“The Lobster”, a Bizarre Story About Love

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Working with excellent talent and intrusive camera work director Yorgos Lanthimos brings a bizarre film to the screen. The Lobster can be the perfect indie for a select audience of art film lovers that want to be drawn into a dark place for two hours while being entertained by the dreary storyline and the lifeless characters on the screen. For this group the movie’s a winner. The Lobster is motion picture art at its most absurd, even more so than the morose and brooding Melancholia or Under the Skin. If you want a mind bending experience, then this little gem is for you. That said, I did applaud Under the Skin for its alien tale about a hooker who gathers humans for disturbing reasons. Read more

“To Life”, a Gripping Tale of a Lost Love

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The charming drama To Life (Auf das Leben!) opens this weekend in Florida and other parts of America and it’s a gripping tale with a touch of whimsy. Nicely directed and acted the film delves into the mind of a Jewish woman who’s possessed by her past and lost for an act of revenge. Not your average movie, this one will tantalize, draw out your inner feelings and possess you during and after the lights come up in the theater. Perfect for art house movie goers and those who enjoy a compelling drama. Read more

“Ma Ma” an Unususal Romance Within a Heartbreaking Story

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Touching and heartfelt the film ma ma releases this weekend and its heartbreaking story. The movie stars Penelope Cruz show her magical charm by multi award winning writer/director Julio Medem a filmmaker who deals with strange romances. This love story may be a bit bizarre, but it should leave a lasting memory on the ladies well after they have left the theater. Read more

“The Finest Hours”, A Spectacular Display of Heroism

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One of the most visually spectacular sea stories The Finest Hours shows the courage, determination and stamina of a small crew of Coast Guardsmen who faced death during rescue operation in a raging storm. Now on Blu-ray/DVD or in a special combo pack. the depiction of the factual account gets so realistic and powerful that it will put you on the edge of your living room chair. The cinematography and CGI take you for a scary rollercoaster ride on huge waves during a tempest that’s one of the most remarkable piece of film footage for the screen. Read more

“The Wait (L’Attesa)”, a Heartfelt Film with a Dark Storyline

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If you are into dramas that manipulate your mind, have interesting characters that captivate and a script that vacillates down to the last touching moment, look no further than The Wait (L’Attesa). The acting is superb, the direction inventive, and the storyline, although a bit convoluted, very good. Combined with a charismatic location that should tantalize would be travelers and sets that reveal the iconic charm of Sicily, the film offers lasting visions of this gorgeous area where it was shot. Read more

“War & Peace”, a Classy Production of a Classic

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The book “War and Peace” has been made into a movie several times with the most memorable being the 1956 version starring Audrey Hepburn. While that particular 3 hour plus film did a very good job of bringing the romance from the book onto the big screen, it’s now considered a relic compared to the production values that have followed. With that in mind the recent War & Peace produced by BBC for television gets some awesome cinematography and editing, but never equals the chemistry between the characters in the 1956 version. Now on Blu-ray, the 8 part miniseries tells Tolstoy’s 1424 page book in approximately 6 hours. Read more

Papa Hemingway in Cuba, Intimate and Daring

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A bold time capsule of Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba gets revealed through the eyes of a reporter who lived it in the film Papa Hemingway in Cuba. Richly shot in the estranged county, the movie delves into the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning writer’s intimate lifestyle on the island in the 1950’s. Taught, daring and an eye opener the fine cast does a terrific job of character portrayal under the able direction of Bob Yari from an autobiographical script written by Denne Bart Petitclerc.

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The American Side, a Snappy Mystery Filled with Intrigue

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This mystery sets out as a routine blackmail, but turns into a thriller involving the government and those that want to get rich quick. And then there’s a suicide at Niagara Falls that all leads to The American Side. Much like the gumshoe J.J. Gittes in Chinatown with the same kind of pace and impression, The American Side becomes compelling and intriguing. Read more

The Huntsman: Winter’s War, An Icy Tale of Two Kingdoms

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While the special effects are very good in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the story, direction and the acting leave a lot to be desired. CGI plays a big part in the film and for the most part it carries its own weight, so much so that it gets wasted. The romantic plot gets a lot of the screen time and tends to make the film drag with its repetitive drivel. And most of the film can be described as The Hobbit meets Frozen. That said, let’s take one objection at a time. Read more

The Lady in the Van, a Heartwarming True Story

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Being a fan of good acting, plot and direction, especially connected to an indie, it’s enjoyable to watch a heartfelt film like The Lady in the Van. For those who admire Maggie Smith they’ll have double delight with this true story. Originally a play on a London stage starring the consummate actress and now on Blu-ray and DVD, the comedy drama’s wonderful to watch even your home video screen. Read more

The Jungle Book, A Cool Bolder Version of a Classic Story

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I’m not sure if this is exactly what Rudyard Kipling would have wanted his children’s book to be like on the big screen, but Director/producer Jon Favreau turns family viewing up a notch with a darker version of the 1997 animated The Jungle Book. Using live action with a copious amounts of computer generated images, Favreau takes the classic into the 21st century with realism beyond belief. Adding a lot of scary to his film, the movie becomes more of a jungle battle than an innocent romp in the trees and vegetation while coming in contact with some comical characters. Read more

Marguerite, a Gorgeous Film with Heart

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There’s a very good film opening this weekend and it’s pretentious in a very loving way. Partly based on a true story, Marguerite takes you to a time when Paris was in flower and Barons ruled provincial areas of France. And it’s drenched in the opulence of the rich and ravenous with the shysters looking to take advantage of the vain and ostentatious. Elegantly filmed, richly acted and well directed, if you like a good farce, you’ll fall in love with Marguerite. Read more

“Turn: Washington’s Spies” Season 2, Secrets and Treachery

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Things are really starting to heat up in season two of AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies” in both the colonies and in London. The weekly series now on DVD continues the secrecy, concealment, spying, trickery, lying and deceit. You would think it was just another episode of “The Americans”. But, “Turn” takes place a couple centuries earlier and the characters here are vying for control of the United States. In some cases its spy versus spy while delivering some major information that could change the tide of the war. Read more

Hello, My Name is Doris, a Butterfly has Exited the Cocoon

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After a long absence from the leading role, Sally Field returns to the big screen and it’s her film from opening line one to the logical ending. And what a performance by Field. Never losing her sweet cool, she shines in Hello, My Name is Doris, a romantic comedy with a little drama thrown in for good measure. It may get a little superficial, maudlin and bizarre, but that’s what makes the film the perfect couple’s night out. Ladies, it’s only a one tissue movie, but bring another for back-up. Read more