In a word:  Sleeper.

     This was a surprise. Based on other reviews and limited showings after release, we assumed this would be, at best, a fair movie, but worth taking a chance. The longer the film went on, the more engaging it became.

     Basically, it’s a story centered in England circa 1940, when the populous was subject to air raids by Nazi Germany. The central characters are writers hired on by movie producers to create a story that would convince the U.S. to get involved as an ally. 

     I’m amazed at some of the sets, how authentic they appeared and the horror of bombings of innocent people for doing virtually nothing to hurt or threaten anyone. Meanwhile, the main character, Catrin Cole (played by Gemma Arteton) is a woman who manages to get hired as one of the screenwriters for the new picture. This is one good actress who drives the story through various windows and plots earning the respect and sympathy of the viewer.

     Interesting, how we see the making of a movie in 1940, the sets, the props, actors, writers, director, as the subplot brings us to Dunkirk where one of

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THE DINNER” – 4 out of 10


In a word:  Annoying

     Our theater was about half full, perhaps 50-plus people. About 30 minutes into the film, I noticed the first couple get up and leave. Well, perhaps someone wasn’t feeling well. The notion of leaving occurred to us as well but we’d stay a while to see where it goes. Then, about one hour – the halfway mark – another couple left, followed by another two a few minutes later. By the time it hit the 1:20 mark, we’d had it.  So, that’s 8 walk-outs, and I have no idea how many followed us.

     We had read the 3 out of 4-star rating by AP writer, Lindsey Bahr, who had glowing comments to offer, and a bit of criticism. Advice: Don’t pay any attention to Ms. Bahr’s ratings of movies. She should find another genre to write within.

     The problem with the movie wasn’t the acting, the players performed their roles well. The problem was with the direction by Oren Moverman, who also wrote the screenplay adaptation from a novel by Herman Koch. The movie constantly splinters off into flashbacks, short-range and long-range, some of which seem unrelated

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It’s totally embarrassing. Prominent people in the limelight, including entertainers, politicians, media and other celebrities, embarrasses me as an American and makes me ashamed that this is all we have to offer for examples of class and decorum.

I get it, about free speech and all that. Yes, people have those rights. But famous people, who have prospered by the capitalist systems with America, and who know they have a wide audience, are using their fame to bend minds and bathe in plaudits of like-minded audiences. Roasting is one thing. Downright mean spirited – and low class – is another.

Where can we begin? Let’s start with one of the late night unfunny men, Stephen Colbert, who couldn’t shine Johnny Carson’s shoes as a comedian. Johnny Carson had thousands of opportunities to use (abuse) monologues by needlessly and bitterly insulting a sitting president, he never did. We all know he had his political preferences, but he never stooped to disgusting insults. Here’s a recent example of Colbert. Pay particular attention to the last two minutes.

I’m not writing this as “pro Trump” essay. I’m writing it as an ashamed American. You can change channels and find similar garbage disguised as

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By Marshall Frank 

     (This editorial appears in the April 28 issue of Florida Today)

Legalize marijuana?  Well, there are plenty of pros and cons to go around.

As for me, my 30-year police career in Miami-Dade and my personal trials and tribulations have taught me that marijuana may have some positive points, but that doesn’t mitigate the harmful aspects. One of them is the gateway dilemma for graduating into drug abuse, especially among the youth.

Let’s start with the story of Bowen. This boy had the misfortune of being born into a family where his young parents would divorce and the mother retained custody of the child. I say “misfortune” because the mother was a flower child who thought the dangers of pot were overblown. She smoked pot regularly among friends and little Bowen. She even offered a joint to the 12-year-old child, telling him, “Here, you don’t have to do this behind my back.”

With tacit approval, Bowen not only became a regular user, he used to steal some of his mom’s weed and sell it at school. By the time he reached ages 16 to 17, he had graduated

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Barack Obama was the worst president in American history. That’s my humble opinion. And no, I am not a racist.      

     My opinions are based on what he did and did not do in office that affected America, or affected the free world and our allies. I’ll try to keep it short. (Not easy)

     On the international stage, nowhere is America, or the world, better off now than in 2009, which includes Russia, North Korea, Europe, Israel and virtually all of the Middle-East and North Africa. It’s all worse today than it was when Obama took office. Obama was great at speeches, photo ops and pandering to minorities and immigrants as a cool guy. But his motives and lack of achievements tell the real truth.

     Israel and its leadership, our staunch ally, were treated like crap by the administration. Obama was the first president to support Israeli boundaries back to the pre-1967 war, which we all know would be suicide for Israel. And, he oversaw the first time America did not support Israel in the UN Security Council by voting against the Jewish state. Countries like Iran, who have sworn to destroy Israel and constantly chant “Death to America,” were coddled

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“GIFTED” – 8 ½

     In a word:  Astounding.

     Remember the name, McKenna Grace.  She’s among the most “gifted” child actresses in motion picture history (in my humble opinion). So, it was only natural, for her to play the lead role in Gifted.

     In real life she is age 10, but she skillfully plays the role of a 6-7 year-old first grader (only 4’ tall) whose single mother had committed suicide when she was a baby.  While being raised by her uncle (played by Chris Evans), a boat mechanic in St. Petersburg, it becomes clear that the young child far excels her first-grade counterparts in mathematics, able to amazingly calculate college level problems.

     While the school faculty pleads with her doting uncle to place her in a school for “gifted” kids, he assigns more emphasis on his niece living a normal child’s life, not to be set apart from other kids. But that causes major conflicts.

     Enter, the child’s maternal grandmother who is at odds with the uncle insisting that the child be placed in special surroundings. Thus, the scenario sets the stage for a series of emotional outbursts and conflicts which draws the viewer even closer into the

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“The Zookeepers Wife”  –  9

In a word:  Intense

     First thing potential viewers need to know, this is a WWII story based on true events based in Warsaw, Poland, at the beginning of the war. It’s theme is much like Schindler’s List, which spiraled Oscar Schindler into a hero of sorts for saving the lives of hundreds of people from Nazi bullets, torture and ovens.  The characters of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, zookeepers at the Warsaw Zoo, are deftly played by Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh who also had saved hundreds of lives by hiding Jews in zoo basements over a five year period. Because it’s a true story, we are even more engrossed.

     Complete with Polish accent, Jessica Chastain plays the role of her life, worthy of an Oscar if only this movie was released in November, not April. Before the Nazi invasion on September 1st, 1939, life was good for the zookeepers. Chastain is portrayed with a number of otherwise wild animals that are her extended family, loving and caressing elephants, lions, camels and so much more. Then came the invasion of Hitler’s army which changed lives of millions.

     Scenes portrayed in the Warsaw ghetto were

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