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A Superhero Movie For Everyone

Movies: ‘Shazam!’

If you are a comic book movie person, if you care about the difference between the DC and Marvel Universe, you’ve already decided whether or not you are going to see “Shazam!”. But if you are like me, someone who just wants to know if you should take your kids to see it, or, like me, your eyes glaze over a little bit in the final third of superhero movies when everybody is zooming around zapping each other and the CGI takes over from the actors, well, I am here to tell you that “Shazam!” is a ton of fun, brimming with heart and absolutely worth seeing.

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Lonely Gloria Meets Weird Arnold — Then What?

Movies: ‘Gloria Bell’

Julianne Moore is radiant as Gloria, a complex, passive, passionate and lonely divorced mother of two grown children with an unfulfilling job in an insurance agency and a penchant for dancing in Los Angeles clubs. The film is a remake of a 2013 Spanish language film made by Sebastian Lelio written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza. The new film also directed by Lelio attempts to Americanize the story.

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Rethinking Horror

Movies: ‘Us’

Jordan Peele’s movies belong to a class of horror films that invite analytical interpretations; part of seeing them includes, for better or for worse, mulling over what they mean. 

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Bikinis, Space, Chainsaws, Pigs And Leather

Television: Tubi TV

Recently, as I browsed through the “bad cinema” section of Amazon Prime, I panicked a bit. I had seen all the movies. Some I had seen twice. Was the well of horrible flicks finally running dry?
Then I found a free streaming service called Tubi TV. It doesn’t cost anything to use, but the movies and TV shows are interrupted at fairly large and logical intervals for, at most, a minute of ads. 

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The Scoop On Joseph Pulitzer

Movies: ‘Joseph Pulitzer, Voice of The People’

Joseph Pulitzer made extraordinary newspapers: as broad as a fellow’s arms could reach, full of great stories about thirsty men on Mars, body parts in a river, lists of tax dodgers, enormous cartoons in joyous color,  tales of corruptors, swindlers, killers, divorcees, and any other miscreants inside government and out.

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Addictive New Netflix Series

Television: ‘Russian Doll’

I sat down to watch the pilot of “Russian Doll,” a new Netflix series produced by Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne, without knowing anything about it. Approximately 72 hours later, I emerged from my apartment, blinking in the sunlight, having finished one of the best shows of 2019. 

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Sparking Joy On Television

Television: ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’

Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up,” published in English in 2014, captured the attention of U.S. cultural enthusiasts and skeptics alike; the ideas behind the book filtered into the collective consciousness even for those who hadn’t read it. Netflix’s new special, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” has revitalized this intrigue, quickly becoming a show people watch for not only the vicarious catharsis of watching others organize their homes, but for inspiration to do it themselves.

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A Foreign Affair

Movies: ‘Cold War’

It’s likely many moviegoers will be turned off by just the idea of seeing “Cold War,” which is one of five films, along with “Roma,” nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Paweł Pawlikowski (who directed 2015’s Best Foreign Film winner “Ida”) is also nominated for Best Director, foreign or not, and Łukasz Zal’s work on the film is nominated for Best Cinematography. 

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Two New Movies Tackle Discrimination In The 1970s

Movies: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and ‘On The Basis of Sex’

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Clint Plays Clint Like No One Else Can

Movies: ‘The Mule’

Clint Eastwood plays himself in his new movie, “The Mule.” He plays himself in the same sense that Cary Grant played himself in “North By Northwest” and “The Philadelphia Story.” Not many actors can say that.
Whether peering out from under his flat cowboy hat, or down the barrel of his .44 Magnum, Clint plays Clint. And that’s that.

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