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Monthly Archives: May 2014


Frequently writers rely on “Webster or Oxford” to crush the roadblocks stymieing mental acuity, a cowardly crutch; but as I watched “Chinese Puzzle” laughing uproariously, surrounded by a modestly mute audience, surreptitiously looking at me, questioning my tenuous grip on reality; it struck me with tsunami velocity that “humor” is profoundly subjective.  So,  like a multitude before me, I checked ... Read More »


Approximately ten years ago I saw artist Gregg Bordowitz (1964-) give a lecture, after a minimal audience, viewed his ripping film “Fast Trip, Long Drop”. Gregg was diagnosed H.I.V. positive in 1988; he was twenty-four years old. His brutally authentic, autobiographical film, savagely addresses his life before he became ill;  halcyon, fast, fun days of irresponsible youthful hedonism,  versus the ... Read More »


Reminiscent of “Back to the Future”, but infused with tremendous angst and a monumental desire to stop the vicissitudes of the future by “adventuring” back to 1973; Director Bryan Singer’s worthy quest to protect the “mutants” (a metaphor for society’s outcasts, with extra-terrestrial gifts) is successful in its legitimate depiction of those outside the traditional genetic composition. Virginal, somehow “Marvel” ... Read More »


It is inconceivable that the profession you have yearned for, trained for, is in a moment, catastrophically revealed to be anathema to your origins.  Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s profoundly poignant and grippingly realistic portrait of two women, bound by blood, but living diametrically opposite, disparate existences; testifies to the monumental atrocities, residual effects perpetrated upon the blameless by the Nazi regime. ... Read More »


“The Immigrant” opened Chicago’s 49th International Film Festival last October. Marion Cotillard, with a face to launch a thousand films, could not salvage “The Immigrant” a movie with a big heart, and inconsequential spine; Ellis Island, 1921; “Ewa” (Cotillard) a Polish immigrant (dazzling command of the Polish language) is separated from her sister, rescued by “Bruno Weiss” (implausible Joaquin Phoenix) ... Read More »


Do not be misled by the title. “Million Dollar Arm” is so much more than a “sport” film; it is a human interest, accurate depiction of greatness springing forth from desperation. JB Bernstein, down on his fortune, sports agent (Jon Hamm hammers the role) and his partner Aash (terrific Aasif Mandvi) unorthodoxly decide to pluck their recruits, pitchers from India; ... Read More »


“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. Cooking done with care is an act of love.” Craig Claiborne. “Chef” is an ambrosial feast, not solely for the palate, but the mind, heart and imagination; I never wanted this film to end. Jon Favreau (writer/director/star) gifts audiences a delectable homage to the passion, obsession, sheer  unmitigated happiness that the ... Read More »


Impossible to obliterate a highly creative monolithic monster, a mutant descendent of the dinosaur family;  thriving on   radioactivity,  deliciously dished by viable governments, determined to erase him from the globe; fortunately for viewers “Godzilla”, an amphibian of mammoth magnitude,  still possess pungently powerful immunities to weapons of mass extinction.   Interestingly “Godzilla” lacks the “fear factor”; being my first exposure to ... Read More »


Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) stars in this unfortunate, misguided,  sad film, based on a puny, weary working class town imbued with minor minds, alcoholic imbeciles, petty miscreants and derelicts. Directed by John Slattery, Jr. “God’s Pocket” (a metaphor for the mundane, struggling average man, in need of spiritual guidance, protection); Hoffman is “Mickey Scarpato” a meager thief confronted, confounded by ... Read More »


This interesting and intelligent film focuses on a minimally highlighted slice of slavery’s abhorrent effects, and the Civil War (1861—65), in North America. 1864. Thirteen- years- old, fatherless, and working for a bounty hunter, “Will” (marvelous, insightful performance by Ashton Sanders) is sent to find freedmen and runaway slaves; “Burrell” (pungently evil depiction by Bill Oberst, Jr.) rules with killing ... Read More »

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