The Film Gang

Begin Again

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above.
 

Snowpiercer

Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, or read it below.
  

Snowpiercer, a Film by Bong Joon-Ho

Summer is an acknowledged times for blockbusters. Snowpiercer the latest film by Korea’s Bong Joon Ho, is an apocalyptic dystopic entrant into that category. Bong Joon-Ho may be familiar to moviegoers as the director who brought us the creepy horror flick The Host (also known as Monster) and a poignant melodrama, Mother. Qualities in evidence in both these previous works recur in Snowpiercer: Bong’s penchant for the macabre and his ability to incite intense emotional responses from viewers.

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Jersey Boys

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Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, and read it below.

 

Jersey Boys, A Film By Clint Eastwood.

If it’s challenging to try to bring a hit musical to the screen, it can be no less vexing to evaluate such an adaptation. Broadway smash hit Jersey Boys, based on a book co-authored by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and reconfigured as a Clint Eastwood film, has already made a big splash, as far as publicity goes. It needs no further hype or buzz. John Lloyd Young, who created a memorable stage version of real-life elfin doo-wop falsetto icon Frankie Valli, reprises his role for this motion picture.

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Ida

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

 

Ida, as we say in English, (the name is pronounced eeda in Polish) is a film that could as well be called Ida & Wanda, or so it seems to me.

I’ve watched Ida four times and each time I’ve been more touched, more moved. But I’m also convinced that it’s as much a portrait of Ida’s aunt, Wanda, as it is of Ida.

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Fed Up

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

For well over two decades I was in the natural foods business, so when I learned of the new documentary called Fed Up, I knew I’d watch it. And let me say, up front, that while much of the content is extremely disturbing – this is a vitally important film. I recommend it to everyone. I’ve misplaced my magic wand, but if it were handy, I’d require everyone to watch it.

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Chef

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Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, or read it below.
 

 
The work of Jon Favreau has already made an impact on American popular film. He has been executive producer for the Iron Man franchise as well as for The Avengers and the quirky Cowboys and Aliens. Chef, his latest endeavor, is distinct from its predecessors; while categorized as a comedy it nonetheless addresses several very serious matters, the most central of which revolve around parenting, more specifically fathering.

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Belle

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

Race, bigotry, class, slavery, miscegenation, women as property …. these are a handful of the issues that the film Belle grapples with while disguised as what some are calling ‘a costume drama’.

The film opens in 1769 as John Lindsay, an officer in the British Royal Navy, arrives at an unnamed site to claim his daughter. Her mother, a former West Indian slave, and Lindsay’s lover, has recently died.

Lindsay’s intention is to convince his uncle, Lord Mansfield, who also happens to be the Chief Justice of Britain’s highest court, to care for his daughter while he, Lindsay, is away at sea.

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The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

Review by Dennis Morton:

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when I see or hear the word Galapagos is Charles Darwin. But The Galapagos Affair, a very clever and imaginative documentary
put together by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller may change that.

The film opens with these words:
“As I think back on it all, I see the way in which life can make a poor end of fine and admirable beginnings. Five years ago we came to make an Eden on these shores, and had things gone as we hoped I truly believe we’d have remained here happily – dying peacefully in old age.”

These words were written by Dore Strauch. Cate Blanchett, the great Australian actress, lends her voice to Dore’s writing. Not just Dore’s words, but Blanchett’s recitation have already let us know that we’re in for more than a run-of-the-mill documentary.

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Blue Ruin

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Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, or read it below.

Blue Ruin is a film by Jeremy Saulnier.

Blue Ruin follows a classic formula. It is billed as a revenge saga. A thriller, viewers get almost no transition time. Within moments we are plunged into a world of few words; sight and sound narrow as an unnamed bearded protagonist must confront news of the imminent release of a convicted double murderer whose case we learn dates from 1993. The action takes the form of stalking as the hirsute antihero stealthily closes in on his nemesis. Retribution proves swift and sanguinary. Having avenged himself, the protagonist steals the murderer’s sedan, finding a passenger inside. Stopping, the two men briefly converse, beginning with this terse exchange:

Query: Did you hurt Wade?
Reply: Yeah, Wade hurt my parents.

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13 Sins

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In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I’d just watched 13 Sins. I gave him a rundown of the movie, and he said – sounds a lot like The Magic Christian.
So, I looked up a précis of The Magic Christian, which was released in 1969, and sure enough, the over arching theme seems to be similar.

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