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Reviews

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Suffragette

October 22, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

“Deeds not words” is the battle cry of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in 1912. It’s a dangerous exhortation, especially these days when terrorism has become the evil twin of activism, and watching this film, it’s hard not to think of current social and political unrest around the globe. […]

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Truth

October 16, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Can a film, especially one adapted from a personal memoir, ever portray the truth? If truth shifts depending on the perspective, then what do we believe, especially if the “truth” appears to be clearly weighted towards one side of a very knotty issue? The issue in question is extremely layered; in 2004 the CBS program […]

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Steve Jobs

October 8, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs couldn’t have a better name. His single-minded devotion to his work at the expense of personal relationships in his life is well known. After the Ashton Kutcher starrer “Jobs” (2013) and Alex Gibney’s documentary “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” (2015), it might seem that we have seen all there […]

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The Martian

October 1, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Recent findings of water on Mars may be thrilling for NASA scientists but have come too late for astronaut Mark Watley (Matt Damon) who finds himself stranded on a dusty planet with a serious hydration problem in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi survival thriller “The Martian”. Working from Andy Weir’s hugely popular, self-published “geeky” novel, Scott adds […]

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The Intern

September 24, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

“The Intern” is a pleasant if over-long meander through leafy Brownstone Brooklyn where parking spots are never in short supply and designer kitchens are the norm. We are in Nancy Meyers’ land, the director who practically invented kitchen-porn with the Hamptons spread in “Something’s Gotta Give” and Northern California’s “It’s Complicated”. Spike Lee’s Bed-Stuy might […]

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Black Mass

September 17, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

With his upturned black leather collar, strangely pale mien and piercing blue eyes with pin-prick pupils, James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) looks a lot like Count Dracula. And director Scott Cooper invites the comparison, shooting Depp as a cold, calculating monster about to devour his enemies. It’s a fair analogy as crime lord Bulger was […]

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A Walk in the Woods

September 10, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

A more apt title might be “A Slow Shuffle along a Path”. But that doesn’t have quite the same ring does it? Adapting the 1998 memoir/travelogue by Bill Bryson, director Ken Kwapis (“He’s Just Not That Into You”, “License to Wed”) and producer Robert Redford hope to rope in some eager book fans expecting a […]

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Time Out of Mind

by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Just as it’s easier to avert one’s eyes on the street from a passed out homeless person, or a begging vagrant, it might be tempting to avoid this effective docu-drama from Oren Moverman, the director of the equally powerful “The Messenger” and “Rampart”. But that would be a mistake. Moverman, not scared to confront searing […]

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No Escape

August 28, 2015 by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Owen Wilson and Lake Bell are known primarily as comedic actors but both turn in gripping dramatic performances in this run of the mill, American Tourists in Jeopardy, action thriller. With a screenplay that only focuses on its Caucasian leads, “No Escape” risks being this year’s “The Impossible”…the Naomi Watts disaster flick that turned a […]

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Grandma

by Alison Bailes No Comments divider image

Every now and then a film comes along featuring an actor seemingly playing him/herself. As an audience, we bring our preconceptions to the table, adding our media-fueled imaginings to the mix. It happened last year when Michael Keaton played a former superhero trying to reclaim his career in “Birdman”. Now the lines are blurred between […]

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