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Month: February 2023

The Pale Blue Eye–A Second Look

“The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague.  Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins?”  Based upon  Louis Bayard’s  novel by the same name, The Pale Blue Eye is a murder mystery thriller that intersects with horror. Opening with  renowned detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) being hired by West Point to investigate the hanging of a young cadet, Landor’s duties also include  protecting the reputation of the newly established military academy.  A reformed alcoholic who agonizes over his lost...

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The Recruit–Not Your Ordinary Nube

Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo of “All the Boys I Loved Before”), a newly minted lawyer hired by the CIA,  is drafted into an investigation of a Russian double-agent, Max  (Laura Haddock of “Downton Abbey: A New Era“). She is an invaluable asset who can air the dirty laundry of both the CIA and Russian intelligence.  A brilliant survivor who has to please two masters, Max soon manipulates Owen into negotiating her release from prison, implying she will blackmail the CIA if he fails. Will Max reveal the CIA’s most heinous secrets? A subplot of The Recruit (Netflix 2022 mini-series)...

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Emily the Criminal–The Making of a Criminal Mind

In this amoral thriller, anti-hero Emily (Aubrey Plaza of “White Lotus”, season 2 and “Parks and Recreations”) is interviewing for a job in a medical office.  Problem is she has a felony on her record for aggravated assault.  This fact will be crucial for the ongoing plot in Emily the Criminal. Angry and desperate with $70 thousand dollars in student loan debt, Emily is in a physically exhausting, mind-numbing job delivering catered lunches to businesses.   Both highly motivated as an artist wanting to have a career and handicapped by her criminal record,...

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All Quiet on the Western Front–The Ugliness of War

All Quiet on the Western Front, an October 2022 Netflix release, is Germany’s submission for this year’s Academy Award. Based upon the 1929 antiwar novel by Erich Maria Remarque, we see a profound drama about idealistic teenage boys volunteering to join the Imperial German Army during the closing year (1917) of the First World War. Seventeen-year-old Paul Bäumer (the baby-faced Felix Kammerer in his first cinematic role) is excited about enlisting with his classmates Albert Kropp, Franz Müller, and Ludwig Behm. The glimmer and shiny aspect of battle dims as he and his friends...

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