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22 JULY (NETFLIX & IN THEATRES)

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Inapplicable is Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil”; there’s nothing banal about Andres Behring Breivik’s (1979) sinful slaughter of seventy-seven innocents on July 22nd, 2011. Director Paul Greengrass’s realistically brutal film, shuns sugarcoating the scenario of Norway’s heinous contribution to mass annihilation; another crazed, warped individual rallying against “multiculturalism”,  Marxism and its infestation of Norway’s purified, homogenous population. Anders Behring Breivik ... Read More »

FIRST MAN

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From the onset, director Damien Chazelle balances astronaut Neil Armstrong’s (1930-2012) life between the professional and the personal; initially plummeting through the atmosphere ensconced in space attire, versus his raw heartbreak, while caring for his dying daughter, Karen (1959-1962); Ryan Gosling humanizes (with the aid of Neil’s sons Eric and Mark) this remarkable, taciturn icon, whose legendary walk on the ... Read More »

COLETTE

Colette (2018) (screen grab) 
Keira Knightley
CR: Bleeker Street

Historically, female authors have camouflaged their gender by electing male nom de plumes: the Bronte sisters, Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848), Anne (1820-1849), used the sobriquet “Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell”; Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880), “George Eliot”; Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), “A. M. Bernard”; Karen Blixen (1885-1962), “Out of Africa” and “Babette’s Feast” renown, disguising herself as “Isak Dinesen”; today’s J. ... Read More »

A STAR IS BORN

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Rising, in Phoenix tradition, the fourth, and pivotally realistic, version of a star-crossed, fatefully doomed, relationship; refreshingly compelling, due to the magnetism of its stars; Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are daunting as “Jackson Maine” and “Ally Campana”; they flirt with the iconic greatness of 1954’s version directed by George Cukor, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, transcending the predictable ... Read More »

PENEFLIX IS ON A TWO WEEK SABBATICAL

For over eleven years and 1000 plus reviews, my sporadic filmic intermissions rejuvenate, not only my spirit, but how I view films; the escapism of movies, relief from reality, a hiatus from daily duties, is healthy, but has to be balanced with the flavor of things as they actually exist; blinders off, focusing on globalization and its effects on the ... Read More »

WHITE BOY RICK

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The 1980’s, halcyon height of the drug wars in Detroit, a cavern of crime, devastation, addiction and fourteen-year-old, Rick Wershe Jr.; Richie Merritt is blissfully faultless in his debut performance; he maneuvers comfortably through the underbelly of Detroit’s infected, disenfranchised, punitive world. Director Yann Demange’s source was 2014’s “The Trials of White Boy Rick” by Evan Hughes, and it egregious, ... Read More »

A SIMPLE FAVOR

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“Stephanie Smothers” is one of the most cloying, annoying, insufferable characters on today’s screen; her saccharine plasticity, oozes enough sweetness to induce a diabetic coma; she has a “vlog” showcasing her recipes; she is the single, self-deprecating, intensely dislikable mom of a five-year-old boy; Anna Kendrick’s depiction scores with grating perfection. Stephanie meets and befriends “Emily Nelson” whose glamour cannot ... Read More »

9/14/18 THE CHILDREN ACT (ON DEMAND & IN THEATERS)

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Ian McEwan’s 2014 bestselling novel has been translated into film; with minimal poetic license, it adheres to the literary scenario; its precepts are presented and readers/viewers are left with an unsettling, amorphous feeling of disquieting indecisiveness. The Children Act of 1989 in the United Kingdom was to ensure and protect the welfare of children, until their majority, at eighteen. “Fiona ... Read More »

DESTINATION WEDDING

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Skillful performances by Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves cannot save director/writer Victor Levin’s film from end-of-summer sludge;  “Lindsay” and “Frank” meet on their way to a destination wedding in San Luis Obispo, Ca. (the town deserves better); instantly established, is their acrimonious, rancorous, bond; poisonous, xenophobic barbs equivalently traded, permeate every verbal minute; ceaselessly talking, dynamiting viewers ability to make ... Read More »

THE BOOKSHOP

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Penelope Fitzgerald’s (1916-2000) 1978 novel can be described simply as a portrait of courage. Since the passing of Senator John McCain on August 25th, we have heard the word countless times but no one owned, soared higher in the courageous category than Meghan McCain in her eulogy for her father; as rare as the man, was the depth of sensitivity, ... Read More »

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