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Tag Archives: 2.5 Stars

The White Tiger

The movie is about the rise of Balram from growing up in a poor neighborhood to becoming a successful entrepreneur in Delhi. As a teenager, he manages to land a job working as a driver for Ashok and his wife Pinky, both of whom have returned from America to expand their business. I didn’t think the film is terrible, but when I think that it was an adaptation of a book that won the Booker Prize, the story had to have been told MUCH better there than in the film. I found it mostly a tedious exercise that required significant …

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Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm

Sasha Baron Cohen, imprisoned for bringing shame to Kazakhstan and which is I think probably how the last movie ended, in exchange for a trip to America to restore the honor of the country. When he gets to America, he finds that his daughter has stowed away, and the two of them embark on a mission to get her married to Mike Pence (at least I think this is how the story went). Some parts of the movie were funny in illuminating issues of cultural difference and what our political system probably looks like from an outsider. However, I found …

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Holiday

(Danish): Sascha is a young woman whose older boyfriend is a drug dealer – and is also very controlling. The film seems to be an examination of her life with her boyfriend over several days. There were a couple of aspects of the film I liked. The lead actress who played Sascha is very good, and I liked how the cameral focused much of the film on her. The director captured the nuances of her character very well. Otherwise, I found the film rather boring. There is a story, but the story itself did not make a lot of sense …

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Kingsmen: The Golden Circle

After his mansion is blown into smithereens and several Kingsmen are lost, Eggsy and Merlin end up in Kentucky to try to uncover who was responsible for the destruction. The film descends into goofy mayhem as they find themselves in the middle of whiskey country and confront a global threat instituted by Poppy, who has created a virus that leaves people paralyzed. The film seems to be a parody of itself; whereas the original Kingsman was fresh and moderately innovative, this one veers into silly comedy involving meat grinders and – yes, Elton John, who seems to be at Poppy’s …

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Lloyd (Matthew Rhys) is a journalist who tends to ravage his subjects in magazine articles. His boss assigns him a topic out of his comfort zone: Write a piece about Mr. Rogers for a magazine article on American heroes. The film is about the friendship that develops between Mr. Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) and Lloyd, based on a real-life friendship between Mr. Rogers and the journalist. I liked the movie but did not love it. It felt too “Hallmark Channel” in a field of films this year that soar. Most of the film …

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Shazam!

14-year-old orphan Billy is unhappily assigned to another foster home, and he is not happy. One day, he becomes the guy designated to become Shazam: A superhero who can go into and out of his role by proclaiming Shazam! He encounters Sivana, the older man version of the boy who first stumbled into the Wizard realm and was not deemed worthy to have Shazam’s power. The movie is sweet but too much so. Most of it is rather cliché; we have seen the story of the guy who doesn’t know how to harness his powers, the guy who overcomes personal …

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The Upside

In this remake of the French film Intouchables (2012), Phil (Bryan Cranston) is a millionaire who was in an accident that left him a quadriplegic. During his search for a caretaker, Dell (Kevin Hart) barges into an interview being overseen by Phil’s business manager Yvonne (Nicole Kidman); he really doesn’t want the job, he just needs a signature to prove he is looking for work. Phil decides to hire Dell, which is the beginning of their friendship. This is based on the true story of a friendship of two very different men with different backgrounds. The film is okay; the …

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Ocean’s 8

Debbie Ocean (played by Sandra Bullock), sister of Danny Ocean from the other Ocean’s films, has just been released from prison. During her 5 years, she has been plotting how to pull off the heist-of-all-heists: a necklace worth 150M dollars. I found the movie to be enjoyable but uneven. It was predictable and lacked any suspense or deviousness to make the heist more tenuous and interesting. I did like that the film was a gender twist on the other Ocean’s films. Some of the characters were more interesting than others. My favorites are Anne Hathaway, who is hilarious as model …

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Rampage

Rampage: Davis (Dwayne Johnson) is a war veteran who made a career change and became a primatologist. He communicates pretty well by using sign language with a gorilla (George). In outer space, an experiment goes awry, and an explosion results in a mysterious substance falling to earth in three different places. The substance causes genetic mutations resulting in rapid growth and increased violence. George inhaled the substance, as did two other creatures, and soon those extremely HUGE monsters descend upon Chicago. Davis serendipitously meets the person responsible for creating the substance, and together they plan to find a way to …

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth movie in the franchise finds the tyrannosaurus dinosaur to be bigger, badder, smarter, and harder to kill than the in the previous sequels. Chris Pratt is back as Owen, a dinosaur trainer. He and his maybe-girlfriend Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to the island to try to rescue the dinosaurs that have been roaming the island freely since the demise of the Jurassic World theme park in the previous sequel. A volcano has begun erupting and threatening to send the dinosaurs back into extinction. The rescue of several of the dinosaurs includes bringing some of them back to …

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