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  • The Woman Who Left

    The Woman Who Left

    ★★★★★

    The Woman Who Left 2016

    I don’t know much about the Philippines. I do know that they have suffered at the hands of various conquering nations including the United States throughout their long history. They have been pushed and shoved by various dictators and have been the victims of many kidnappings and much bloodshed including the on going murderous campaign against the drug trade lead by their current heinous dictator.
    I also know nothing about their film industry which it…

  • God's Own Country

    God's Own Country

    ★★★★★

    Stunning debut film from Francis Lee who also wrote the screenplay about the tough life on a isolated Yorkshire sheep farm. The land is rough but beautiful as are some of the people especially Johnny played with frankness and vulnerability by Josh O' Connor. Johnny lives on the farm with his dad who has had a stroke and is difficult but not mean played by the veteran British actor Ian Hart and his Grandmother also strong but not given to…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    ★★★

    The Manchurian Candidate 2004
    Spoiler alert

    No not the 1962 version, I already reviewed it a month or so ago and you can view it at this link if you like. wwwirajoelcinemagebooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-manchurian-candidate-1962.html. I’m talking here about the surprisingly good 2004 remake directed by the late Jonathan Demme. Upgraded in time to the first Gulf war, this Manchurian is not involved with the Korean War, but with a dirty international corporation attempting to take over our country with imbedded well placed…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    ★★★★★

    The Manchurian Candidate 1962

    Set down among the large scale epics, the down home family movies and the silly comedies of 1962 was a small black and white extraordinary cold war paranoia noir thriller that came in on the heels of the Cuban Missile Crisis and a few months before the assassination of a young president, this was a movie that made some of us sit up and scream.
    This movie had the look of reality because of the way…

  • Wind River

    Wind River

    ★★★

    For most of its running time, Wind River which I watched last night is a tough and pretty good murder mystery that is set in God's country Wyoming. It begins with a young girl running for her life in the snow and we soon learn that she is a native American and how and why she was running for her life is the basis of the story. Set mainly on a Native American reservation the film stars Jeremy Renner (wonderful…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    A Sun drenched voyage to a small town in northern Italy that tells the story of a 17-year-old boy coming of sexual age during a 6 week visit by a strapping handsome sexually stunning American. Played with delicacy and charm by Timothee Chalamet as the 17 year old Eilio who is experimenting with his sexuality during a warm summer of 1983. He is ripe for this experimenting and does so with a lovely young Italian girl but his longing is…

  • Beach Rats

    Beach Rats

    ★★★½

    Small intimate and sensual. This is Eliza Hittman’s second film and once again she explores teenage sexuality and the perils and landmines that goes with it. In her first film 2013’s “It Felt Like Love” she took us into the South Brooklyn life of a young female teen and her confused attempts at sexuality.
    In her latest film “Beach Rats” we are still in the area of South Brooklyn, which by the way is where I grew up and still…

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★

    Go ahead try saying this title three times fast, I dare you. Here we have a rather grim movie about vengeance and redemption with some black humor thrown in the dark mix about a mother Mildred Hayes played with magnificence and aplomb by Frances McDormand, one of our great actresses.
    As the film opens Mildred is still waiting after many months for the killer to be found and brought to justice for the rape and brutal killing of her daughter.…

  • Maudie

    Maudie

    ★★★½

    ira joel haber Maudie 2017


    Well lord lord lordy Miss Maudie. Small gentle little movie about the real life self taught artist Maude Lewis who suffered with rheumatoid arthritis all her life as she lived in a small town in Nova Scotia in the 1930’s with her nasty aunt. She always loved to paint and her strong determination is at the heart of this moving film. Acted to the hilt by the wonderful Sally Hawkins Maudie answers an ad for…

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★

    No this is not a biopic about Lady Bird Johnson but a smart funny sometimes sentimental little movie about a young teenager pushing against boundaries and borders that surround her young life. That young life lives in Sacramento circa 2002 and is the Lady Bird of the title. Her given name is Christine but she insists on being called Lady Bird and this 17 year old has a mind of her own. Played by the sublime and great 23 year…

  • Wonderstruck

    Wonderstruck

    ★★★

    In spite of the problems I had watching this movie the other day, I can definitely give this one a pinch on its cheek and a big hug. I related to this dual story of childhood because I was raised in New York City and loved movies, and the city and Coney Island (this place is not in this movie but in another "Wonder" movie opening soon, and I went to museums at an early age and had my own…

  • Rebels of the Neon God

    Rebels of the Neon God

    ★★★★

    Rebels of The Neon God 1992

    As sharp and dangerous as a double edge razor blade. Made in 1992 this is the film that put Tsai Ming-liang on the map of the international film scene and with good reason. Recently restored to its deeply saturated neon colors, this is a swift and sharply focused film that concerns the lives of 4 troubled young people living in Taipei in various degrees of despair and disgust. Two of the young men are…