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DOWNHILL

Swedish director, Ruben Ostlund’s 2014 “Force Majeure”, was a darling of worldwide Film Festivals; I did not care for it: excessive teeth-brushing, massive character manipulation, superfluous, annoying minor roles; that being stated, is was colossally superior to “Downhill”, directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s homogenized version; actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell cannot rescue it from well-deserved anonymity. Redundancy, repetitiveness ... 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 »

THE ASSISTANT

                                                                                              Director Kitty Green capitalizes on the Harvey Weinstein sexual predator saga that the ... Read More »

CREATED EQUAL: CLARENCE THOMAS IN HIS OWN WORDS

The profundity of this documentary shatters illusions, prejudices, and sears with overdue approbation for a man of stature, scholarship, integrity, worthy of his thirty, reticent years on the Supreme Court; writing more opinions/dissents than any other Justice; Clarence Thomas excels as a “man for all seasons”, champions, as a man for all peoples; defying the preordained slot, he flew in the face of expected codes of conduct, scoring as a neophyte of ingenuity, a black ... Read More »

THE RHYTHM SECTION

Beautiful, Blake Lively actually pulls off the implausible; not to be confused or compared with “Lisbeth Salander” or “Evelyn Salt” she is credible as a vengeful assassin seeking justice for those doomed in an airplane bombing, including her entire family; “revenge served cold” with scalding temerity. Director Reed Morano’s (trained cinematographer), pulverizing concentration on “Stephanie Patrick’s” (Lively) emotional and physical ... Read More »

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Viet Nam, and a war (1955-1975) that artistically fractured the modern era, America, no longer the universal rescuer, harbinger of safety, annihilator of the nefarious, champion of the persecuted, oppressed, destroyer of autocratic, despotic regimes; art, lost its power to change mankind by its beauty, grace, the Nabis were dead, slaughtered by misplaced jingoism.  “The Last Full Measure”, directed and ... Read More »

THE GENTLEMEN

“Gentleness” is absent in director Guy Ritchie’s slick, schtick caper with veteran actors having the time of their lives: Matthew McConaughey, “Mickey Pearson” an American drug kingpin in London, a role he can perform on auto pilot, wants to sell his underground greenhouse to the highest bidder, erecting a conflict between “Dry Eye” (Henry Golding) and “Matthew” (Jeremy Strong); Michelle ... Read More »

THE SONG OF NAMES

Based on the novel by music critic Norman Lebrecht, directed by Francois Girard “The Song of Names” lacks the heft of substantiation needed for distinction, prominence in the filmic realm; three sets of actors imbue protagonists “Dovidl” (Polish violin prodigy) and “Martin” (son of an impresario), with somber, soulful dignity; an unlikely bonding precipitated by WWII; Luke Doyle, (Dovidl, 9-13) ... Read More »

THE MIDNIGHT SKY (NETFLIX)

I have an innate prejudice when it comes to dystopian, apocalyptic films; acknowledging their technological wizardry, the aftermath leaves me in a queasy, dissatisfied, jetlagged fug: “The Road”, “Total Recall”, “Mad Max”, “Oblivion”, “Children of Men” and in particular “The Lobster”, were so systemically oppressive, depressive; no matter the ills of the twenty-first century, it is a “far better world” than these futurist prognoses; ... Read More »

DOLIITTLE (DUMB & DEFECTIVE)

“Dr. Dolittle” and his shenanigans have never appealed to me; this is my first exposure to the franchise of a character capable of communicating with animals, a clever premise that goes horribly awry; directed by Stephen Gagan, starring Robert Downey Jr. (why I invested the time); the film is sluggish, poorly edited, and sinfully boring; Downey’s undefined accent varies throughout ... Read More »

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