movie and tv reviews

The Nightingale

“The Nightingale,” not to be confused with a 2019 gratuitously violent movie of the same title, was China’s Academy Award entry for 2014 best foreign film. This gentle film is a collaboration of the French director and writer, Philippe Muyl, and a Chinese cast, with other international contributions. It is an elegy of post-modern vices...

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Before We Go

“Before We Go” has a familiar genre. A chance encounter between two strangers sparks a life-changing relationship. Sitting in Grand Central Station, Nick (Chris Evans, also the director) is a trumpeter practicing for an audition. He is also procrastinating in dropping by a party, knowing his ex-girlfriend will be there. He meets Brooke (Alice Eve),...

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Crazy Rich Asians

“Crazy Rich Asians,” based on Kevin Kwan’s novel and directed by Jon M. Chu, is billed as a romantic comedy with an all Asian cast. The story centers around a wedding – that family rite of passage that is filled with signs and wonders, hopes and dreams, love and future. But the  wonder-filled celebration cannot...

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Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods

Seldom do I watch broadcast television shows. Their thin characters and formulaic plots dull the imagination. More critically, their cynical pretext that winces askance at traditional Judaic-Christian morality and their subtext of relative-individualism force a pernicious impertinence. But my wife and I do watch Madam Secretary and Blue Bloods. What I appreciate about the two...

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The Iceman Cometh

Early in Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Iceman Cometh,” Larry Slade (David Morse) cynically quotes Heinrich Heine, the German poet: Lo, sleep is good, better is death – in sooth / The best of all were never to be born. If any voice that encapsulates this great American Tragedy*, it is this couplet. The four-act, almost...

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