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Tag Archives: 3 Stars

Birds of Prey (And the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn continues from where she left off in Suicide Squad – newly separated from the Joker – trying to find her life without him. With the Joker, she always had protection; now, she is on her own and has to face the various villains in Gotham City – in this case, the Black Mask (played by a rather uninteresting Ewan McGregor). Overall, I liked the movie; it has a lot of fun, colorful action, and Margot Robbie is always great to watch. She makes Harley Quinn a fresh and bold character. I wasn’t that taken by the …

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Capone

Tom Hardy plays Al (Fonso) Capone during the last year of his life. At this point, syphilis has caused extensive neurological damage resulting in worsening dementia. After prison, he lives his final years in an exquisite estate in Florida with his close family and the FBI listening in on all of his phone calls. Capone believes he has hidden 10 million dollars somewhere on the property, but he cannot remember where it is at, and various people around him, including the FBI, are very interested in the money’s whereabouts. The film is rather strange, and not always in a good …

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Tigertail

(Taiwan-American): The film spans three generations centered on Pin-Jui: Pin-Jui’s childhood and young adulthood; his married years, and his children. The screenplay bounces back and forth in time to tell the story of how Pin-Jui followed his dream and moved to America from Taiwan. It is a story about the choices we make and their ramifications. I liked the film, although I did not think it great. While it is a nicely told story, it lacks the emotional depth needed to connect with the characters. So many of the stories are half-told, and it all felt rushed (one example is …

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The Way Back

Ben Affleck is Jack Cunningham, a former high school basketball star who is recently separated and an alcoholic. When his former school’s coach is incapacitated, the father who heads the school reaches out to see if he would step in as coach. I think the movie is just okay, mostly because Affleck gives a very convincing performance. The script leaves a lot to be desired. There are a lot of films, such as Hoosiers, that give better treatment to the subject matter. This film ends up being predictable, and the revelation of his various demons comes too late in the …

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The Gentlemen

In this new Guy Ritchie film, Michael (Matthew McConaughey) has created a multimillion-pound marijuana growing and selling operation in London. When he decides to sell the business, there are several characters who try to figure out ways to take the business from him. This is a weird movie. The dialogue is for the most part really corny and bad; I am not quite sure if it was intended that way (I think it was), but in many cases,  it isn’t funny. To Ritchie’s credit, when his brand of craziness works, it is really funny. The only saving grace for me …

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Zombieland: Double Tap

Well, I seem to have a bit more time in the evenings these days to catch up on some movies! I loved the first Zombieland, so I thought I would check out the sequel. All of the leads – Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), Abigail Breslin (Little Rock), Emma Stone (Wichita), and Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus) – are back, now battling new variants of zombies that get harder and harder to kill. When Little Rock runs off with a new age stoner (Berkeley), the three of them hit the road for what turns out to be a sometimes-hilarious road trip. Two of the …

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Bombshell

This film is based on the story of how Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. Her cause was bolstered by Fox News host Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron). I will start with what I thought was good. The makeup – incredible. These three actors look so much like the people they are playing. Charlize Theron’s impersonation of Megyn Kelly is uncanny. The acting is excellent by all. I particularly liked Charlize Theron who just always looked and seemed like Megyn (I don’t think there is any role she cannot …

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1917

During WWI, two young men, Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) have been given an assignment: The Germans have been planning a huge deception, and the two need to reach the front line with orders from the General to not advance, as they are heading into a trap. The film is the journey undertaken by the two to get the message there. Blake’s brother is in that regiment, which gives Blake a larger sense of urgency. Technically, the film is brilliant. The camera work is done to look like a single take, which gives it …

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As Astra

Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is an astronaut who has a reputation for being able to push himself to get the job done. He lives in a world where space travel is relatively common; going to the moon to launch to Mars to use as a jumping-off point for a trip to Neptune is commonplace. McBride is given an assignment – to travel to the vicinity of Neptune to find out the source of a series of electromagnetic pulses that are destroying space stations; they are tied to a spacecraft that is headed by McBride’s father. The film is an interesting …

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The latest film brings conclusion to a nine-part movie series. I am not quite sure how to describe the film. We did enjoy it and thought it to be a satisfying end to the series. To get there, however, meant sitting through some rather corny dialog, odd music, and a lot of visits with characters from previous episodes; the film seemed more interested in paying homage to the series than creating anything new and exciting. The story also felt rushed to me. I did like how it brought resolution to the question that started it regarding the power of good …

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