothly claims its fate with the icons; more than an historical regaling of India’s Olympic exultations in field hockey, under British rule, the film invigoratingly, pungently follows its birth on the world’s stage as ... Read More »

MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST

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Despite a strong performance by Chloe Grace Moretz the movie lacks electricity, feels dated, solution-less, serving a flat and unsatisfying conclusion. “Cameron” a teenager in the 90’s is sent to a Christian conversion facility to reprogram her “gender confusion”; Jennifer Ehle is “Dr. Lydia Marsh” a softer, palatable, just as lethal version, of Jim Jones or David Koresh, Bible thumping ... Read More »

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

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Why is this film joyous and “Generation Wealth” lugubrious? Both films feature those whose religion is consumerism, worshiping “stuff”, “labels” measuring, defining one’s persona. Director Jon M. Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians” (based on Kevin Kwans’s 2013 novel) is just as laden with overblown, excessive guzzling of commodities; the difference is style: gratuitous, glamorous grace, abundantly jeweled, cocooned in couture,  the ... Read More »

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

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“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Corinthians 13:11 The epistle lacks the prescient power of recognition and memory; what one cherishes in the formative years, determines behavior in adulthood, certain things should never be cauterized, just pocketed, protected in a safe ... Read More »

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