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Movie Reviews
'Jane Got a Gun': Misfires
A few decades ago, before the revisionist Western (i.e. Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," 1971) moseyed into our movie palaces, director Gavin O'Connor's ultrarealistic "Jane Got a Gun" might have fascinated us and even won a few awards. But I tell you pardner, by this juncture I've just about had a belly full of poor cowpokes and sodbusters trying to scratch out a living in inhospitable country populated by no-account varmints, gunslingers and the precursors of what would evolve...

'The Boy': Best Seen by Mistake
It's the good old 'is it alive or not?' ploy, a theme that probably originated even before Abraham smashed the gods in his Dad's idol shop, perhaps for creeping him out. However, screenwriter Stacey Menear's slight variation on the theme isn't half bad and, had it been placed in more creative hands, might have propelled the film to a greater fright quotient.

'Carol': Sings a Sad Song
It is 1953, all buttoned up and proper, especially around the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where the Aird manse sits in pristine glory. But scratch the surface just a touch beyond the stone Tudor opulence and therein resides some pretty unhappy people ... specifically, Harge and Carol Aird. They don't mention the cause of their disaffection, but rather talk around it, the reticence to be direct indicative of the myopic disdain hubby feels for this unexplainable thing that has torn his...

'The Revenant': Will Haunt You
Director Alejandro González Inarritu's "The Revenant," starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the ultimate survival tale, is the adult equivalent of those scary films when you were little that gave you nightmares for a week, causing Mom to decree, "That's it, no more watching those movies." Chronicling the mostly true travail of Hugh Glass, a trapper in what would become the Dakota Territory, circa 1823, DiCaprio's tour de force chillingly reminds that the real horrors of life are far more...

'The Hateful Eight': Guiltily Affable
You laugh in conflicted appreciation of Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," a throwback Western contemporized with the director's signature nihilism. Yep, it's plenty violent, pardner ... permeated with it, you might even say. You can't watch this latest example of the filmmaker's brutality beyond the pale without contemplating the curious niche he has carved for himself, a strange world of ironic justice and topsy-turvy morality full of guilty thrills.

'The Big Short': Hifalutin' Finance
The thing is, the witty sarcasm that weaves its way through this tale of financial woe and deceit illustrates in no uncertain terms that, to add insult to injury, the game isn't being played fairly.

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': A Force to Be Reckoned With
But to simply refer to it as a movie is like saying that Woodstock was a rock concert.

'Trumbo': Write and Wrong
The learning process compelled by Trumbo's struggles reminds us that democracy is an experiment, albeit a noble one.

'Brooklyn': A Movie Destination
She soon discovers that it's not just freedom from political repression or economic inequity that's important. Rather, it goes much deeper.

'Creed': The Comfort Food of Film
Being loyal fans, we are in his corner, confident that it's in our favorite mug's "Creed" to once again answer the bell.

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2': Clueless in Panem
Prepare for all sorts of switches, none too extraordinary, but nonetheless telling of the times

'Suffragette': Heroines of Democracy
In that light, it's crazy to think that once upon a time half the Earth's population thought it quite OK to disenfranchise the other half.

'Spectre': Keeps the Bond Spirit Alive
All these elements, spread across the travelogue-like landscape that is 007's playground make for an opulent eyeful.

'Our Brand is Crisis': Dirty Politics, as Usual
Gosh knows the current practices of our elected officials remain as primitive as the bloodletting that probably killed President Washington.

'Steve Jobs': Doesn't Get to the Core of the Apple
How did he do it ... set the information highway on its ear and reinvent it?

 
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