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Charlies Angels (2019) - Movie Review

I didn't expect this remake of Charlie's Angels to be interesting, so I was surprised when I was totally engaged by this film.
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Downside Up- Short Film Review

In the award winning Dutch short film Downside Up everyone in the world has Down’s Syndrome, until a different baby named Eric is born.
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Fantasy Island - Movie Review

In this suspense film, five people arrive on an island to each claim a prize - a fulfillment of each one's individual fantasy.
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Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters- Short Film Review

The 1988 Westwood Woods Studio short film of the award winning children’s book, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, by John Steptoe,  is a tale about the two daughters of Mufaro. 
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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - Movie Review

I thought A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was going to be about Mr. Roger's television show, because the movie's title was taken from the song Mr. Rogers sang during the opening of the show. I was wrong.
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The Parts You Lose - Movie Review

The Parts You Lose is a gut-wrenching film about the doomed friendship between a deaf boy, named Wesley (Danny Murphy), and a dangerous unnamed fugitive (Aaron Paul).
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Toy Story 4 - Movie Review

Toy Story 4 finds Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) in Bonnie’s toy collection.  On her first day of kindergarten, Bonnie creates a toy out of a spork, names it Forky and adds it to her toy collection.
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Avengers: Endgame - Movie Review

Avengers:   Endgame is the final Avengers movie that picks up after Thanos activated the Infinity Gauntlet which caused half of life across the universe to disintegrate.
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Equus: Story of the Horse - Movie Review

A horse is the beloved animal that the cowboy wants to ride to the Old Town Road in a viral music hit. The documentary Equus: Story of the Horse explores the origin of the horse and man's relationship with the equine.
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Uncle Drew

In Uncle Drew, basketball coach Dax Winslow (Lil Rel Howery) convinces septagenerian basketball legend Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) to return to the court to help him defeat a rival team.
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Overboard (2018)

In Overboard (2018) a mistreated employee Kate (Anna Faris) designed a scheme to take revenge on her selfish, egotistical, former boss, Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), when he became an amnesiac.
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Early Man

In the claymation film Early Man, a tribe of cave men are kicked out of their valley home by the Bronze Age bully Lord Nooth.
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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to detention or rather Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a story about four teens who enter the Jumanji digital world during high school detention.
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The Farthest: Voyager in Space

The Voyager has traveled to Uranus with a Chuck Berry recording, but it took a while.
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Great Yellowstone Thaw: How Nature Survives

A wolf biologist, a geologist, scientists, and wildlife cameramen analyzed the effects of the Thaw of 2016 on the wildlife of Yellowstone National Park, in the iconic film, Great Yellowstone Thaw: How Nature Survives.
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Food: Delicious Science

PBS’s Food: Delicious Science is an educational film about both the taste and chemistry of food, and how food keeps our bodies healthy.
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Bull, Season One

The television series Bull, created by Phil McGraw and Paul Attanasio, stars Michael Weatherly as trial consultant psychologist and licensed pilot Dr. Jason Bull, who dislikes prosecution attorneys. Dr. Bull heads the Trial Analysis Corporation team. The Trial Analysis Corporation members include a former narcotics police detective, a retired All-American football defensive lineman who has become a fashion stylist, a former New York City prosecutor, a neurolinguistics expert who is also a sex therapist, and a computer hacker. I found the methodologies used by the team to select jury members for criminal defense cases the most fascinating part of this television series. In Bull, serious criminal cases are defended; however, the mood of the show is lightened by comical interpersonal conflicts between the team and the legal community.  Sometimes too much time is spent on interpersonal stories; more court-time drama would make the show better. Overall rating: B
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La La Land

The romantic comedy musical La La Land takes place in late 90s Los Angeles and stars Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a struggling Los Angeles jazz pianist, and Emma Stone as Mia, an aspiring actress. The two California dreamers find each other, fall in love, and experience many ups and downs while pursuing their respective careers. The period music and dance scenes have a wonderful old-school Hollywood vibe, but this award-winning production also has wide audience appeal due to the charisma of the two lead actors. The story, the classic wardrobe, the beautiful California sets, and the skilled acting were superb. The timeless themes in La La Land will make this film a classic. I recommend this film for all ages. Overall Rating: B
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Captain America: Civil War

