Author: George Mccartney (George Mccartney)

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Battier and Battier
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Battier and Battier

An extra moody, extra dark new installment of The Batman franchise asks its audience to believe the world would be a better place if the have-nots took by force from the haves in order to make a more equitable society.

Death Becomes Bond
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Death Becomes Bond

No Time to Die Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga ◆ Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Cary Joji Fukunaga ◆ Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures   The James Bond film series that began in 1962 is still going strong in this, its 25th edition. The latest installment is definitely a winner,...

Her Majesty’s Afghan Warlord
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Her Majesty’s Afghan Warlord

The Man Who Would Be King Written and Directed by John Huston ◆ Produced by John Foreman ◆ Distributed by Columbia Pictures With Afghanistan on the mind, as President Biden tries to benightedly disengage from America’s longest war, it seems a worthy time to revisit John Huston’s 1975 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who...

Revisiting the Round Table
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Revisiting the Round Table

The Green Knight Directed and written by David Lowery ◆ Produced by Ley Line Entertainment ◆ Distributed by A24   In a world where chivalry is an alleged tool of the patriarchy, it seems odd that the story of the Green Knight, one of the most famous tales of the Arthurian legend, remains popular today....

The Troubled Waves of Stillwater
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The Troubled Waves of Stillwater

Stillwater Written and directed by Tom McCarthy ◆ Produced by PGA ◆ Distributed by Focus Features   Body and Soul (1947) Directed by Robert Rossen ◆ Screenplay by Abraham Polonsky ◆ Produced by Enterprise Productions ◆ Distributed by United Artists   A good example of what not to  do when using a real-life story as...

Inconvenient Children
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Inconvenient Children

Never Rarely Sometimes Always Directed and written by Eliza Hittman ◆ Produced by BBC Films ◆ Distributed by Focus Features These Wilder Years (1956) Directed by Roy Rowland ◆ Written by Frank Fenton ◆ Produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer In the guise of a documentary treatment of abortion, Never Rarely Sometimes Always tells us quite...

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly
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Seeing Through a Glass Darkly

The Woman in the Window Directed by Joe Wright ◆ Written by Tracy Letts from the novel by A. J. Finn  ◆ Produced by 20th Century Studios ◆ Distributed by Netflix Things Heard & Seen Directed and written by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the novel All Things Cease to Appear by...

Till Death Do Us Part
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Till Death Do Us Part

Happily Directed and written by BenDavid Grabinski ◆ Produced by Common Wall Media ◆ Distributed by Saban Films The Father Directed and written by Florian Zeller ◆ Produced by Film4 ◆ Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics Goodbye Again (1961) Directed and produced by Anatole Litvak ◆ Written by Samuel A. Taylor ◆ Distributed by United...

Smiling Through Clenched Teeth
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Smiling Through Clenched Teeth

I Care a Lot Directed and written by Jonathan Blakeson ◆ Produced by Andrea Ajemian and Sacha Guttenstein ◆ Distributed by Netflix The Shrike (1955) Directed by José Ferrer ◆ Written by Ketti Frings ◆ Produced by Aaron Rosenberg ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures   Rosamund Pike is one of the most versatile and accomplished actresses in...

Feminine Ordeals
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Feminine Ordeals

Pieces of a Woman Directed by Kornél Mundruczó ◆ Written by Kata Wéber ◆ Produced by Bron Studios, Little Lamb, and Creative Wealth Media ◆ Distributed by Netflix Promising Young Woman Written and directed by Emerald Fennell ◆ Produced by FilmNation Entertainment and LuckyChap Entertainment ◆ Distributed by Focus Features   In the 1940s and...

The Film’s the Thing
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The Film’s the Thing

Mank  Directed by David Fincher ◆ Written by Jack Fincher ◆ Produced by Netflix International Pictures ◆ Distributed by Netflix Citizen Kane (1941) Directed by Orson Welles ◆ Written by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles ◆ Produced by Mercury Productions ◆ Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Netflix is currently streaming Mank, a film dramatizing...

A Spectrum of Violence
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A Spectrum of Violence

Unhinged Directed by Derrick Borte ◆ Written by Carl Ellsworth ◆ Produced by Ingenious Media ◆ Distributed by Solstice Studios Take Me (2017) Directed by Pat Healy ◆ Written by Mike Makowsky ◆ Produced by Mel Eslyn and Sev Ohanian ◆ Distributed by The Orchard Bushwick (2017) Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion ◆...

