• movie reviews

Inside Man–Incarceration or Cancellation?

A dramatic four-episode mini-series by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who creator), Inside Man was released on Netflix October 31. There are two parallel plots:  Former law professor Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) is on death row for strangling and beheading his wife.  A brilliant Hannibal Lecter-style genius for solving cold cases, he waits execution.  The second plot involves an English vicar Harry Watling (David Tennant who played Doctor Who) and his wife Mary (Lindsey Marshal). The vicar reluctantly accepts a flash drive from the deeply disturbed verger (vicar’s attendant) who wants...

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The Watcher–Don’t Bother

The Watcher (a seven-episode Netflix mini-series by Ryan Murphy, creator of Stranger Things and American Horror Story) was released on October 13 of this year and is currently rated #1 on that platform. Loosely based on a true story, a creative middle-aged couple   Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean Brannock (Bobby Cannavale), buy a mansion in a wealthy insular country-club enclave: Westfield, in upstate New Jersey.   Soon they are  haunted by a stalker, and besieged with financial problems from purchasing a home they couldn’t really afford.   Their teenage daughter is, at first,...

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Money Monster–A Wall Street Trick-or-Treat

In this 2016 sleeper directed by Jodie Foster, we see cocksure television financial guru Lee Gates (George Clooney), a television huckster hosting “Money Monster”, (similar to  “Mad Money with Jim Cramer”.) Gates specializes in helping the small-time investor by recommending stocks that are a sure winner, “better than your savings account”.  Evangelizing stocks for the amateur  looking into the action from outside,   Gates recommends Ibis Clear Capital, which inexplicably craters, losing an astronomical $800 million in one day’s trading.  A distraught...

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My Sister’s Keeper—Who Gets to Live?

My Sister’s Keeper,  a 2009 film based on the Jodi Picoult novel of the same name, and directed by Nick Cassavetes, is a  family saga. The film explores the harrowing decision involving a minor’s forced organ donation and the right to medical emancipation.  My Sister’s Keeper is the painful “Sophie’s Choice” of asking to choose just one of your treasured children’s lives.  What is a parent willing to do to save the life of a child with a bleak, painful future, and imminent death around the corner? What about conceiving in vitro  a “designer child” with...

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The Outfit (2022)—Suitable Suspense

The Outfit’s director and co-writer Graham Moore ( whose screenplay for “The Imitation Game” won an Oscar,) has created a slow-burn thriller fitting of Masterpiece Theater. In early 1950s Chicago, only a few years after the end of the Second World War, proud sixty-something British Savile Row tailor Leonard Burling (the renowned stage actor Mark Rylance), meticulously cuts and sews bespoke suits primarily for organized crime.  The majority of his patrons who buy his rarified suits now ask him to hide their spoils and be a communication hub for their nefarious schemes. ...

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“Infinite Storm”—In the Eye of

Based on a true story, Infinite Storm recreates the 2010 rescue from Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. A blizzard is about to be unleashed, and Pam Bales (Naomi Watts) knows that this will be a challenging climb.  But the viewer does not know her motivation for undertaking what seems like an unnecessary risk in the approaching storm.  Nonetheless, she packs her backpack and emergency supplies and begins the climb, only midway finding tracks that indicate someone wearing sneakers is hiking in the vicinity. We see unimaginable physical exertion, and near-death heroics to continue the trek...

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