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ISRAELI PRODUCTIONS WORTH WATCHING

Possibly living so close to the edge, their series and films soar in depicting a world the masses could not envision. At this Dystopian hiatus, here are a few enthralling, captivating slices, experienced by a nation that dauntlessly refuses to die: Watch back to back:  “SHITISEL”/ “SRUGIM”; (NETFLIX) Two versions of orthodoxy: “Shitisel” extreme Haredi Jews living in Geula, Jerusalem; ... Read More »

3 MEN, ONCE MET: NEVER FORGET

“INSPECTOR MORSE” (1987-2000): John Shaw, (1942-2002) is impeccable as a detective solving crimes in the elite environs of Oxford, England. “Morse” is the embodiment of a quintessential Renaissance man: cultured, sublimely well-read, inebriate of Opera, savant culprit decimator; for all his indurate instincts in the world of criminality, he is hopelessly naïve when his heart “lightly turns to love”; Shaw’s ... Read More »

AMAZON PRIME TO THE RESCUE

For years Amazon Prime has serviced my rousing, perpetual interest in detective investigations, serial killers (in another life I was either a victim or perpetrator), forensic science; loving the elimination process, exclusion of the obvious, excavating the mendacious. I have suggested some of these in the past, but they are worth repeating, especially at this unsettled time: “SPIRAL” (French: English ... 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 »

CORPUS CHRISTI (POLISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Poland’s Catholic population is approximately 88%; Catholicism informs their lives, behavior, decision-making, asserting its supremacy, domination, channeling its tenets in all avenues of the individual’s existence. Polish director Jan Komasa and writer Mateusz Pacewicz  with searing, intense uniqueness  address the bifurcation of the man and the priest: the man, “Daniel” (outrageously beautiful Bartosz Bielenia) a juvenile delinquent with a bent ... Read More »

THE TRAITOR (ITALIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Director Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” is blatantly honest in its depiction of the elitist microcosm known as the Cosa Nostra/Mafia: intransigent rules are enforced by its familial corps; extinction to those whose choices, actions go against the aged manifesto, a code of conduct, silence “omerta”; so keen is their elimination process, collateral damage is minimal. Tommaso Buscetta (1928-2000) was the ... Read More »

92nd ACADEMY AWARDS: PENEFLIX PREDICTS THE HAT TRICK!

Vindication has never felt so rewarding; for years I have suffered defeat, going with my gut, shunning the odds, my head and heart in sync; faring better than I imagined, I recognized the brilliant uniqueness of “Parasite” with my first encounter, on a myriad of levels, the film soars beyond assumptions: Biblical,  Shakespearian, mythological, Darwinian; Goethe stated “Before you…there are ... Read More »

LES MISERABLES (FRENCH:ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

“There is more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher”; Victor Hugo “Les Misérables”, 1862. This gutsy, gritty slice of realism by writer/director Ladj Ly bleeds with the intensity, brutality of the Paris projects; a trio of politically correct police officers, daily patrol the claustrophobic, cacophonous streets of iniquities; cops and budding felons entwined; boundaries, ... Read More »

PENEFLIX PREDICTIONS: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS

Peneflix is taking a hiatus from a competitive contest this year; not reneging on listing my “best” picks; ignoring the overlooked, concentrating on the testosterone-driven, “hueless” candidates; no “will/should”, just my feverish, instinctive selections:   BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Brad Pitt, “ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD”  *PENEFLIX PICK* Tom Hanks, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Anthony Hopkins, THE TWO POPES Al ... Read More »

IP MAN 4: THE FINALE (CHINESE CANTONESE, ENGLISH: SUBTITLES IN ALL LANGUAGES)

During this ponderous hiatus, waiting for the winners of the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, I periodically step out of my comfort zone, imbibing in genres I know little about and have minimal interest in; martial arts falls into this category; even though a neophyte, I found “Ip Man 4: The Finale” dimensionless, pejorative, sophomorically written but plausibly entertaining in ... Read More »

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