Monthly Archives: February 2019

Dear George Clooney — “Catch-22” is funny, or is supposed to be

Joseph Heller’s cynical/comical anti-war war novel was one of my favorite books as a teen. Another was “Papillon,” just so’s you know where I’m going with this. This trailer to the Hulu mini-series by George Clooney gets the darkness right, … Continue reading

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Documentary Review: The gloves are golden in the “Cradle of Champions”

Showtime slick and boxing picture predictable, “Cradle of Champions” is about the New York epicenter of Golden Gloves boxing. Journalist/director Bartle Bull picked three veterans of the annual Daily News charity event and followed them on their march towards amateur … Continue reading

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Documentary Review: Alabama teens “Wrestle” their way to adulthood in this winning documentary

    There’s a rigid formula for coming-of-age documentaries. Pick a group of disadvantaged schoolkids — dancers or mathematicians, athletes or children just desperate to be selected for the top magnet school in the region, ensuring that college is in … Continue reading

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Next Screening: Marines as we’ve never seen them, “raw,” in “Combat Obscura”

An official Marine Corps videographer shot “Combat Obscura,” a documentary of training, combat and down time footage so raw it’s “The Movie The Marine Corps doesn’t want you to see.” It’s due out in March from the reliably edgy Oscilloscope … Continue reading

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The REAL solution to shortening the Oscars?

AMPAS, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, has long wanted to shorten their night-long telecast of self-flattery, the Oscars. Years back, when Oscar expert Steve Pond had a book coming out, we discussed this and he said “As … Continue reading

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Next Screening? J.K. Simmons, Mandy Moore, Sebastian Stan and Maika Monroe star in “I’m Not Here”

Who needs ghosts? The past is what haunts us all — what might have been, “the one who got away,” the “path not taken.” This sets up as a tour de force for J.K. Simmons (Sebastian Stan plans his character … Continue reading

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Movie Review: New Zealand sends supernatural romance and chills”The Changeover”

The greatest monsters are the ones grounded in reality. Long before his character reveals anything supernatural in his makeup, the mysterious antiques dealer played by Timothy Spall has given us a vibe. Pervert. The sort who lures children into cars … Continue reading

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Bill Maher gets at the nub of this year’s nasty, childish anti-Oscar campaigning

If I see one more BS “garbage” assault on Peter Farrelly and “Green Book” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” or any other contender — from Jezebel, Salon, et al — I am going to hurl. It’s reached insane levels this year. Where … Continue reading

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BOX OFFICE: “Alita,” “Isn’t it Romantic” and “Death Day” make it a Dead Presidents Day Weekend

Box office prognosticators have been warning Fox and theater owners not to expect diddly from the opening of the $170 million “Alita: Battle Angel,” which James Cameron handed to Robert Rodriguez in a “Hold my beer” move meant to expedite … Continue reading

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Movie Review: A Philippines serial killer hides in “Smaller and Smaller Circles” as priests close in

Atmospheric and creepy, with characters and a setting far more interesting than the due the movie gives them, “Smaller and Smaller Circles” is a serial killer thriller set in the Philippines. It’s about two Jesuit priests, amateur sleuths, hunting a … Continue reading

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