I knew that Captain America: Civil War would bring action to the screen; I was not disappointed. One thing I appreciated about this action film, was seeing some of the minor superheroes, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in meatier roles. Of course, Captain America (Chris Evans) drove the story, when he went to the assistance of his old friend Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) who became a wanted man, because of devastating deeds he had committed. The division in the superheroes ranks exploded into an epic battle, when Tony Starks (Robert Downey Jr.), influenced by both political pressure and his own guilt over past events, agreed to help arrest the Winter Soldier. The climax of the film happened unexpectedly, and made you wonder if the team could overcome their differences. The story was well written, and moved forward at a steady pace. Overall Rating: A
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Pawn Sacrifice

As a chess fan, I knew little about Bobby Fischer, other than the fact that he was a grandmaster, a rock star in the chess world. Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire, depicts the mental strain Fischer experienced, while striving to become the world’s greatest chess grandmaster. Fischer believed in himself, but he carried demons. This film captures the psychological damage Bobby Fischer experienced, in his rise to the 1972 championship, and how he became a political pawn. The story is interesting, Maguire is convincing as Fischer, but the ending left me hanging. My one criticism is that I would have liked to see more of Bobby’s life, post 1972, in the film. Overall Rating: B
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The Flash - The Complete First Season

The Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, a 21st Century, Central City, forensic scientist who witnessed his mother’s death as a child. Barry’s father was incarcerated for his wife’s death, and Barry strives to find his mother’s killer. After exposure to a blast from Dr. Harrison Wells’ (Tom Cavanagh) laboratory, Barry becomes the fastest man alive. Afterwards, Barry uses his powers to fight crime as Central City becomes overrun with villainous, super-powered humans. This captivating DC Comic book film is fast-paced and includes several characters from the larger DC Universe. Overall Rating: A+
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Black or White

In this provocative film, Kevin Costner stars as Elliot - a white, Los Angeles, maternal grandfather and recent widower - embroiled in a custody battle with a black, paternal grandmother, Rowena - played by Octavia Spencer - over his charming granddaughter that he has raised from birth. In the custody hearings, the granddaughter Eloise’s (Jillian Estell) opposing family members conspire to viciously air each other’s dirty laundry. Alcohol abuse, substance abuse, class differences, and stereotypes of people are brought to the limelight, both inside and outside the courtroom; not a soul comes out smelling like roses. Key family members face off, hours before the family court judge’s final decision. The early events in the movie were realistic; however, the ending was Hollywood.Overall Rating: B-
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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Isao Takahata directed the Tale of The Princess Kaguya, a Studio Ghibli film of the famous character, the beautiful and mysterious Kaguya; the film is based on the folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Princess Kaguya is voiced by Aki Asakura and Chloe Grace Moretz. This anime folktale relates the lives of a rural, elderly couple who strive to raise their adopted daughter, Kaguya to be a refined princess, in order to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. A morality theme runs through the story, when choices made by Kaguya affect many people in her life, for better or for worse. The dreamy animation is splashed with water colors from the Edo period, and the flying action sequences are mesmerizing. The entire family will enjoy this enchanting tale, but be aware there is brief nudity in the film (a nursing child and nude toddler.) Overall Rating: A
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Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Neighbors from Hell: The Play

The play revolves around a foster parent and her three unruly foster children who move into Madea’s small blue collar Georgia neighborhood. The elderly, nosy Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and the irrepressible Madea (Tyler Perry) use their wits and wisdom to bring structure back to the neighborhood. Serious social issues occur with the characters, but the mood is lightened through inspirational singing and comic relief. The stage set is beautiful, and the singing outstanding. I enjoyed the film and recommend it, for viewing and discussion.Overall Rating: B+
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Soul Food Junkies

Soul Food Junkies is a documentary film that discusses how the traditional (but delicious) Southern United States/African-American diet is unhealthy, and how to improve that diet through altered cooking methods and food choices. The difficulties and pressures people experience when they try to give up traditional, greasy, salty comfort food for a healthy diet is tactfully revealed. Traditional, heart-healthy, and vegetarian cooks share their methods of preparing soul food, which enhances the film. I liked Soul Food Junkies’ message that improving one’s diet is not easy, but is necessary to improve one’s health. I recommend this film to all, because the methods of healthy cooking are universal.Overall Rating: B
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