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Monthly Archives: June 2016


India is cursed with its drug chaos, a ubiquitous issue plaguing nations worldwide. “Udta Punjab” is a serious, if at times sensational, depiction of the epidemic, its victims, perpetrators and the pervasiveness of this evil  “weapon of mass destruction”. Director Abhishek Chaubey has culled a superior cast to portray fictional characters in a realistic setting: Shahid Kapoor is “Tommy Singh”,  ... Read More »


Matthew McConaughey is a presence, a gargantuan force in the film world; amazingly, each characterization transcends his prior role. This trait is vividly, pivotally evident in “Free State of Jones” where as “Newton Knight” a deserter from the Confederate Army, in the war between the states (Southerners contend that there was nothing “civil” about it), he leads a disparate pack ... Read More »


“When a great genius appears in the world you can know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him.” Jonathan Swift Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938) railed against his detractors until he was championed by Max Perkins (1884-1947), editor of Charles Schreiber’s Publishing. Max, a man whose prescience recognized and lionized writers Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott ... Read More »


Penelope Cruz gives a dazzling performance as a vibrant schoolteacher, mother coping with the ugliness of breast cancer;  she soars as “Magda”, never shunning, hiding from the inevitability of her prognoses; she loves her soccer-playing son “Dani” (poignant portrayal by Teo Planell) with pure, uncensored, palpable devotion. Magda’s contagious, uninhibited  joy infects all who enter her sphere;  grieving “Arturo” (beautiful, ... Read More »


There are minimal films where an actor is so remarkable that their performance transcends sentimentality: 2014’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, whose profound characterizations pulverized the tear ducts of the most frigid cynics, and now “Me Before You’’ (based on the novel by JoJo Moyes) director Thea Sharrock’s weepy, wonderful story of a beautiful, ... Read More »

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