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A Gorgeous Film About Friendship, Family, Acceptance

Movie: 'Finding Dory'

For a little lost fish, the ocean is a daunting place. Beautiful, yes: giant, bioluminescent squid glide around sunken ships; skyscraper-tall kelp forests bend in the changing currents; colorful creatures of all sizes swim endlessly.

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Just Say ‘No’ to Number 3

Movies: ‘Now You See Me 2’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Watching Jon Chu’s “Now You See Me 2,” and wondering if it was ever going to end, it occurred to me that one thing successful magicians know about is timing.
If the audience is getting antsy, the illusion isn’t going to work.
And this audience was definitely restless.

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Imaginative, Comic And Not Quite Satisfying

Movies: ‘The Lobster’

The woman tells her husband, David, that she is leaving him. He asks, “Does he wear glasses or contacts?” This is unwelcome news for near-sighted David (a remarkable Colin Farrell, complete with paunch, great dust-broom of a mustache, rimless eyeglasses, calm aspect), who must now move into a high-security hotel where he has 45 days to find another, unattached partner or be transformed into an animal of his choosing.

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Reaching the Limit with Comic Book Movies

Movies: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Warning: This review is full of spoilers for movies old and new.

The folks making comic book movies these days are running into an inflation problem. They all want to make their movie bigger and better than the previous one. This means that, dramatically speaking, the stakes have been getting higher and higher and, visually speaking, the special effects have been getting more and more eye-popping and mind-boggling.

Unfortunately, there is an upper limit on both.

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Getting a Historic Film To New Audiences

It’s sad, but the fact is, making art, like any endeavor, requires cash. Handbag manufacturers, software inventors, moviemakers, recording musicians, photographers — all kinds of people are looking  to fund a project they can’t swing alone. And lots of these people are turning to crowdfunding, getting large numbers of donors to contribute small amounts of money to pay for big, sometimes very big, ventures.

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Beautiful, but Missing The Point

Movies: ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’

Matthew Brown’s “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is a sluggish, cliché-heavy film about a Hindu Brahmin mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), who writes equations on the stones of his Madras temple and longs for his work — he has filled two thick notebooks with equations — to be published. But he is impoverished and has no academic degree and finally finds work as a bookkeeping clerk.

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Torment, Sputtering Candles and a Goat …

Movies: ‘The Witch: A New England Folktale’

In Robert Eggers’s “The Witch: A New England Folktale, ” a family is banished from a 17th-century settlement in New England for being too dour.

When I think of being banished from a New England settlement, I always assume it would be for some heinous act of deviltry — winking on the Sabbath, or scratching my ear during the sermon.

It takes a lot for regular old Puritans to banish someone for being too crabby.

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Globalization Is One Thing, Search for Redemption Is Another

Movies: ‘A Hologram for the King’

Adapting a novel into a movie can be tricky, and some novels are better suited for it than others.

The major reason is that you can put a book down and come back to it later. People will spend 20, 30, or 40 hours reading a novel. Most moviegoers, though, would prefer to spend a little less time than that in the theater.

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The Irascible Miles Davis, Not the Great Innovator

Movies: ‘Miles Ahead’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead,” about jazz legend and certified grouch Miles Davis, adds to the long list of pop music biopics that just don’t quite make it.

It’s not hagiography, like Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” 

And it’s not a complete mess, like “Stoned,” about Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones.

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Absolutely Not Just for Kids

Movies: ‘The Jungle Book’

“The Jungle Book” is a collection of seven stories and 13 poems that was published in 1895. Most are set in India, although Rudyard Kipling wrote them, oddly enough, in Vermont. Three stories and one poem are about Mowgli, a young boy who got lost in the jungle and was raised by wolves.

One story and one poem involve a mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. They’ve been published on their own, so you may be familiar with the name.

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