Reviews  

Review – 13th

Review – 13th

October 07, 2016

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  In the new Netflix documentary 13th, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.  The critics found the film extremely relevant given the current situation in the country and very intense. They thought it was well made, powerful, and worth watching.

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Review – Barry

Review – Barry

December 16, 2016

Rating:  3 (out of 5).  Barry stars Devon Terrell as a young Barak Obama, newly arrived at Columbia University for his junior year, and trying to figure out who he was.  The critics found the movie engaging and they liked the low-key feel it had as it gave us a look at a young Obama.

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Review – Beasts of No Nation

Review – Beasts of No Nation

October 16, 2015

Rating:  5 (out of 5).  Netflix first original movie Beasts of No Nation tells the story of Agu, a 12 year old African boy who is suddenly orphaned when his family is killed during an attack on his village.  Agu runs into the forest where he is eventually captured by a battalion of soldiers. The Commandant of the fighters, played by Idris Elba, takes a liking to Agu and grooms him and other boys to become killers. The critics were mesmerized by this film. They loved the performances by Elba and by first time actor Abraham Attah who plays Agu. The critics warn viewers that it is hard to watch, but well worth the effort.

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Review – Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

Review – Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

September 26, 2016

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  In Showtime’s Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee,  director Nanette Burstein tells the story of the anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, starting with his creation of the McAfee program to his selling it for millions, and then moving to Belize where he is accused of the murder of his neighbor. The critics give the doc high marks, finding it both compelling  and disturbing. 

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Review – Mascots

Review – Mascots

October 13, 2016

Rating:  3 (out of 5).  Netflix has Christopher Guest’s latest mockumentary, Mascots, about the people who are getting ready for the big World Mascot Association annual convention and competition with hopes of winning the Fluffy award.  Typical Guest humor, say the critics, though perhaps not as much as some of his earlier films.

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Review – Sand Storm

Review – Sand Storm

December 15, 2016

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  Netflix has the Israeli film, Sand Storm, set in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel in which Jalila is hosting her husband’s wedding to his second wife when she finds out that her daughter has a secret and forbidden lover.  This is a story of the two women and how they are caught between loyalty to their family and their hunger for experiences that are prohibited by their society. The critics found the script strong and the performances wonderfully intense. The called it lovely, and deeply affecting.

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Review – The Leisure Class

Review – The Leisure Class

November 02, 2015

HBO’s The Leisure Class, a film by Jason Mann, the latest winner of Project Greenlight, stars Ed Weeks as William, a con artist who is about to marry Fiona, the daughter of a rich senator.  The night before the wedding his brother shows up ready to expose him as the con man that he is. The critics were not impressed with this film with one going so far as to say it is a waste of 85 minutes, while others just called it dull.

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TV Show Review – 11.22.63

TV Show Review – 11.22.63

February 15, 2016

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  Hulu’s newest original series, 11.22.63, stars James Franco as the time traveling school teacher, Jake Epping from Stephen King’s novel, who is trying to get through a divorce when he gets a call asking him to go back in time to stop the assassination of John Kennedy.  While most of the critics give this a thumbs up, there are a couple who thought it took too long to get to the meat of the show.  Overall they were impressed, but there was quite a difference of opinion about Franco’s performance.

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