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Netflix and Beyond

JOE BELL (in theatres)

Bullies have plagued mankind since the Cain and Abel era; persecuting those whose idiosyncratic individuality is in opposition to the norm: loners, nerds, homosexuals, mavericks, nonconformists; the growth of the internet has fed the epidemic, especially among the young and disenfranchised: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virigina Tech, Santa Fe High School, the travesty continues; director Reinaldo Marcus Green and actor/producer Mark ... Read More »

PIG (in theatres)

The pathetic pig, source of a major food supply with a heart reminiscent of a human’s, is perpetually maligned, used derogatorily, addressed as a “pig” is never a compliment, a reference to one’s weight, behavior, slovenliness; director Michael Sarnoski’s, fabulously interesting “Pig”, paints a portrait of this mammal as a loving, gifted truffle trapper (begs comparison to 2020’s “The Truffle ... Read More »

ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN

A scrutinization of a man whose bright light was perpetually plagued by the darkest of shadows; history is splattered, tainted with numerous suicides of those whose fame could not deliver them from the agonies of despair: Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, Margot Kidder, Jean Seberg, Alexander McQueen, Robin Williams, Jersey Kosinski, Anthony Bourdain: supernovas obliterated by guns, pills, ropes; Bourdain hung ... Read More »

BLACK WIDOW (in theatres & Disney+) and UNFORGOTTEN (PBS & Amazon Prime)

Wearying of Marvel mania, I skipped the theatre, paying the hefty fee to view on Disney+; it has its redeeming moments but in the end, yawning, I could of passed on this familial saga; parents, “Alexei” (always perceptive David Harbour) and “Melina” (unblemished Rachel Weisz) after a twenty year hiatus connect with their super daughters “Natasha” (pinnacle role for Scarlett ... Read More »

“I CARRY YOU WITH ME” (Spanish: English subtitles, in theatres), “NO SUDDEN MOVE” (HBO Max) “TILL DEATH” (Amazon Prime)

Director Heidi Ewing serves a delightful dish of sublime poignancy; a love story peppered with a quest for personal growth; “Ivan” (Armando Espitia) enters the United States illegally, from Puebla City,  Mexico, to pursue his dream of becoming a chef, leaving his lover, “Gerardo” (Christian Vazquez) behind; both men have suffered from abuse at the hands of their homophobic fathers; ... Read More »

FAST AND FURIOUS 9 (in theatres) & FALSE POSITIVE (Hulu)

From 2001 the action defined “Fast & Furious” franchise has plummeted audiences; this, the 9th version was my first, and in all likelihood, my last; not because it wasn’t good, the thrills, death defying chases, special effects were stupendous, but have been replicated ad nauseam in filmdom: Marvel movies,  James Bond, Liam Nesson escapades, cannot neglect the Terminator series; staleness, ... Read More »

OUR LADIES (in theatres)

The term “coming of age” has become tiresome, an overused cliché depicting those indecisive teens yearning for an illusory, still to be defined, purpose of being. Director Michael Caton-Jones’s “Our Ladies” takes place in a small Scottish town in the mid 1990’s, as five rambunctious choir girls hanker for boozy, sexual encounters, on a field trip to Edinburgh. Secure in the parameters of blossoming adulthood these jejune “ladies”, with levity, and at times hilarity, toil towards their mission. “Orla” (poignant, ... Read More »

SUBLET (HEBREW/ENGLISH) (In theatres)

A sensitive, sweet, slice of life, an episode fated to be a preserved, sacred memory: a May/December relationship ignited by two disparate individuals brought together by chance: a NYT’s travel writer “Michael” (John Benjamin Hickey) sublet’s an apartment in Tel Aviv, for five days, from “Tomer” (Niv Nissim); Michael, represents the past, living as a gay man through the embryonic, ... Read More »

IN THE HEIGHTS (MUST SEE IN THEATRES)

Lin-Manuel Miranda serves a banquet of sumptuous joy; a feast for the pandemic-starved, melancholic, woebegone viewer; from its marvelous commencement to its spectacular conclusion, its edifying, glorious, musically magnificent score, innovative, ingenious choreography, stupendous cinematography, culturally iconic scenario, miraculously refashioned an audience steeped in a despondent, yearlong fug, into an exuberant mass, kvelling, knowing this is the stuff of happiness. I loved this movie, there are not enough adjectives to ... Read More »

LISEY’S STORY (Apple TV) & THE CONJURING, THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (Theatres & HBO MAX)

A lifelong Stephen King devotee, my fantasy has been to wander the dark, blighted, possessed corridors of his fecund imagination, just for a palpable hour, touching, feeling, experiencing the wizardry pulsating beneath his unorthodox artistry; “Lisey’s Story” might not share the hierarchy of “The Stand”, “The Shining”, “Misery” or one of my favorites “Thinner” but is hefty, semi-autobiographical and sensationally ... Read More »

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