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Ripley (2024)–The One Who Got Away?

Based upon Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 classic, The Talented Mr. Ripley, this neo-noir remake reinterprets good and evil, survival and triumph, guilt and psychopathology. Tom Ripley is a young intelligent grifter residing in squalor in the 1960s, sharing a filthy bathroom with sewage backing up into the drain.  Feeling destined for the best that money can buy, Ripley is determined to set out to live that life, leaving his small-time operation as a con-man in Brooklyn.  We know little of his backstory except he was an orphan having been abandoned after the death of an astringent,...

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Prisoner–Trapped with No Escape

In this  six-episode Danish prison drama (2024), Prisoner, the action pops in the opening scene.  Miriam (Sofie Gråbøl) is a veteran prison guard with some compassion for the inmates, perhaps the only one with human feelings for the incarcerated.  Until Sammi (Youssef Wayne Hvidtfeldt), of Danish-Arab ethnicity: a new recruit who desires to support prisoners for the good of society at large. Henrik (David Dencik) is also a veteran prisoner guard, one who has manipulated the prison system for his own self-interest,  taking a percentage of the drugs that sedate...

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Lawman: Bass Reeves–A Truthful  Western

This true untold story about the first Black  US Marshall highlights Lawman Bass Reeves responsibilities for law enforcement in the Oklahoma Territories including Native lands.  One of the most legendary lawmen in the Old West, Lawman: Bass Reeves (David Oyelowo) opens with  Reeves heroically fighting in the Confederate army alongside his Texas slave owner on the eve of Reconstruction.  Despite  brutal circumstances and the lawlessness of racists and prairie vigilantes, Reeves struggles to be  a man with integrity in the face of immoral institutions.  Crisis after...

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Marsh King’s Daughter–A Companion Piece to Where the Crawdads Sing?

In this mystery thriller based on Karen Dionne’s novel of the same name, we see a story taking place  in a swamp with a young girl and her mother trapped by an abusive father.   The Marsh King’s Daughter opens with the ten-year old Helena [Brooklyn Prince of “Florida” (November 7, 2017 review )] in the woods with her father (Ben Mendelsohn of “Bloodline”), having a lesson in survival skills.  Helena is shown how to hunt and  skin wild animals as well as  how to interpret animal tracks.  All of these skills will prove invaluable...

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Poor Things–The Lucky Devils

Poor Things, starring Emma Stone in her 2024 Academy Award-winning role, is a feminist Frankenstein-like tale based upon Alasdair’s 1992  eponymous novel.   Opening  with emotionally and physically scarred mad scientist Godwin (“God”) Baxter (Willem Defoe) admiring his creation, Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) on the operating table, we know immediately that God’s sinister surgery has produced a freak.  He has given the gift of life back to Bella (ironically, “the beautiful”),  now reborn after she  jumped off the London Bridge.  Pregnant before committing...

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What Happened to Monday?–A Weekly Menace

The year is 2073,. Overpopulation and limited resources, especially food and fuel, have created a mandatory one-child policy called “The Child Allocation Act”.  What Happened to Monday   explores what such a world  would look like with an autocrat as leader and mandatory enforcement with surveillance required for all citizens.  In the opening scene Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe)  is grieving watching his daughter die in giving birth to septuplets: seven identical baby girls (all of them portrayed by Noomi Rapace best known for “Girl with the Dragon...

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