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HUSTLERS

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On occasion you see a movie infused with decent acting but leaves one wondering why it was worthy of being made; “Hustlers” directed by Lorene Scarfaria, a true narrative, based on women who used their pneumatic, curvaceous forms to bilk Wall Street charlatans out of their supposed ill-gotten gains; alcohol, drugs administered during salacious, staged encounters, where victims are financially ... Read More »

THE GOLDFINCH

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Donna Tartt’s 2014’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel translates into an anemic, poorly edited, lackluster rendition of a scenario, that I found flawed and overwrought in reading, and excruciatingly tedious in viewing. Tartt’s gifted, descriptive prose is wasted;  Nicole Kidman, gives a stilted performance as “Mrs. Barbour”, the matron who housed “Theo Decker” (credible Oakes Fegley) after his mother was killed ... Read More »

FIDDLER: MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

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For as many times as I have seen “Fiddler of the Roof”, this documentary written and directed by Max Lewkowicz, added clarity, and depth that was truly miraculous; based on tales by Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916), protagonists Tevye and his daughters resonate with a contemporariness that vibrates with its universality. Since 1964, with its Broadway debut, “Fiddler” has exponentially enchanted audiences, ... Read More »

OFFICIAL SECRETS

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The Official Secrets Act: 1989, Act of Parliament, UK, removing the public interest defense, prohibiting disclosure of official documents, considered sensitive by the government; in 2003 Katharine Gun (imposing performance by Keira Knightley) working as a translator for GCHQ (NSA), after huge trepidation leaks a memo implying that the George W. Bush Administration (Tony Blair, complicit) was manufacturing egregious inadequacies; ... Read More »

BENNETT’S WAR

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Pulverizing, thrilling from its commencement in war ravaged Afghanistan; Marshall Bennett (phenomenal, Michael Roark) a key in the U.S. Army Ranger Motorcycle Unit, injured in the line of duty, saving his partner; returning, disabled to his wife “Sophie” (lovely, feisty, Allison Paige) and father “Cal” (terrific Trace Adkins) and young son; dealing with his damaged foot, depleted financial status, realizing ... Read More »

READY OR NOT

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“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Out of desperation I visited this “horror” film solely to analyze Australian Samara Weaving’s performance as “Grace”, a nascent bride on her wedding day, forced to play a game of initiation into one of the weirdest, wealthiest filmic family’s ever invented; writers Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy along with directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler ... Read More »

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

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Predictability, sensationalism, oftentimes, can be comforting; knowing the “hero” will be around to fend off future threats to society; evil felled,  appropriate “bad guys” slain, all in the name of righteousness and a day’s work. “Mike Banning” (ubiquitous Gerard Butler) perpetual savior, initially lacking the spryness of past heroics, eventually saves the nation(hardly a spoiler) with the aid of his ... Read More »

AFTER THE WEDDING

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If a foreign film deeply resonates, oftentimes the American version, is acutely disappointing;  two recent examples, “The Upside” is an anemic adaptation of France’s,  “The Intouchables”, an even sorrier scenario is “Florence Foster Jenkins” contrasted with, again, France’s “Marguerite”; another pale imitation was “Gloria Bell”, Hollywood’s rendition of Chile’s 2014 “Gloria”; 2006’s Danish film, “After the Wedding” ranks as a ... Read More »

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

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A yummy, creamy, crunchy slice of filmic fun; directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” serve a chunk of ingenuity, packaged in the form  of Zack Gottsagen as “Zak”, a “Down Syndrome character” who creatively escapes his smothering institution to fulfill his wrestling career; Shia LaBeouf is startling, in his best role in years, as a ... Read More »

WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?

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“Bernadette Fox” (ambitionally strained, Cate Blanchette) is mean, misanthropic, acerbic and if that isn’t enough, psychologically unbalanced; we intensely dislike her by the time we learn she won a MacArthur Genius Grant for architecture, over twenty years prior to the commencement of this flat, lifeless scenario; married to a savvy techie, “Elgie Branch” (clueless, lost depiction by Billy Crudup) and ... Read More »

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