Movie Reviews

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'The Spy Behind Home Plate': Glove, Mask, Cloak-and-Dagger

But what drives you crazy as you partake of Kempner's scholarly and entertaining treasure trough of the superbly assembled puzzle that was Newark, N.J.'s, Moe Berg, is, how about all the stuff we probably don't know about him?

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'Rocketman': Godzilla vs. Elton John

Thus, because of its celebrated songbook and heartrending meditation on the search for love, I emphatically endorse "Rocketman" before setting my moviegoing trajectory for "Godzilla II: King of the Monsters," and wonder if I'll construe 'tis also amour that motivates the beast.

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'Aladdin': Wishful Thinking

Rated PG and boasting a bevy of positive beliefs, with special emphasis on the leadership roles it passionately affirms are rightfully waiting for the fairer sex to assume, it's just the sort of film I'd want to take my daughter, Erin, to when she was little.

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'John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum': How Can I Kill Thee? Let me Count the Ways

Adding insult to the societal injury movies like the John Wick franchise commit, this is big business. It has grossed $53 million as of this writing, and it'll play all summer before going on to the really big money that movies make in the post-theater convenience of our dens.

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'Poms': Something to Cheer About

True, the formulaic manipulation is obvious. But that's what you sign on for, the tacit agreement you make to heartily invoke some suspension of disbelief in return for a healthy jolt of human spirit.

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'Long Shot': Proves a Winning Bet

Pulling no punches in its hardly veiled muckrake of the current four-flushers down in Foggy Bottom, this delightfully quixotic confection, heir to the screwball comedies directors Frank Capra and Preston Sturges buoyed Depression Era audiences with, is shrewdly enjoyable.

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'Avengers: Endgame': What the World Needs Now

The seriocomic adventure tale, a panoply of the very latest computer magic to suffuse the silver screen, is rapid-fire action most of the way, it is ultimately an exuberant kaleidoscope of technology, friendship and the separating of truth from the deceit of those who would bamboozle us. I

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'Teen Spirit': Youth, Not Wasted on the Young

Still, my rooting was cautious, always respecting in fearsome awe the uncertainty of youth and the mysteries it held. One misstep and you're on the pre-gentrified Bowery, squeegeeing car windows, or at least that's what my Mom warned whenever she had trouble waking me for school.

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'After': Of Good Girls and Bad Boys

You know the stereotype. He is the ubiquitously tattooed bad boy on the outside, yet capable of quoting from "Wuthering Heights" or "The Great Gatsby." But perhaps so could Hannibal Lecter.

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'Dumbo': A Relevant Elephant

Albeit etched with a caustic edge to grant it a realistic PG instead of a Pollyanna G, director Tim Burton makes sure his "Dumbo" remake contains all the elements necessary for the ethical considerations that have been an integral part of fairy tales ever since Oog first adorned the cave walls with his template for Animal Crackers.

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'Us': It Takes Two to Terrorize

Granted, the "scare me, scare me" crowd may be disappointed by the dearth of old-fashioned, unremitting shocks to body and soul. But if one gives serious thought to this feature-length affirmation of cartoon pundit Walt Kelly's theorem that we have met the enemy and he is "Us," it's probably the scariest prospect of all.

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'Gloria Bell': For Whom the Loneliness Tolls

But whether because of her humanity or also for her loveliness, we like Gloria, and hope that John Turturro's suitor turns out to be at least a reasonable facsimile of the gallant knight on the white horse come to rescue our gal from dying with her song still inside her. But again, leave it to me to also have a trifling problem with Turturro's character.

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'Transit': As in, Letters of ...

Perhaps it's his form of audio-visual touch-n-feel in an attempt to make us appreciate the uncaring horror inflicted on those caught in the vice of tyrants playing at government.

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'Captain Marvel': Brave New Suffragette

You don't have to be the dad of a little girl to have a cheering interest in the awesomely positive message that "Captain Marvel" blasts across the screen.

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'Greta': Guilty Thrills

I am an outsider to horror, what Alexis de Tocqueville was to American history. And so, while viewing director Neil Jordanís "Greta," about a lonely older woman who has a rather odd way of seeking companionship, offered no epiphany, it did provide an egoistic pleasure that may shed a glimpse of light.

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