Tag: Reviews

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Shines With Honesty

Overview: A small Midwestern town is thrown into chaos when a grieving mother puts up three billboards accusing the local authorities of incompetence in their investigation of her daughter’s rape and murder. Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2017; Rated R; 115 minutes. [Warning: Includes spoilers] The Personal Heresy:  The genius of Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri rests in a single scene about thirty minutes in. Local gift-shop cashier Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) has been dragged into the police station by Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) on a charge of assaulting a dentist with his drill during a routine check-up. Mildred...

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New on Amazon Prime: Fences is a Performance Powerhouse With Questionable Follow-Through

Originally published on January 9, 2017, Fences is now available for streaming for Amazon Prime customers. Overview: Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play, Fences examines the struggles of an aging black man in the 1950s as he tries to provide for his family, while his personal failures isolate him. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 139 minutes. August Personage: We’d be hard pressed to find a writer who so exquisitely captured the voices of black Americans during the 20th century like August Wilson. Wilson’s works carry blackness within their very punctuation, each break, stammer, or interruption illuminating a great...

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Call Me By Your Name is a Tender Romance Told Tenderly

Overview: A teen and a graduate student reckon with their surprising shared attraction during the former’s six week stay at the latter’s home in Northern Italy. 2017; Rated R; Sony Pictures Classics; 132 minutes. A Stranger’s Touch: It’s easy to become immune to the intimacy of touch. We’ve grown so used to making physical contact with those we’re close with that it doesn’t make much of an impact when it happens. And when we shake hands with someone, we’re expecting it, though maybe we’re taken a bit by the strength of the grip or the coarseness of the hand....

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The Punisher Drives a Sledgehammer into the Gut of American Deniability

“You want justice because you haven’t figured out there is no such thing yet.” Overview: Not long after Marine veteran Frank Castle believes he has hunted down those responsible for the death of his family, he finds himself caught in a government conspiracy with secrets that threaten to unravel American security, our policies on violence, and Frank’s very sense of self. 2017; Netflix; TV-MA; 13 episodes. Welcome Back, Frank: There’s no way that the Punisher, a character entrenched in gun violence, Reaganism, and ice-cold rage, could successfully tackle the systemic mishandling of justice, and the resulting violence from the...

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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Tells An Unexpected Story

Overview: A documentary on the life and accomplishments of actor and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Zeitgeist Films; 2017; Not Rated; 90 minutes. The Basics: From a series of interviews with Hedy Lamarr’s children, friends, and interspersed clips of an extended interview with Hedy herself, we learn the unusual story of a beautiful and intelligent woman who, though she had an active and inventive mind, found her intelligence valued far less than her beauty. Lamarr was born in Austria-Hungary and first gained recognition for the controversial film Ecstasy (1933), in which she briefly appeared nude. The same year, she married her...

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