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  • The Christmas Chronicles

    The Christmas Chronicles

    ★★★½

    I love this movie. It's fluff, don't get me wrong. But it captures the fun, magic, and tone of Christmas. The heart-jerking melodrama is effective enough. The risk of resting the film's shoulders on two young actors (Darby Camp and Judah Lewis) is assuaged by the fact that they deliver fine performances.

    But the joy and merriment in this film lies largely in the bigger-than-life performance from Kurt Russell as Santa. Two much in recent years he has been "and…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    ★★★★½

    This is the first film that I'm aware of to nail down and portray on screen the very real and very unique issues facing young people of this generation. Youths' headspace, attitudes, and behaviours are positioned by the commercial, technological, social, and social-media influenccs in a way no previous generation can comprehend. It's a good thing that mental-health awareness seems to be increasing because the strain that First-World problems but on the mental-health coping mechanisms of minors is phenomenal.

    And…

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  • Hunger

    Hunger

    ★★★★½

    HUNGER is a unique and special work. It is a pensive, grisly three-part poem about about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and specifically the Bobby Sands-led prison Hunger Strike in 1981.

    The first 45 minutes, with very little dialog, follows Stuart Graham’s character through his daily routine.  He’s a prison guard who seemingly has a normal home life.  McQueen finds all the meaningful but seemingly trivial closeups and simple shots which slowly paint a portrait of the strife of the…

  • Rocky

    Rocky

    ★★★★½

    Upon rewatching ROCKY for the first time in a few years, I’m reminded of the many reasons ROCKY has become not just iconic, but a classic.  ROCKY features a lead who not only embodies underdog status, but who also exudes that deep-down low self-esteem.  Stallone’s Rocky is not just from the wrong side of the cracks, socio-economically, he’s weak inside because life has not handed him reasonable supports or coping mechanisms.  Yet, he’s a good guy—kind and gentle—borne into a…