Orwell’s Coming Up for Air Is Prophetic for Our Times
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Orwell’s Coming Up for Air Is Prophetic for Our Times

Seven years before he began writing his post-war masterpiece, 1984, George Orwell published Coming Up for Air, a novel in a different key that presaged the themes of his later book. Forty-five-year-old George Bowling is a character about as different from Winston Smith as can be imagined. Whereas Smith is sour, wan, and forlorn, Bowling is cheerful, hearty,...

The Devil’s Collectives
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The Devil’s Collectives

The Devil All the Time Directed by Antonio Campos ◆ Written by Paulo Campos ◆ Produced by Nine Stories Productions and Bronx Moving Co. ◆ Distributed by Netflix 1BR Directed and written by David Marmor ◆ Produced by Malevolent Films ◆ Distributed by Dark Sky Films   The Prowler (1951) Directed by Joseph Losey ◆...

Dutiful Delirium
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Dutiful Delirium

I’m Thinking of Ending Things Directed by Charlie Kaufman ◆ Written by Charlie Kaufman (screenplay) and Iain Reid (book) ◆ Produced by Likely Story and Projective Testing Service ◆ Distributed by Netflix The Ipcress File (1965) Directed by Sidney J. Furie ◆ Written by W.H. Canaway and James Doran (screenplay), and Len Deighton (book) ◆...

The Sensual and the Savage
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The Sensual and the Savage

Yes, God, Yes Directed and written by Karen Maine ◆ Produced by Maiden Voyage and RT Features ◆ Distributed by Vertical Entertainment Waiting for the Barbarians Directed by Ciro Guerra ◆ Screenplay and novel by J. M. Coetzee ◆ Produced by Iervolino Entertainment and Ithaca Pictures ◆ Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films Zulu (1964) Directed...

The Revolution, Televised
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The Revolution, Televised

Mr. Jones Directed by Agnieszka Holland ◆ Written by Andrea Chalupa ◆ Produced by Film Produkcja ◆ Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) Directed by Martin Ritt ◆ Written by John le Carré, Paul Dehn, and Guy Trosper ◆ Produced by Salem Films ◆ Distributed by Paramount...

Alien Intuitions
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Alien Intuitions

The Vast of Night Directed by Andrew Patterson ◆ Written by Andrew Patterson and Craig W. Sanger ◆ Produced by GED Cinema ◆ Distributed by Amazon Studios Shirley Directed by Josephine Decker ◆ Written by Sarah Gubbins based on a novel by Susan Scarf Merrell ◆ Produced by Los Angeles Media Fund ◆ Distributed by...

Aiming Aimlessly
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Aiming Aimlessly

The Hunt (2020) Directed by Craig Zobel ◆ Screenplay by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof ◆ Produced by Blumhouse Productions ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures The Most Dangerous Game (1932) Directed by Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Shoedsack ◆ Screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman ◆ Produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures The Candidate (1972)...

Hankering Hereafter
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Hankering Hereafter

The Invisible Man (2020) Directed and written by Leigh Whannell ◆ Produced by Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss (2018) Directed by Vivieno Caldinelli ◆ Screenplay by Christopher Hewitson, Clayton Hewitson, and Justin Jones ◆ Produced and distributed by MarVista Entertainment Panic in the Streets...

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella of split personality, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) immediately caught the attention of the late Victorian reading public and has been catching attention from new audiences ever since. It has provided the inspiration for 123 film adaptations, including the madcap 1953 version featuring Abbott and Costello....

Family Finances
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Family Finances

Parasite may be both the most amusing and the most horrifying movie of the year. That is, if you can get past its inept attempt at making a political statement.  Written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite recently became the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for best picture.  Bong’s investigation of...

The World’s Values
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The World’s Values

1917 Directed by Sam Mendes • Written by Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns • Produced by Amblin Partners, DreamWorks Pictures, Mogambo, Neal Street Productions, and Reliance Entertainment • Distributed by Universal Pictures La Grande Illusion (1937) Directed by Jean Renoir • Written by Charles Spaak and Jean Renoir • Produced by Réalisations d’Art Cinématographique (RAC)...

