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movie-takes

Longing for Moral Character in ‘Dunkirk’

 

The early buzz about Dunkirk has been strong. Long before the movie’s release, its Twitter account started garnering followers. Comparisons abound to Saving Private Ryan, the Steven Spielberg film, and the Spielberg-produced series Band of Brothers. Dunkirk is supposed to be one of the great movies of the summer; a Christopher Nolan masterpiece based on […]

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‘Don’t You Doubt Miss Melly!’

 

Olivia de Havilland is going to court. The day before her 101st birthday, the grande dame of Hollywood’s Golden Age filed suit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against FX Networks and Ryan Murphy Productions. What’s the beef? In his made-for-TV hit mini-series, Feud: Bette and Joan, producer Ryan Murphy and his screenwriters included […]

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A Shooter Fit for This Moment

 

Shooter had a rough start. The television show starring Ryan Phillippe as the former marine Bob Lee Swagger was slated to premiere a year ago. Just then, partygoers in Orlando and police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were killed in cold blood. While the perpetrators of those shootings were the sort of cowards whom […]

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Outplacement for Craig, Daniel Craig

 

English actor Daniel Craig has shown dismaying condescension about his role as the debonair master spy known as Bond, James Bond. The actor stated in 2015 that he would “rather slash (his) wrists than return to the James Bond role.” He continued to say that if he were to return to the role, “it would […]

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You Could Look Him Up

 

MLB Network’s Prime 9, the baseball network’s program that rates the best of baseball in just about every conceivable category, chose Casey Stengel as “baseball’s greatest character” in 2009. It was a good choice, though there was tough competition for the honor, and one of the beauties of baseball is it can produce endless talk (I hesitate to say arguments) about who the greatest (or worst) this or that is or was. In this case, what about Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Bob Uecker, Rocky Bridges?

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Spiderman: Return of the Popcorn Movie

 

Everything is so dour. By everything, I mean our entertainment. Overwrought, over-thinking, cynical and determined to have a “realistic” ending and that means, always, a bad ending, Hollywood is dark. The guy doesn’t get the girl. The important person dies. There’s no redemption to be found. Spiderman does not follow that formula. Spiderman is a […]

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The All-Star Break Blues

 

Speaking of the All-Star break, it’s time for that annual interruption of the everydayness of real baseball for an exhibition game where 50 or so talented and criminally overpaid jocks try for nine innings not to get injured in a pointless exercise. I always thought that the best thing in From Here to Eternity was […]

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A Spidey to Save the Day — and the Franchise

 

We now have more than enough big superhero movies to put together a list of must-haves. A good Marvel or DC franchise must have mind-blowing special effects, a confident director, careful casting, an excellent stunt team, and very good screenwriters. It also needs to be witty and self-deprecating. The latter qualities might be key. Anyone […]

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A Game for Two Players

 

The word “unprecedented” keeps coming up when discussion turns to our president. He likes it that way: scandalizing the “fake press,” horrifying the high-minded among us — such as remain; giving vast swaths of political opinion, far from all of it “liberal,” the swoons and the vapors. Can you see Cal Coolidge ridiculing, say, Rudy […]

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A Wild Ride, Please Hold the Special Effects

 

Like millions of film and car fans, I love movies with the words fast and furious in the title. The motorcycles, cars, and submarines are fast; the humor (Dwayne Johnson!) is silly. Realistic the Furious franchise is not. Watching The Fate of the Furious earlier this year we were bearing witness to one huge special […]

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