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  • Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    excruciating 80s junk

  • Born American

    Born American

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Three vacationing students cross the border from Finland into the Soviet Union and things go bad in a hurry. This Cold War hot-skirmish movie rides the coattails of violent hand-to-hand Chuck Norris actioners, starting out a bit "Southern Comfort" and launching into "Midnight Express" by the halfway point. There's some promise to it at the outset but the ridiculous pushes my goodwill past its breaking point somewhere in the middle and there was far more silliness yet to come.

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  • The Passion of Anna

    The Passion of Anna

    ★★★★½

    Bergman strikes again with this visually gorgeous movie that explores the capacity in us for caring and for antagonism. Divorced Andreas (Max von Sydow) has his Faro island privacy interrupted by Anna (Liv Ullmann), recovering from an accident which claimed her husband and child. Their meeting brings him into contact with unhappily married couple Elis (Erland Josephson) and Eva (Bibi Andersson). There's a back story about a sicko torturing and killing animals. This set-up allows Begman to explore wide-ranging emotional terrain. The actors are top-notch, none better than Liv Ullman who delivers a show-stopping monologue at the mid-point of the movie.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Aliens’ attempt at first contact brings linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) face to face with them. Theoretical Physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) is paired with her and the two chart a path toward an exchange of ideas with their visitors. A framing story has Banks, post-separation/divorce, caring for a sick daughter. So, I love the trend in sci-fi toward a balanced diet offering thinking sci-fi along with the shoot-‘em-ups, and I was with this movie every step through the communication…