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An Unerring Eye for Art And a Complex Life

Movies: ‘Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict”

This documentary film, “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,” by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, examines the life of art patron, gallery owner and all-American screwball Peggy Guggenheim.

The film follows her life chronologically, from Guggenheim’s upbringing (her father went down on the Titanic) to her adolescent (and subsequent) rebelliousness and unassailable ability as a spotter of artistic talent.

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Finding a Way to An Authentic and Touching Film

Movies: ‘Brooklyn’

It is easy to imagine the sentimental and maudlin way Colm Toibin's bestselling novel, “Brooklyn,” might have been brought to the screen. But director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby went, instead, for the kind of melodrama American filmmakers almost never make anymore. Sincerity, tenderness, romance and a gentle, but not overbearing, nostalgia for a bygone era's look, feel and customs give the film a wonderful authenticity of time, place and emotion.

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Sewer Mutants Aside, A Long Movie

Movies: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’

In Francis Lawrence’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” the audience gets a really long movie to go along with the really long title.

How long is long? Two hours and 17 minutes. 

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The Importance Of a Probing, Free Press

Movie: ‘Spotlight’

As “Spotlight” unfolds,  the terrific film about The Boston Globe's revelations of pedophile priests and their decades-long coverup and protection by the Roman Catholic Church, you are sucked into the movie not by the heroism of the reporters uncovering the damage done to young men for decades but by the determined, relentless way they do their jobs. The realism is gripping.

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Blah, Blah, Blah … And, Worse, Terrible Suits

Movies: ‘Spectre’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Daniel Craig says he doesn’t want to do any more James Bond films. Fine by me — I don’t want to see him in another Bond film.
Sam Mendes’ “Spectre” is the latest and one of the weakest entries in the Bond series. The story, such as it is, brings back Ernst Stavro Blofeld as arch-villain (including the pseudo-Nehru jacket and the fluffy white cat).

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Try Again and Maybe It Will Work

Movies: ‘Knock Knock’

Awhile back I picked up one of those “50 Incredibly Lousy Flicks” DVD box sets, and it included a Sondra Locke movie called “Death Game,” directed by the immortal Peter S. Traynor and released to drive-ins everywhere in 1977.

In an apparent attempt to prove that nothing, no matter how crummy, cannot be remade, Eli Roth has reworked “Death Game” as “Knock Knock,” which is playing at a theater nowhere near you — and streaming on Amazon for $6.99. 

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Ideas That Changed the World

Movies: ‘Steve Jobs’

Alan Turing, World War II German code breaker and inventor of the computer, killed himself with cyanide in 1954, a half-eaten apple by his bed. Is that why Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) chose Apple as the name of the computer company he founded, and an apple, with a missing bite, as his logo?

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Halloween Schlockfest

Movies

If you are an Amazon Prime member, there is a nice selection of Grade Z horror movies available for your Halloween viewing pleasure.
Starting with “Blood of Dracula’s Castle” (1969),Glen is a fashion photographer who spends a lot of time shooting his girlfriend Liz, often next to seals. And he was ahead of his time, too, because he uses an Instamatic or a Polaroid the whole time. No fancy single lens reflex for this fellow, no sirree!

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A Spy Drama, Superb and Hopeful

Movies: ‘Bridge of Spies’

No one makes movies like Steven Spielberg. With old-fashioned craftsmanship, Spielberg, the master storyteller, takes a true story that some of us will remember and infuses it with both earnestness and optimism. It’s the story of an early 1960s cold war spy-swap, the kind that John LeCarré would have cloaked in gloom and darkness, shifting morality and, ultimately, futile gamesmanship. 

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Attack of the Sixties Creatures

Movies: ‘Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of The National Lampoon’

Douglas Tirola’s documentary about the National Lampoon, “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead,” is fairly heavy on the brilliance and not so hot on the drunk-stoned-dead continuum. The magazine, started by Harvard graduates Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman, all alums of the Harvard Lampoon magazine, first published in 1970. 

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