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Violent and Long, And Plenty of Fury

Movies: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” sure has lots of fury. Not a lot of actual road, though.
It’s the fourth film in the Mad Max series, which started in 1979 with “Mad Max,” picked up steam with “The Road Warrior” in 1981, and got downright rococo with 1985’s “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.”

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Menacing, Stylish And Provocative

Movies: ‘Ex Machina’

British screenwriter Alex Garland somehow manages to twist strands from previous science fiction films about artificial intelligence — “2001,” “I, Robot,” “A.I.” — into his directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” a stylish, eerie film with a predictable, yet compelling, sense of inevitability. It’s as if the quiet foreboding of Kubrick has met the darkness of Coppola.

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He Loved Racing, He Learned Late, And He Excelled at It

Movies: ‘Winning’

Paul Newman was an excellent auto racer, as Adam Carolla’s “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman” makes clear.
Newman came to the sport in his late 40s — about the time when other drivers are thinking about retirement — and surprised many by learning the nuances and getting better and better, until people stopped thinking of him as the famous actor who happened to do a little racing on the side.

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Living With Old Wounds

Documentaries: ‘Uncommon Ground’

municipal government plan to raze what remains of an ancient Arab village north and west of Jerusalem to make way for luxury housing has stirred both hope and unquenchable grief among men and women of, mostly, good will. “Uncommon Ground,” a nearly completed documentary by Oren Rudavsky and Daum Menachem, makes clear how the wounded, in seeking redress, can cripple it.      

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Ridiculous, Utterly Enjoyable

Movies: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

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On Aging, Moviemaking And Fascination

Movies: ‘The Clouds of Sils Maria’

Perhaps you have been to Sils Maria, the small municipality set high in Switzerland’s southeastern Alps. If not, let writer-director Olivier Assayas and his cinematographer, Yorick Le Saux, take you there in “The Clouds of Sils Maria,” their gorgeous, complex, often brutal meditation on aging, moviemaking and fame itself.

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About Redemption? Enduring Values? Not So Much

Movie: ‘Danny Collins’

This movie, “Danny Collins,” is a cunningly disguised horror movie in which Al Pacino (in the title role) sings to Annette Bening (a Sen. Elizabeth Warren double).

Whoops. 

Sorry. 

Acid flashback.

“Danny Collins” is an alleged comedy-drama about a rock singer who has turned into a parody of himself, gets disgusted and tries to turn his life around by moving to a hotel in New Jersey.

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Timely and Observant, But Not Enough Grodin

Movies: ‘While We’re Young’

Noah Baumbach’s witty and sly new film, “While We’re Young,” begins with quotations from 

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Witnessing a Slow Loss

A Documentary: ‘Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury’

Imagine that one day you begin to forget words. The problem keeps getting worse until you can barely speak. Your family and friends don’t know what’s wrong. You start to disappear.

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Well, It Costs Only $4.99

Movies: ‘Zombeavers’

Director Jordan Rubin’s “Zombeavers” (2014) is a splendid piece of partially-fermented curd that probably won’t be playing in a theater near you but is available for streaming from Amazon.
And hey, for that $4.99 rental fee you’ll be able to watch it over and over for seven whole days!
It’s also the flick that answers the question, “What happens when a zombie beaver bites a pretty young blonde?”

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