The Farewell (2019)

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What would you do if someone you loved was dying, but you also couldn’t tell them? Would you stay away, for fear of revealing the secret? Or would you go to them, just so you could be at their side, one last time? These are the questions asked in The Farewell, a new movie starring Awkwafina, and directed by Lulu Wang. Based on Wang’s own experiences when she discovered that her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but her family was going to keep that fact a secret, the movie is powerful, poignant and a bunch of other p words that definitely mean good. My heart is aching just thinking about this movie. Wherever you are, go and watch this flick. It is worth your time. Continue reading

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

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It’s 1969, and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fading, Western actor, struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing Hollywood. His only friend is his driver, and longtime stunt man, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), a Vietnam vet whom it is heavily implied murdered his wife. The two spend their days driving around LA, getting drunk, watching Rick’s various TV appearances, and debating about whether or not the latter should take an offer to make Spaghetti Westerns in Europe. Meanwhile, Hollywood director Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), have just moved into the house beside Dalton. Dalton sees in Polanski a chance to become legitimate again, and eagerly tries to get in their good graces. Something that could throw a wrench in his plans, however, is a small, delusional band of Hippies living out in a place called Spawn Ranch, who may or may not be hatching a murder scheme. Continue reading

The Art Of Self-Defense (2019)

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While walking home from the grocery store, mild-mannered accountant Casey Davies is beaten by a biker gang. This traumatizes him, and he begins desperately searching for some means to defend himself. First, he goes to a gun store, but when he learns about all the dangers associated with firearm ownership—an increased likelihood of suicide, and a greater chance of getting shot—he decides it’s not for him. Then, while walking through a rundown strip mall, he sees a karate class, taught by a charismatic, enigmatic figure known only as “sensei.” Sensei is everything Casey is not—confident, aggressive, charming—so naturally, Casey believes that he can become so as well by enrolling in courses. Over the next few months, Sensei molds him into his idea of manhood, not just by teaching him karate, but by instructing him on what music to listen to—Metal—and what language to learn—German. Desperate to please his new teacher, Casey goes along with everything the man says, even when the requests get much more violent, and considerably less legal. Continue reading

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014)

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We’ve all seen movies that advertise themselves as “based on a true story.” But what happens when someone actually believes that claim? Kumiko, a friendless, unmarried office worker in Tokyo, has convinced herself that the Coen Brothers film Fargo, wherein a criminal buries a suitcase full of money in the North Dakota snow, is real. So much so that she steals her boss’s credit card, abandons her apartment and pet rabbit, and journeys to the US to find the “treasure.” She barely speaks English, and has no real plan of how to find the fictional loot. But she’s determined, and won’t let anything, be it the cold, or the fact that the treasure isn’t real, stop her. What will happen? Watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

Avatar (To Infinity Retrospective)

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Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Rise Of Skywalker. On the first day of each month, I review a different space opera. Why, you ask? Simple. I do it to send the sky people a message. I do it to tell them that they can’t take whatever they want, that they can be stopped, and that this, this is our land! And what better way to convey that message than through a review of this month’s film, Avatar. What’s it about? Well…
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