The Perils of Revisionism
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The Perils of Revisionism

The Irishman Directed and produced by Martin Scorsese • Screenplay by Steve Zaillian, from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses • Distributed by Netflix Raging Bull (1980) Directed by Martin Scorsese • Screenplay by Paul Schrader • Distributed by United Artists Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams • Produced...

Racing for Dominance
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Racing for Dominance

Jojo Rabbit Directed and written by Taika Waititi • Produced by TSG Entertainment • Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures Ford v Ferrari Directed by James Mangold •  Produced by Chernin Entertainment • Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox A Simple Plan Directed by Sam Raimi • Written by Scott Smith Produced by the British Broadcasting Corp. • Distributed...

Grim Foolishness
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Grim Foolishness

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Directed and written by Quentin Tarantino ? Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures The Lighthouse Directed and produced by Robert Eggers ? Co-written by Robert and Max Eggers ? Distributed by A24 Sullivan’s Travels (1941) Directed and written by Preston Sturges ? Produced by Paul Jones ? Distributed by...

Mayhem and Civility
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Mayhem and Civility

Joker Directed and written by Todd Phillips • Produced by Creative Wealth Media Finance and DC Entertainment • Distributed by Warner Brothers Downton Abbey Directed by Michael Engler • Screenplay by Julian Fellowes • Produced and distributed by Focus Features The Conversation Directed and written by Francis Ford Coppola • Produced by The Coppola Company...

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Hiding in Delusion

Where’d You Go, Bernadette Produced and distributed by Annapurna Pictures; Written and directed by Richard Linklater, from the novel by Maria Semple Framing John DeLorean Produced by XYZ Films, distributed by Sundance Selects ; Directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce; Screenplay by Dan Greeney and Alexandra Orton Double Indemnity (1944) Produced and distributed...

Hazardous Do-Overs
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Hazardous Do-Overs

Seconds (1966) Produced by Joel Productions; Directed by John Frankenheimer; Screenplay by Lewis John Carlino, adapted from a novel by David Ely; Distributed by Paramount Pictures The Art of Self-Defense Produced by Andrew Kortschak; Directed and written by Riley Stearns; Distributed by Bleecker Street After Life Produced, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais; Distributed by...

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The Naked and The Veiled

Never Look Away Produced by Pergamon Film Directed and written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics Chernobyl Produced and distributed by HBO and Sky Television Directed by Johan Renck ? Screenplay by Craig Mazin High Life Produced by Alcatraz Films Directed and written by Claire Denis Distributed by A24 German director...

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What the Editors Are Reading

Dostoevsky’s great 1866 novel Crime and Punishment reads like a frenetic vision. A compulsive gambler and one-time political radical who was condemned to Siberia and forced labor, Dostoevsky created the novel’s Rodion Raskolnikov, a half-mad dreamer who expressed the radical, nihilistic ideas of the time. Drawing on his own struggles and experiences, Dostoevsky used Raskolnikov...

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Of Infants and Geezers

Unplanned Produced and distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment Directed and written by Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon Cold Pursuit Produced by Studio Canal Directed by Han Peter Moland Screenplay by Frank Bladwin, adapted from the Norwegian film Kraftidioten Distributed by Summit Entertainment The Mule Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers Directed by Clint Eastwood Screenplay...

Tethered and Beleaguered
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Tethered and Beleaguered

Us Produced by Monkey Paw Productions  Written and directed by Jordan Peele  Distributed by Universal Pictures  Diane Produced by Sight Unseen Pictures Written and directed by Kent Jones Distributed by IFC Films  Jordan Peele is the executive producer of the revived Twilight Zone series now streaming on CBS All Access. The original series fascinated him...

Monarchs and Pretenders
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Monarchs and Pretenders

Mary, Queen of Scots Produced and distributed by Focus Features Directed by Josie Rourke Screenplay by Beau Willimon The Favourite Screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara Distributed by Universal Pictures Stan & Ollie Produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Classics Directed by Jon Baird Screenplay by Jeff Pope Can You Ever Forgive Me? Produced...

