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Showing posts from August, 2020

Swallow

If you’re looking for a short movie reminiscent of   Ordinary People   or   Good Will Hunting , this film shares a couple of themes with those longer, better known films. In all three the main character is in therapy, has an abusive or emotionally distant parent and comes to grips with demons, thus resolving a lifetime of struggle. Now factor in a rape and the desire to eat dangerous objects and prepare to watch  Swallow . Haley Bennett wonderfully plays Hunter Conrad, a sort of Stepford Wife to Richie Conrad (Austin Stowell,) heir apparent to the family business and a perfectionist who just wants Hunter to step up her game and behave. Richie’s parents are no help, supporting and increasing the pressure on Hunter to be everything their boy deserves. “Richie likes his girls with long hair,” quips his mother, suggesting that Hunter grow out her neatly coiffed short style. Hunter journeys from family pressure cooker to therapy, through multiple hospitalizations and eventually comes face t

First Cow

This is another potential casualty, at least on the big screen, of the Covid pandemic. We had trouble finding a way to watch   First Cow   despite good reviews and recommendations from friends. We finally resorted to watching it on a laptop through iTunes. We do not have an Apple TV and our ancient (four year old) Smart TV was just short of smart enough to cast this movie from a phone. Despite those limitations, this beautiful film has an art-house feel, a simple story line and quiet, engaging dialogue between its two main characters. The feel is immersive, softly focused under the smoky forest canopy with audio engineering that brings to life every twig cracking under foot, the snap of a mushroom’s stem and the sounds of quietly chewing bites of biscuits. This contributes to an anxious experience for audiences who have been conditioned to expect sudden action on the heels of silence. John Magaro plays Cookie, an expert East Coast baker accompanying fur trappers in the Oregon Territory

Yellowstone (Series)

Sit back and enjoy vistas ready made for postcards, a cinematic feel that spans episodes and intriguing opening credits embedded in a steaming, sulfurous counterpoint of the old and new west. Welcome to the Yellowstone Ranch. Meet rancher/patriarch John Dutton. He is your host. Do not try to escape. I heard a lot about this series from the Paramount Network, but it wasn’t until our local Xfinity service rolled out the Peacock channel that we had the ability to stream the first two seasons. Now that we’ve binged ourselves into a stupor, it’s time to take a look back and decide if season three is worth purchasing.  The star of the show and one of its executive producers is the legendary Kevin Costner. He’s one of the much older Newman/Redford Hollywood genre of hunks that cause misty-eyed lasses to temporarily forget all about their feminist ideals and leave us normal guys saying, “Hey, did you hear what I just said?” But what does he have that I lack, other than, well, everything. And h

Radioactive

When I was in fourth grade I acquired a huge chemistry set from someone who had tired of learning science and gaining knowledge. Or maybe they set their basement on fire as I recounted  here . In the set was a small black device that looked like the eyepiece for a microscope, or maybe a printer’s loop. I discovered that it was actually a spinthariscope, a toy version of a tool that allows a viewer to observe the nuclear disintegration of ionizing alpha radiation on a surface coated with radium or other phosphor. The Gilbert Company, maker of the Erector Set, created the  U-238 Atomic Energy Lab,  parts of which had been combined with the chemistry set I enjoyed.  Can I just say, toys were really cool in the 1960s! Toy Spinthariscope This is the long way into a review of a movie about Madame Marie Curie, but allow me to finish by saying that I still have my toy spinthariscope. Late at night, long after your eyes grow used to complete darkness, looking into the eyepiece reveals frequent