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Fast & Phooey

Movie: ‘The Fate of the Furious’

The first movie I reviewed for The Lakeville Journal was “Fast & Furious” — the oddly titled fourth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise — in 2009. The Compass editor at the time knew I had a degree in cinema and was expecting something along the lines of Andrew Sarris or Pauline Kael. Instead she got a minor league Joe Bob Briggs. 
I set the bar nice and low with that first review by becoming the first and only Journal movie reviewer to complain of insufficient nudity. And I’ve been shoving that bar lower ever since.

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Gaiman, Fuller Talk ‘American Gods’

TV

Neil Gaiman is a storyteller. Through his soothing tone and carefully chosen words, the acclaimed author mesmerized a packed house at Bard College on April 15 as he discussed “American Gods” — an upcoming television show based on his 2001 novel of the same name — alongside executive producer and co-showrunner Bryan Fuller.

Food Fit For A Doctor

TV

The latest season of the sci-fi series “Doctor Who” debuts on BBC America on Saturday, April 15, at 9 p.m. It’s a noteworthy premiere because it marks the final season for both Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and showrunner Steven Moffat, as well as the introduction of a new companion named Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie).

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It Lacks Style And Meaning

Movie: ‘Going in Style’

“Going in Style” is a rusty, clanky, used vehicle driven for all its worth by three charming old codgers: Morgan Freeman, 79, Alan Arkin, 83, and Michael Caine, 84. Alas, even they cannot push this creaky movie across the finish line.

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Ghost Story For The iPhone Age

Movie: ‘Personal Shopper’

If Olivier Assayas was a chef, he would be hailed for creating nouvelle cuisine from unlikely ingredients. But he is a movie director, and in his newest film, “Personal Shopper,” he mixes a young woman who shops incessantly for another woman and thinks she is a medium; a dead twin brother who may or may not be haunting and contacting the shopper; a bloody murder; plenty of texting and iPhoning — the newest way to haunt — and settings in Paris, London, even Oman, into a strangely satisfying movie that defies the usual visual language of film.

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Facing Those False Memories

Movie: ‘The Sense of an Ending’

Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel, “The Sense of an Ending,” is a concise, elegant story of a man — an ordinary man, like so many of Barnes’ protagonists — forced to revisit memories of his past and the “forgettings,” both natural and willful, that have informed those memories. No movie could capture the ambiguity and interior musings of Barnes’ crystalline prose, but Ritesh Batra has made a fine adaptation.

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Binge Watch: Aliens Spotted in Beacon

TV: ‘People of Earth’

If you missed “People of Earth” when it debuted on TBS in October, you have another chance to watch this quirky, clever and touching comedy. The channel will air a marathon of the entire 10-episode first season on Monday, March 20, beginning at noon, in honor of Alien Abduction Day.

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A Timely Topic

Movie: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” is not what you might be expecting. Above all, it is a primer on racism in America and a searing indictment of its persistence right up to this moment.

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‘Wedding Doll’ screening features Q&A with Director

The Moviehouse in Millerton will present Nitzan Gilady’s award-winning film “Wedding Doll” on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. as part of its Filmmakers Spotlight series, which invites the audience to meet the filmmakers and hear real stories from behind the camera. 
“Wedding Doll” made a dramatic impression at the Jerusalem Film Festival, winning the awards for Best Actress, Best First Film and Best Israeli Film, along with awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Director at the Ophir Awards.

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Not Dirty, Just Dull

Movie: 'Fifty Shades Darker'

Every once in a while, a film comes along that is so magnificently awful it transcends itself and attains the status of “So Bad It’s Good.”
James Foley’s “Fifty Shades Darker” is not one of those films.
The second installment of the intensely tedious tale of career girl Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and bazillionaire pervert Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) — based on the book trilogy by E.L. James — finds our heroine working for a publishing firm and trying, not very hard, to fend off her old boyfriend.

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