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'Murder on the Orient Express': The Cast is the Thing

You won’t have a bad time seeing Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Indeed, it is a festive throwback to those British movies of sweeping landscapes; eccentric characters; privilege, leisure and luxury; maids and valets. And its main character, the self-proclaimed greatest detective in the world, Hercule Poirot, was Christie’s most famous creation.
 

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Is It Action or Comedy? Yes.

Movie: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Back in May, in a review of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” in this space, I rambled on for a while about how I felt that comic book movies that don’t star Batman should be, not dark and broody, but fun.
I’m pleased to report that Taika Waititi, the director of “Thor: Ragnarok,” read my words and took them to heart. I’m afraid, though, that he may have gone a bit too far.

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A Movie For Grown-ups About A Children’s Book Author

Movie: ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’

The old adage “you can’t tell a book by its cover” might well be applied to the film “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” Expecting a lovely afternoon spent with kids who have just encountered “Winnie the Pooh” and want to frolic in the Hundred Acre Wood might end with some explaining and, for the more sensitive in the group, a few tears. 
The screening schedule may be heavy on matinees, but the film has a decided adult message.

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Festivals’ Best Films Come to Columbia County

Movies: FilmColumbia

If you missed the first half of the eighteenth FilmColumbia film festival, which opened last weekend in Chatham, N.Y., don’t worry. From today through Sunday, you can still choose from a schedule chock-a-block with high-powered films.
“We tend to backload the festival,” said Peter Biskind, FilmColumbia’s executive and co-artistic director. “We know we get our best attendance on weekend evenings.”

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A Stunning Sci-Fi Triumph

Movie: ‘Blade Runner 2049’

‘Blade Runner 2049,” director Denis Villeneuve’s visually staggering, provocative, profound and deeply philosophical film, is by turns satirical, romantic and tragic. It reminds us that science fiction is the genre that deals with our greatest fears and questions about the universe.

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Superficial, Yet Beautiful

Movie: ‘Viceroy’s House’

‘Viceroy’s House” is British-raised director Gurinder Chadha’s well-intentioned, big-hearted look at the last few weeks before the 1947 British partition of India by its last viceroy, Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Unfortunately, she has chosen an “Upstairs, Downstairs” approach. 

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Season 3 Is Worth Binge-Watching

TV: ‘Narcos’

Everybody’s favorite Drug Enforcement Agency agent Javi Pena (Pedro Pascal) is back in Colombia, and this time he’s chasing the Rodriguez Brothers — and not the same brothers Harry Dean Stanton tangled with in “Repo Man,” either.
These guys are the heads of the Cali Cartel, the undisputed heavyweight champs of the cocaine trade in the 1980s. And they don’t fool around.

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Controversial Film Contains Beauty, Horror

Movie: ‘Mother!’

What to make of a movie so full of sickening contradictions as “Mother!,” the latest creation from the apparently fevered mind of Darren Aronofsky? Both beautiful and horrible to look at, is it parable or lurid exploitation, meditation or sensationalism, honest or another of Aronofsky’s manipulations? (I would use another noun that includes “mother” if this were not a family newspaper).

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Haunting Films Have A Message

Movies: Beacon Independent Film Festival

While Hollywood is scaring us, scaling buildings, blowing up things and only occasionally making us laugh, independent documentary filmmakers are toiling in the trenches, bringing us gut-wrenching stories that need to be told.
Such were three films shown at the Beacon Independent Film Festival, which was held Sept. 15 to 17 in Beacon, N.Y. (Details are at www.beaconindiefilmfest.org.)Each was raw and haunting, with an urgent message. They fell under a Saturday afternoon session appropriately titled “Failing Institutions.”

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Film Production Closes Area Road

Movie: ‘A Quiet Place’

The production of “A Quiet Place,” a supernatural horror film directed by John Krasinski and produced by Michael Bay, has shut down West Dover Road (County Route 20) in the towns of Dover and Pawling through Oct. 23.
According to the Dutchess County Department of Public Works, a quarter-mile section of West Dover Road near Blackberry Road was closed on Sept. 6 and a detour has been posted, redirecting traffic over Route 22 via Pleasant Ridge Road and River Road. 

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