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February, 2017

Women’s History Month highlights might & fortitude

Movies: The fact thousands of women converged on Washington D.C. on Jan. 21 to protest the inauguration of the 45th US president and that — from Antarctica to Zimbabwe like-minded women exhibited solidarity mirroring similar disdain for his election — a conclusion could be drawn that the date could be designated Women’s History Day. Comment

Documentary on Maya Angelo airing on PBS

Movies: Dr. Maya Angelo with her rich resonating presence delivered her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. Comment

Temperamental teacher challenges nerdy colleague

Movies: Do you remember how, when you were growing up, if a couple of classmates came to blows on the schoolyard, they would be quickly separated to the suggestion that they settle their differences off campus at the end of the day? Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early thirties, revolving Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early thirties, revolving around the efforts of a young artist (Max Irons) to save his childhood sweetheart (Samantha Barks) from the state-sanctioned famine orchestrated by Stalin (Gary Oliver) that would claim millions of lives. With Terence Stamp, Barry Pepper and Lucy Brown. Comment

Keanu Reeves returns as vengeful assassin

Movies: When we first met John Wick (Keanu Reeves), he went on a bloody killing spree in the wake of losing the love of his life (Bridget Moynahan). And at the end of that revenge-fueled splatterfest we saw the wounded assassin walk off into the sunset with a puppy he just rescued from the dog pound. Comment

It’s The Caped Crusader vs. The Joker

Movies: Not since the campy TV-sitcom back in the Sixties has Batman been so successfully lampooned. Now, the much-beloved superhero again proves perfect fodder for parody in a madcap, animated adventure with a terribly-short attention span. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Adventure Club (Unrated) Sci-fi fantasy about a trio of 10-year-old BFFs (Dalila Bella, Jakob Davies and Sam Ashe Arnold) who end up on the run from several shady characters after finding an ancient artifact capable of granting wishes. Cast includes Kim Coates, Gabrielle Miller and Robin Dunne. Comment

January, 2017

Vin Diesel stars in high-octane thriller

Movies: When it was released back in 2002, xXx grossed over a quarter-billion dollars worldwide in theaters alone. The visually-captivating espionage adventure starring Vin Diesel was reminiscent of James Bond, except it featured a hunkier hero and more spectacular stunts and special effects. Comment

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Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: American Violence (Unrated) Psychological thriller revolving around a shrink (Denise Richards) hired to determine whether or not an inmate (Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau) on Death Row deserves a stay of execution. With Columbus Short, Bruce Dern and Michael Pare. Comment

Adoptee tracks down birth-mom in bittersweet biopic

Movies: Saroo (Dev Patel) had the misfortune of being born into poverty in India’s Khandwa district. He lived there with his single-mom, Kamla (Priyanka Bose), along with his big brother, Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), and younger sister, Shekila (Khushi Solanki). Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Behemoth (Unrated) Eco-documentary illustrating the devastating toll exacted by mining on China’s population and landscape. (In Mandarin with subtitles) The Daughter (Unrated) Adaptation of “The Wild Duck,” Henrik Ibsen’s classic play revolving around a man (Paul Schneider) who uncovers a dark family secret when he returns home to attend his father’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding. Featuring Nicholas Hope, Sam Neill and Ewen Leslie. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Detour (R for nudity, sexuality, graphic violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Revenge thriller revolving around a naive law student (Tye Sheridan) who hires a hitman (Emory Cohen) to kill the scheming stepfather (Stephen Moyer) responsible for the car accident that left his mother in a coma. With Bel Powley, John Lynch and Gbenga Akinnagbe. Comment

Portuguese priests search for missionary mentor

Movies: Portuguese traders first landed in Japan in 1543, followed soon thereafter by Francis Xavier and other Jesuits. So many locals started converting to Christianity that, less than a decade later, the emperor issued an edict banning Catholicism and ordering the expulsion of all missionaries. Comment

Peripatetic bus driver personifies poetry in motion

Movies: Paterson (Adam Driver) is stuck in a rut. By day, the municipal bus driver repeatedly negotiates his way around a boring route around the New Jersey city which shares his name. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 100 Streets (Unrated) Ensemble drama chronicling the lives of a retired rugby player (Idris Elba), a drug dealer (Franz Drameh) and a struggling actor (Ken Stott) whose paths serendipitously cross. Cast includes Gemma Arterton, Ryan Gage and Tom Cullen. Comment

Beleaguered boy befriended by tree

Movies: Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is understandably miserable. First of all, the 12-year-old divorced mom (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill. Second, they’re both estranged from his father (Toby Kebbell) who has long since started another family over in America. Comment

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Movies: Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America (Unrated) Racial harmony documentary about a black musician’s efforts to befriend Ku Klux Klansmen. Comment