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“TULLY”  – 8


In a word: Deep

     This movie is pure drama, no guns, no car chases, no rampant sex, no heroes, no monsters. It’s all about domestic misery and stress and pure unadulterated unhappiness that many of us may have experienced, one time or another.

     Playing the role of Marlo, Charlize Theron gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a frazzled 40-year-old housewife and mother of two kids, with a baby in the oven ready to birth. Her husband is a decent provider, often traveling, but contributes little to allay her despair while he plays video games in most of his spare time. Meanwhile, she must give special attention to a special-needs (perhaps autistic), six-year-old boy who is being expelled from his school because of constant class disruptions.

     Along comes her wealthy brother who provides the money for a temporary rescue in the person of “Tully” a 26 year-old self-described nanny whose takes over night time care duties for the new baby thus giving Theron’s character a chance to gather herself from going insane. Deftly played by Mackenzie Davis, Tully proves out to be a personable and caring figure who appears to have intelligence and compassion far beyond her years.

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“Chappaquiddick”  –  8.5


In a word:  CYA

     I know that’s not really one word, but it’s all in the definition, because that’s what the movie was all about: Covering Your Ass.

     What’s good about this docudrama is the authenticity injected by writers and the director. There were many opportunities to suggest or infer sensationalism, sexual activity, or even corruption at the highest levels of government, but the movie makers stuck to the facts as they were known without adding sugar and spice for effect.

     This is a true story about a car accident, the death of a young woman, and a powerful senator who, with the help of his top aides, did all they could to cover the truth. What came across stronger than any other emotion for the viewer, was then reality that the only thing that the self-absorbed senator cared about was himself and his political future.

     Most of us older folks will remember the tragic accident on July 18 of 1969 in which young Mary Jo Kopechne, age 28, died by drowning in a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy around 11:30 p.m.  Kennedy got out, and swam to shore. Mary Jo perished. In the script,

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     This is the best bad movie in a long time. I mean BAD, really BAD. Matter of fact, it was so bad, I couldn’t stop watching. Normally we walk out of really stupid movies, but this one had so many goofs and screw-ups, we stayed glued to the screen just to see what would happen next from the “stupid” list.

     Basically, the story is a spoof on adults getting together in a fun setting to play trivia games and then a “detective” game where everyone is a victim or investigative team. Then, the “crimes” come to life, though the dum-dums in the cast are too “dumb” to realize it, and think death and mayhem is all part of a comedy act. Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman play a married couple hosting the big night which bring in four other game players, plus a key character who plays Bateman’s brother. The on-line synopsis goes like this:   

          Max and Annie’s weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother Brooks arranges    murder mystery party — complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all

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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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