Jackie (2016)

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Jackie (2016)

There is an odd musical cue at the very beginning of Pablo Larrain’s historical drama Jackie that sounds as if it might be more at home in a horror movie.  The best way to describe it is to ask you to imagine that the score is imitating an oncoming train.  This musical beat plays several […]

| November 29, 2016
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

There is an uneasy dual identity to the whole Harry Potter world that no self-respecting super-fan might ever want to admit.  The cute spectacle of mail owls and Bowtruckles have always had to fight for space amid Death Eaters, torture spells and portents of doom fit for a horror show.  In the books, it is […]

| November 26, 2016
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Doctor Strange (2016)

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Doctor Strange (2016)

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the rare actors who can pull off smug, self-serious arrogance without pushing you away. It is a fine line that he walks. You know he’s the smartest guy in the room, the guy who stands back while others yammer on with petty concerns until he grows tired of their misconceptions […]

| November 3, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 15: Lady and the Tramp (1955)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 15: Lady and the Tramp (1955)

“In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money cannot buy . . . to wit – the wag of a dog’s tail.” – Josh Billings Lady and the Tramp opens with this lovely statement and thankfully never backs away from it.  This is a movie in love with dogs.  […]

| October 16, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 14: Peter Pan (1953)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 14: Peter Pan (1953)

If James Barrie hadn’t invented Peter Pan then his adventures might just as well have come from the mind of Walt Disney.  The story of the adventures in the far away Neverland with the pixie boy who never grew up and does battle with the hook-handed pirate Captain Hook seems right up the animator’s alley.  […]

| October 9, 2016
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Tower (2016)

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Tower (2016)

The times are sadly appropriate for a documentary like Tower.  At a moment in our history when rampant shootings in Orlando Florida, Aurora Colorado and the bombing in Boston are reminding us that domestic terrorism is alive and well, it is important to remember that it is not a new problem.  2016 marks the 50th […]

| October 3, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

One constant in the story of Walt Disney seems to have been an ever-persistent passion for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  That is reasonable because, for a visual storyteller, it might have seemed irresistible.  It is said that Disney read the book as a child and was so captivated by its bizarre and clever world […]

| October 2, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 12: Cinderella (1950)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 12: Cinderella (1950)

After nearly a decade of sidelining his artistic yearnings in favor of World War II and frustrating limits of his budget, Walt Disney celebrated the birth of the new decade with his first narrative feature in eight years.  It was not just a return to the form that he helped to create but it was […]

| September 25, 2016
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