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Movie Reviews

'The Art of the Oscar Picks': The Devil Is in The Details
On a recent gloomy night I pondered weak and weary, not because I was necessarily weak or weary, but because I like the expression and it was time to make my Oscar picks, an annual tradition I abhor with no small amount of dread and disdain. All the same, I was determined that this year's choices would be the likes of which the world has
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'Peter Rabbit': Hop to It!
The kids whooped and hollered in gleeful approval of director Will Gluck's adaptation of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit." This even included the 10-to-12 contingent, usually too sophisticated to admit endorsement of an entertainment that might indict them of liking "baby stuff." And while the littler ones among the
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'Hostiles': Requiem for the Horse Opera
You know that lyric from "Home on the Range," where the cowpoke asserts that "seldom is heard a discouraging word?" Well, if you go by the realistic take on the Old West proffered in director/writer Scott Cooper's "Hostiles," the reason no one says anything discouraging is that they're either dead or
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'Phantom Thread': When Love Is In Fashion
Though perhaps deluded, I'd like to think I put as much effort into an essay as Daniel Day-Lewis' Reynolds Woodcock devotes to making a dress in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread."    This is the sort of person you want doing your heart operation, piloting the airplane you're on, or teaching your
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'The Post': The Stuff of Pulitzers
When we look back at this currently shameful nadir in American history, we will have heartening movies like Steven Spielberg's "The Post," about how the title newspaper fought a disingenuous U.S. government, to remind us of our successful defense of the 1st Amendment. It is a testament to the uses of
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'Darkest Hour': Saving The World 101
It is said that if you're hungry and motoring in a hurry, unable to stop due to time constraints, ubiquitous eateries will line the road. Likewise, an analogous case exists in times of sociopolitical crisis. Looking at our current situation in America, I see metaphors everywhere.   But in viewing Gary Oldman's tour de force
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'The Greatest Showman': For Ladies, Gentlemen & Parentally Guided Children of All Ages
Watching Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman," about the life and times of circus visionary P.T. Barnum, it occurred to me that the Trump debacle wasn't just about old white men afraid of losing their foothold. And it also wasn't just about white supremacists afraid of multiculturalism, or about trying to preserve dodo
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'The Shape of Water': No Ordinary Fish Tale
If you think the book was closed long ago on fairy tales, that they've all been written and read, and that the genre is further rendered obsolete by the brutal, anti-intellectual sentiment now rearing its ugly head in America, then you need to see "The Shape of Water."    Director Guillermo del Toro's
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'Wonder Wheel': Round and Round It Goes
Woody Allen flummoxes us. I think it was Henry Miller who asked to be judged by his literary work and not his personal life. "Fat chance" said some; "OK" said others; and "Who's Henry Miller?" was doubtlessly the response by most.   While Allen makes no such plea, aloud or tacitly, the arrival of
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'The Disaster Artist': No Soap, Radio
Director James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" reminded me of a non-joke that popularly circulated when I was a kid. It goes like this: Two elephants are in a bathtub and, when one says to the other, "Pass the soap," the other elephant informs, "No soap, radio."   You tell it and then you laugh,
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