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     In a word:  Intrigue

This is a well-done spy thriller starring A-actress, Jennifer Lawrence who, like in Hunger Games, captivates the viewer with non-stop twists and turns, action and international intrigue. Other reviews, as in Rotten Tomatoes, are not as generous as this, but I feel confident in dubbing this one of the better spy thrillers in a long time. Not being a great fan of shoot-em-up films, this picture was an exception. The core attraction is Jennifer Lawrence who is featured in at least 95 percent of the movie scenes, including one in which we see much more of Lawrence than one would expect.

Lawrence plays an injured ballerina from the Russian Bolshoi, who converted to a young intelligence officer assigned to seduce a American  CIA agent who handles the most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers collide in a charged atmosphere of deception and inevitably, passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others.

Her primary motive for getting mired into Russian counter-intel stems from a need to protect her mother from being outcast by the Russian government into a life of squalor and dependency. Lawrence’s

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Allow me to brag.

     Not too long ago I wrote a movie review on “The Darkest Hour,” in which I commented: 

Not only should the make-up people be nominated for an Oscar, so should Gary Oldman, who well deserves winning it.” (for playing Winston Churchill)

     A month earlier I wrote a movie review for “Thee Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” in which I commented:

          “…every expression every nuance, every word spoken (or unspoken) by star, Frances McDormand, the quintessential thespian. This is what Oscar performances are made of.”

     I’m proud to say that these predictions were accurate. Identity politics aside, this was a year in which these particular awards were truly given to the best, which is what it’s all about.

     Best movie and Best Director went to “The Shape of Water,” for which I cannot comment, because I chose not to see it.

     The Academy Award Show, as expected, remains a platform for Hollywood elite, who make a living pretending to be someone else, cannot miss an opportunity on world stage to predictably  throw left-wing political jabs around, most of which garnered a chuckle or two, but no hearty laughter. 

     The main culprit is

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DEATH WISH  –  7 1/2 

In a word:  Tense

     This is a remake of the 1974 version of Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson, and then another remake in 1982, Death Wish II, with Bronson once more. The premise of the story doesn’t change much, though in 1974, Bronson plays an architect while in the new version, Bruce Willis is a hospital surgeon, wrought with anger and revenge when he learns the fate of two loved ones. .

     The center of the story surrounds the untimely and brutal murder of the protagonist’s spouse, played by Elisabeth Shue, during a household burglary.  In this movie, his teenage daughter is also brutally assaulted but survives, though she remains in a coma until the very end of the movie (of course). The surgeon learns of the tragic event while he’s busily performing an operation on a patient.

     Predictably, the Willis character is upset at the ho-hum police detectives who fail to develop any leads that will identify the killers. Predictably, the Willis character takes the law into his own hands and penetrates, under wrap of hoodies, the slum regions of South Chicago where he eventually develops information leading to the suspects.  Along

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  1. There will be an attempt to assassinate President Trump. The incendiary atmosphere in America is at a peak, fueled by the ongoing intense hatred for Donald Trump as expressed, irresponsibly, by several major news networks, and print media that cannot accept the fact that Hillary lost. These news networks, as well as a cadre of far-left politicians continually spew calls for “impeachment” not for evidence of committing a crime, but for no other reason than being elected. Such rhetoric only needs to successfully inspire one lone wacko with a gun, as we have seen four times in American history.


  1. The U.S. will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Other nations will follow suit as the UN gradually accedes to pressures from the U.S. to assume greater roles in supporting the UN financially, and to support Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state. The move will spark anger and demonstrations from Palestinians, and violence may erupt, but it will not prevent the moving of the embassy


  1. Construction on the border fence will begin, with limitations as many sections will cede to more modern methods, i.e., electronics, aerial surveillance, concentrated patrol, etc., for securing the border and preventing
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In a word:  Engrossing

     If you saw the movie Dunkirk, don’t miss this prequel. This is a great docudrama for people interested in what was going on behind the scenes when 300,000 British soldiers were under siege and trapped in Dunkirk by the Nazi movement in the spring of 1940.

     This was better than Dunkirk because we learned so much more, not only about the treachery of war, but about the personalities that were imbued with the responsibility to make the right decisions, when there would be no time or opportunity to correct a bad decision. Characters were well defined and come alive behind the incredible acting performance by journeyman Gary Oldman who becomes Winston Churchill; looks, stature, speech, and personality included. The movie starts from the time he was thrust into the job of prime minister just as the war with Germany was starting and so many members of parliament were against him.

     Why Gary Oldman was cast as Churchill, you ask? When he bears no resemblance to Churchill at all?  See the movie.  Not only should the make-up people be nominated for an Oscar, so should Oldman, who well deserves winning it.


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Wonder Wheel –  8 ½


In a word:  Struggles

     I enjoyed this movie/drama, but I know it’s not for everyone.         

If you like lots of action, fighting, car chases, explosions and gunfire, don’t see this movie.

If you expect nudity and/or graphic sexual activity, don’t see this movie.

If you want to hear lots of cursing, vulgarity and a constant spray of “F” bombs, you’d be disappointed..

If you like comedy or you hope to walk out feeling happy and joyful, stay home.

So, why give it an 8 1/2?  Because it is a very well-crafted human story about disappointment, struggle, the search for love and constantly dealing with aspirations and disappointments. It’s about many of us, one time or another in our lives.

Set in the early 1950s in Coney Island, Brooklyn, four people try to make ends meet but constantly face one obstacle after another, some of their own making. The central character deftly played by Kate Winslet is a middle-aged wannabe former actress who made too many mistakes in her past life and now scrimps to get by supporting her 10 year-old son who happens to be a burgeoning pyromaniac. Kate is on her second unhappy

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In a word:  Dark

     This is a movie for wannabe movie actors, who seriously study the art of acting by watching every move, every expression every nuance, every word spoken (or unspoken) by star, Frances McDormand, the quintessential thespian. This is what Oscar performances are made of.  

     The plot surrounds the single, middle-aged mother of a girl who had been raped and murdered in a small town in Missouri, where the perpetrator(s) were never caught or brought to justice. After several months of no action by police, Frances Hayes (played by McDormand) runs out of patience and proceeds to rent three dilapidated billboards, in consecutive arrangement, off a desolate road near blue-collar Ebbing, Missouri (a town that does not exist) where she pastes three large signs that read: 1) RAPED WHILE DYING, 2) STILL NO ARRESTS and 3) HOW COME CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?

     The bold action by the take-no-crap woman ignites a firestorm of reactions from the entire town, including the chief of police whose name appears on one of those signs, deftly played by Woody Harrelson. Enemies erupt from everywhere, but this is one tough gal who dazzles and puzzles the authorities

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