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Movie Reviews

'Captain Marvel': Brave New Suffragette
Unless you're a card-carrying, dyed-in-the-wool devotee of comic-book film extravaganzas like "Captain Marvel," they can be extremely difficult to follow. Each is chockfull of series lore, a veritable encyclopedia of minutiae that aficionados of the genre demand, and from which they deliriously kvell when given the slightest
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'Greta': Guilty Thrills
In my bedroom when I was little, a sloppily misplaced piece of clothing on a chair in the dark of night sure could look like a saber-toothed tiger. Experiencing this and other such optical illusions every so often during those tender years, I estimate that I adequately satisfied the quota for horror that one must endure in a lifetime. Hence, it
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'Isn't It Romantic': It's to Laugh
  First things first. Unlike the 1932 Rodgers and Hart classic song "Isn't It Romantic?" director Todd Strauss-Schulson's convivially entertaining romantic comedy, "Isn't It Romantic," forsakes the question mark at title's end. All of which is either a mental slip or intended to suggest a more
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'The No-Collusion Oscar Picks 2019'
The phone rang, as it usually does whenever I'm sitting in the third-floor witch's hat of my haunted Victorian home in some gothic-like, small New England town with a dark past, anguishing over my Oscar picks. The voice at the other end sounded like Alec Baldwin at first.   "Want to get all your picks right this year,
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'Serenity': It's all Just a Big …
Viewing director Steven Knight's "Serenity, a film consumed with the notion that things aren't what they appear to be, I was uncomfortably reminded that I don't like to figure things out. I don't do puzzles, don't fancy mystery yarns unless they're old classics or approach the inventiveness of "The Usual
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'Stan & Ollie': 'Old Fat & Skinny'
"Stan & Ollie," director Jon S. Baird's lovingly responsible biopic about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the world's most famous comedy duo, convivially invites you to bask in its embracing notions of love, friendship, loyalty and sense of duty.    The passion is such that, feeling protective of the boys,
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'Green Book': Because Look Out Old Macky's Back
There it was, the perfect opportunity I thought I wanted — staring me right in the face. A quadruple bypass procured the day after Thanksgiving 2018 can have that effect on a film critic.   What more reason could I conjure to call it a career, to be done with this movie reviewing stuff and finally retire to that long-fabled
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'Bohemian Rhapsody': Fate, Free-Will and Rock 'n' Roll
I once knew a rock band, The Original Kounts, and, because lead singer Howard "Richard" Tepp was my best friend, I was sort of the manager for a while sometime in the late 1960s. That was before Bob Crewe's Larry Brown ("Tie a Yellow Ribbon") walked into Newark, N.J.'s Indian Pizzeria and heard Howie singing to the
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'Colette': Liberté, Égalité and Literature
Watching director Wash Westmoreland's "Colette," about the life and times of Gabrielle Colette, the heralded French literary figure whose celebrated "Claudine" novels were published under her husband's name, I feared I wasted my life by never having moved to Paris.    Such hyperbolic
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'A Star is Born': Yet Again
With four "A Star is Born" iterations in the books and probably many more to come — expect one every ensuing generation — the universality of the tale is a given. Until some bold director makes a woman the established star, and the up-and-comer a male, the formula remains the same. He's a major star flirting with the
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