Monthly Archives: August 2017

Movie Review: The System takes decades to chew up one victim in “Crown Heights”

Some stories are compelling enough to tell without embellishment. A simple recounting of the facts, carefully observed portraits of those involved and the trials life and “the system” hand our hero is enough. And when those stories are filmed in … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Patti Cake$” puts rhymes to her plus-size struggles

“Patti Cake$” is a lowdown New Jersey epic, a down-in-the-dumps of Bayonne but dreaming big tale of a hard place and the hard people looking to get out. Australian Danielle MacDonald, in the title role, carries the ghost of everyone … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “All Saints” asks “Can this church be saved?”

    Maybe it’s the old Alaska radio hand in me, but if John “Chris in the Morning” Corbett took over as preacher at a local church, I’d be in the front pew. “Northern Exposure” lingers lightly on one’s existential … Continue reading

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Movie Review: The fog of liquor makes it all seem like “Easy Living”

Sherry Graham lives in an extended-stay motel and spends her days driving her ancient Ford Escort from neighborhood to neighborhood, selling makeup door-to-door. “I like the personal interaction,” she says. She wears her one-good suit, laughs at clients’ jokes, brushes … Continue reading

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Summer Cinema 2017 was a big-time bust

Summer 2017 at the movies finished with the worst weekend box office take in over 20 years, the worst August in forever and a stunning general decline in ticket sales — 13.4% down from last summer, 5.4% down for the … Continue reading

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AMC vs. MoviePass — fighting over making movies affordable

Over the years, I’ve had many a beef with AMC. This Kansas City based empire has used its Second Biggest Movie Chain status to lead the market in ticket price spikes, in killing off low-cost corners of their concession business … Continue reading

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Box Office: “Leap!” and “Birth of the Dragon” bomb, “Hitman” wins a desultory weekend

Any hopes that “Logan Lucky” would hold audience and saunter towards a break-even box office take are Gone with the Wind of Hurricane Harvey. Or Hurricane Indifference, is more like it. “Lucky” might clear $4 million, but it will probably … Continue reading

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A timely Sam Shepard bio reconsiders the playwright/actor

The last chapter or so of John J. Winters’ “Sam Shepard: A Life,” gives one the feeling that perhaps he or his publisher knew something, and rushed this biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and iconic Man of … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Bruce Lee learns his uhhh…chops in “Birth of the Dragon”

It’s not too much to expect Bruce Lee to be the “hero” of a martial arts biography titled “Birth of the Dragon.” But Lee, here played by Philip Wan-Lung Ng, is sort of this jerk in the background of a … Continue reading

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Focus Features to stream free films on Fridays

Here’s a clever promotion that I expect to see replicated as more and more movie studios get into the business of streaming their own back catalog, and not licensing it to Hulu, Amazon, Youtube or Netflix. The prestige picture distributor … Continue reading

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