Power and Betrayal
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Power and Betrayal

Vice Directed and written by Adam McKay  Produced and distributed by Annapurna Pictures  Wildlife Produced by June Pictures and Nine Stories Productions Directed by Paul Dano  Screenplay by Paul Dana and Zoe Kazan adapted from Richard Ford’s novel  Distributed by IFC Films   In Vice, director Adam McKay takes a hatchet to Dick Cheney, joining...

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Mortal Remains

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Produced by Annapurna Pictures  Written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen  Distributed by Netflix  Roma Produced by Participant Media Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón Distributed by Netflix  Near the end of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen brothers’ latest cinematic whimsy being shown on Netflix, Brendan Gleeson...

Mortal Coils
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Mortal Coils

Boy Erased Produced and distributed by Focus Features  Written and directed by Joel Edgerton from a memoir by Garrard Conley  The Miseducation of Cameron Post Produced by Beachside Films  Written and directed by Desiree Akhavan from a novel by Emily Danforth  Distributed by FilmRise  Private Life Produced and distributed by Netflix  Written and directed by...

The Undaunted
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The Undaunted

First Man Produced by Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, and Damien Chazelle Directed by Damien Chazelle Screenplay by Josh Singer from the biography by James R. Hansen  Distributed by Universal Pictures  Black 47 Produced by Fastnet Films and the Irish Film Board  Directed by Lance Daly Screenplay by P. J. Dillon  Distributed by IFC...

Lilliputian Fantasies
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Lilliputian Fantasies

Downsizing Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures  Directed by Alexander Payne  Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor  I’m late commenting on Alexander Payne’s Downsizing for the simple reason that the film became all but unavailable within what seemed a couple of weeks of its opening in December 2017.  It had disappeared from theaters and...

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Racing

BlacKkKlansman Produced by Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks   Directed by Spike Lee Screenplay by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Spike Lee  Distributed by Focus Features  Crazy Rich Asians Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers  Directed by John M. Chu Screenplay by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim from Kevin Kwan’s novel  Mission: Impossible—Fallout Produced...

Desperate Fatties
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Desperate Fatties

You Were Never Really Here Produced by Why Not Productions and the British Film Institute Directed and written by Lynne Ramsay, based on Jonathan Ames’s novel Distributed by Amazon Studios  Tully Produced by BRON Studios  Directed by Jason Reitman  Screenplay by Diablo Cody  Distributed by Focus Features  This month we have two—you’ll excuse the expression—art-house...

Ministering
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Ministering

First Reformed Produced and distributed by A24  Written and directed by Paul Schrader  Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Produced by Tremolo Productions  Distributed by Focus Features  Fashionable reviewers have brought out the heavy artillery to praise director Paul Schrader’s latest film, First Reformed, calling it transcendent, uncompromising, soaring, etc, etc.  Maybe they saw a different...

Families
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Families

Chappaquiddick Produced and distributed by Entertainment Studios  Directed by John Curran  Screenplay by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan  A Quiet Place Produced by Platinum Dunes  Directed and written by John Krasinski  Distributed by Paramount Pictures  On July 18, 1969, Sen. Edward Kennedy infamously drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island.  He had left a late-night...

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Racial Follies

Band of Angels Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers  Directed by Raoul Walsh  Screenplay by John Twist  Hostiles Produced by Le Grisbi Productions  Written and directed by Scott Cooper  Distributed by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures  I had never heard of the 1957 film Band of Angels directed by Raoul Walsh until I came upon it...

Bursting the Wineskin
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Bursting the Wineskin

Novitiate Produced by Maven Pictures  Written and directed by Maggie Betts  Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics  Growing up in the 1950’s, I was regaled with many stories about nuns and their punishing ways.  Having attended Roman Catholic grammar school through the third grade, I did some regaling myself despite knowing full well that my tales...

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Lies and Consequences

The Post Produced by Dreamworks  Directed by Steven Spielberg  Screenplay by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer  Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox  The Phantom Thread Produced and distributed by Focus Features  Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson  The Post is Steven Spielberg’s account of the Washington Post’s 1971 decision to publish the Robert McNamara-ordered report...

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Rising to the Occasion

Darkest Hour Produced by Perfect World Pictures  Written by Anthony McCarten Directed by Joe Wright  Distributed by Focus Features  The Shape of Water Produced by Scott Rudin Productions  Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor Directed by Guillermo del Toro  Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures  Toward the end of Darkest Hour, we watch Gary...