“The King’s Daughter” – A fantasy tail [MOVIE REVIEW]

Director Sean McNamara in collaboration with writers Ronald Bass, Barry Berman, Laura Harrington, and James Schamus conspired to turn the Vonda N. McIntyre novel The Moon and the Sun into a fairy tale like “The Princess Bride.” They didn’t. King Louis XIV has much to his credit in his rule of France. It is 1684…

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“Time is a Killer” – Not just time [TELEVISION REVIEW]

Fasten your seat belts and suspend belief because “Time is a Killer” (“Le temps est assassin”) will have you on a psychological tilt-a-whirl of thrills, spills, and mystery. After many years away, Clotilde Baron has returned to Corsica, ancestral home of her father Paul Idrissi, son of Cassanu Idrissi, a leader of one of the…

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“Amsterdam Vice”- And nothing is nice [TELEVISION REVIEW]

For those of you who like the dark side, “Amsterdam Vice” will be your cup of espresso. The stories, characters, and even the cinematography lack any ray of sunshine. It’s Amsterdam in the 80s and Beatrix is about to be crowned queen of the Netherlands. The city is beset by squatters in abandoned buildings protesting…

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“Sex Appeal” – Lots of sex and no appeal [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Sex Appeal” is a made-for-Hulu movie that tries to cash in on the success of “Sex Education,” the outstanding series now playing on Netflix. To say that “Sex Appeal” is derivative, unimaginative, and poorly executed would be an understatement. This is not to say that there aren’t some redeeming qualities, because there are. Are they…

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“Jockey” – Well ridden [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Jockey” is that relatively rare venture into character study that pays off, if not as a trifecta but at least as a place and a show. The plot is insubstantial – aging jockey wants one more shot on a great horse before circumstance, age, and infirmity rule what remains of his life. Backed by an…

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“Changing Rooms” – The change is us [TELEVISION REVIEW]

“Changing Rooms” is a ground breaker. Redefining the term “short,” these 2 ½ minute snippets are probably the most hilarious, politically incorrect, brilliant episodes of television you may ever see. Produced in 2011-12, they have only recently been subtitled and made ready for the English language market. Created and written by Adda Abdelli and Fabrice…

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“Beck” – Is back [TELEVISION REVIEW]

“Beck” is a fabulous Swedish police series based on the characters created by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö that belongs right up there with “Inspector Morse,” and its spinoffs, “Lewis,” and “Endeavor.” Beginning in 1998, “Beck” has astonishingly jumped over the years with season 2 having episodes that filmed in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and…

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“Margrete: Queen of the North”-A royal film [MOVIE REVIEW]

I love good historical fiction where most of the stories are good, although they usually send you straight to Wikipedia for confirmation. No matter the subject, the collision of reality and its fictionalized version can be pretty disappointing, but if well produced or written, they are interesting nonetheless. “Margrete: Queen of the North” written for…

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“Nights of Cabiria” – Timeless [MOVIE REVIEW]

Tapping into and going beyond the Italian post war Neorealism film movement that had a more politicized vision of the poor with an emphasis on injustices inflicted on them, director Federico Fellini homed in with a razor-sharp lens on individuals from the lower fringes of society and their struggles to survive. “Nights of Cabiria,” which…

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“Off the Rails” – Way off [MOVIE REVIEW]

Rarely has there been a more apt title for a film than “Off the Rails.” This banal and poorly directed story of middle aged women trying to recapture a happier moment from their past wastes not only the talented cast but, more importantly, our valuable time. Directed at a snail’s pace by Jules Williamson, no…

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“Flee” – But not from this [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Flee” is that rare, unique, almost indescribable film that defies category. Conceived and directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen to tell the journey of his high school friend Amin Nawabi (pseudonym) from war-torn Afghanistan to Denmark, he uses animation as his documentary medium. Amin, a very private, thoughtful, accomplished adult has, up to this point, never…

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“Benedetta” – Nuns gone wild [MOVIES]

It is fairly clear what the ever controversial Paul Verhoeven had in mind when he optioned Judith C. Brown’s scholarly tome Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy. What isn’t so clear is what his emphasis was going to be because this serio-comic film often veers wildly from gleeful sex romp…

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