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TOLKIEN

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Honesty compels me to confess that I never sunk my literary molars into the realm of J.R.R.Tolkien’s (1892-1973) “The Hobbit” (1937) nor “The Lord of the Rings” (1954-55) but wallowed in mesmerizing captivation throughout Peter Jackson’s trilogy of these fantastical characters and places that sprung from the imaginative fecundity of one man; oh, to stroll clandestinely through the closets, corridors ... Read More »

LONG SHOT

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Director Jonathan Levine, writers Liz Hannah, Dan Sterling, but pivotally, stars Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen are grounds for visiting “Long Shot”; an unlikely duo, a stupefying example of “opposites bonding”; initially incomprehensible, with progression, systematically comprehensible; Secretary of State, “Charlotte Field” (Theron) anticipating a run for the Presidency hires “Fred Flarsky” (Rogen) a freelance writer, to pepper her speeches ... Read More »

THE WHITE CROW

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  Director/actor Ralph Fiennes, with intelligence and empathy, brings to fruition Julie Kavanagh’s biography “Rudolf Nureyev: The Life”; Fiennes studies Russian, adding legitimacy to his role as Pushkin, Nureyev’s ballet instructor, and neophyte Oleg Ivenko is vastly credible as iconic Rudi, a twenty-three-year-old, imbibing in the “garden of earthly delights” in Paris, 1961. The conundrum lies in Rudolf Nureyev’s inimitable, ... Read More »

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

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“Marveldom” scholarship is not required to appreciate the marvelous, metaphorical message pulsating at the epicenter of this stunningly fine and beautifully filmed morality movie. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, excavate the core of Biblical, Talmudic, Vedic and Qur’anic texts, battles between righteousness and infamy; sacrificing one’s life for a greater good; passionately needing icons to venerate: those immune to the ... Read More »

BREAKTHROUGH

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Regardless of your creed, or lack thereof, there are documented incidents, where science bows out, shrugs its shoulders and kneels to a higher power; “Breakthrough” based on the book “The Impossible” by Joyce Smith is such an event;  John (imposing performance by Marcel Ruiz) the fourteen-year-old, adopted son, of Joyce and Brian Smith (Josh Lucas) falls into a frozen lake ... Read More »

AMAZON PRIME SCORES WITH THESE STUNNERS

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When mediocrity stars in theatres, television can satiate the most discriminating, discerning viewer. Recently I watched three shows that resonated profoundly, leaving a luscious residue of memorable performances, extraordinary writing, staggering scenarios:   “The Politician’s Wife”: British miniseries (1995) starring Juliet Stevenson as a loyal but betrayed wife of Conservative Minister “Duncan Matlock” (Ian Bannen) with an “escort” (Minnie Driver). ... Read More »

HIGH LIFE

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French director Claire Denis shares certain affinities with fellow filmmakers Terrence Malick and Lars von Trier; disturbing, ubiquitous uncertainty, aura of apocalyptic gloom hover at the epicenter of their films; “High Life” at times, breathtaking cinematographically, shades of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, focuses on hardened criminals surviving in a space ship, floating in an alternate galaxy; commencing ... Read More »

DIANE

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Periodically, it happens; almost instantly, acknowledging the worthiness of the movie, but wishing to remove oneself from the onslaught of massive, bludgeoning depression; “Diane” marvelously depicted by Mary Kay Place is a middle-aged depressive, her focus on others to the exclusion of her own issues, is devouring her sanity; she is a list maker, visiting and feeding the sick, working ... Read More »

THE BEST OF ENEMIES

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Marvelously manipulative, pushing all the right buttons, resulting in an ultimately satisfying movie experience; Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson, seasoned stars, paired perfectly as C.P. Ellis, President of the KKK in Durham, North Carolina and Ann Atwater, a fiery African American civil rights activist; it is 1971 and school integration percolates heatedly in the divisive, racist white community in ... Read More »

HOTEL MUMBAI

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I do not believe in a God of Carnage; but 10 Pakistani men over November 26-29, 2008, assassinated 164 people in the name of Allah, squelching India’s way of life, as they did in the United States, September 11, 2001; director Anthony Maras, without blinders or sensationalism, reenacts and personalizes the calamitous hours of terror endured by guests and staff ... Read More »

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