New Releases

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As with every “Star Wars” review I write, this will be mostly spoiler-free, though I’ve rarely composed a critique of an installment from this franchise that is also so enthusiasm-free.  Speaking of spoiler, the opening crawl (the BIG WORDS that slowly inch up the screen, filling us in on the story, while John Williams’ glorious…

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Cats

When I was 7-years old, my father took me to see my first Broadway musical, which was “Cats.” It was 1985, I was living in Riverdale, New Jersey at the time and, like many kids my age, was aware that the Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned production (based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot) was the top…

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Richard Jewell

In a very short amount of time, director Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Richard Jewell,” has gone from being one of the year’s eagerly anticipated adult dramas to the most controversial film of 2019. To get right to the point, the controversy is merited, as the film is imperfect in some ways but don’t let the…

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The Irishman

In the introductory moments of “The Irishman,” the camera enters the film through a box-like entrance, possibly a camera-like peep hole but more than likely a coffin shaped viewpoint that signifies the overlying theme of the film. Sure enough, the opening is set in a retirement home, as James “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by Robert…

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Frozen II

If you’re 12-years old or under, then you’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of “Frozen II.” Of course, that doesn’t mean adults won’t show up, too: I sat in a packed theater on opening day, visibly the only solo grown-up in a sea of kids and their parents. Yes, I have a little girl at…

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Zombieland: Double Tap

The last time we were in “Zombieland,” it was a decade ago and our group of heroes had survived a massive zombie attack in an amusement park. Now, the gun-toting, Twinkie-loving Tallahassee (played by Woody Harrelson), brainy and neurotic Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a stern Wichita (played by Emma Stone) and fed-up Little Rock…

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Gemini Man

In the mid-90’s there were two high concept screenplays that were much discussed and in demand to be made within the Hollywood studio system. One was called “The Ticking Man,” set in the near future, about a man who wakes up, finds a bomb has been surgically planted in his chest and has one hour…

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Joker

Finally, someone at Warner Brothers realized that if you release a stand-alone movie about the Joker, you’re bound to make piles of money. The trouble is, they entrusted the story of Batman’s greatest nemesis with Todd Phillips, the director of Due Date, whose love of ‘70s movies (and mean-spirited material in general) gets the better of…

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Ad Astra

Director James Gray’s “Ad Astra” takes place in “The Near Future” and stars Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, a celebrated astronaut of notable lineage- Clifford, his late father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) is a cosmonaut of legendary status. McBride is working on the International Space Station when a cosmic freak occurrence, referred to as…

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