CRY MACHO – Review by Susan Granger

At 91, Clint Eastwood is still throwing punches, riding horses and directing movies. Amazing! In this contemporary Western, set in 1980, Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a former horse trainer/rodeo rider, on a mission to cross the Rio Grande, rescue and kidnap his boss’s estranged 13 year-old son, Raphael (Eduardo Minett), who was abandoned by his Texan father (Dwight Yoakum) and abused by his alcoholic Mexican mother (Fernanda Urrejola).

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WHEN I’M A MOTH – Review by Susan Granger

In her memoirs, Hillary Rodham Clinton mentions that, in 1969, just after graduating from Wellesley and before entering Yale Law School, she spent her summer vacation in Valdez, Alaska, working in a fish- packing plant. She observed, “Sliming fish was pretty good preparation for life in Washington.” Based on that slim factoid, Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak concocted this parable.

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SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS – Review by Susan Granger

This addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the origin story of Shang-Chi , the slacker son of an immortal crime lord who has seemingly rejected his father’s empire. Instead, along with his best friend Katy, he’s a parking valet at aSan Francisco hotel, using the Americanized name of Shaun. Then – one evening, on his way home – he’s accosted by thugs who attempt to steal a pendant from around his neck. Big mistake!

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COME FROM AWAY – Review by Susan Granger

Why do you go to theater? Because it’s entertaining and fun. Because it opens your heart, teaches life-lessons and transports you to another time, another place. Because, occasionally, it conveys the essential goodness and resiliency of the human spirit at the same, shared moment in time. Now, Apple TV+ presents Come From Away, one of Broadway’s best musicals.

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HACKS – Review by Susan Granger

Jean Smart plays Deborah Vance, a legendary stand-up comedienne who is struggling to retain her Las Vegas residency. Much to her dismay, the casino CEO (Christopher McDonald) tells her that she has to work with Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder), a 25 year-old Los Angeles TV comedy writer with a very different approach to crafting humor.

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THE WATER MAN – Review by Susan Granger

When actor-turned-director David Oyelowo was growing up, he missed the sense of magic and wonder that he yearned to experience on-screen and was acutely aware of the lack of mid-budget family films featuring performers of color. Set in the Pacific Northwest, this story revolves around inquisitive 11 year-old Gunnar Boone , whose mother is dying of leukemia and military father, recently returned from Japan, just moved the family to the small logging town of Pine Mills.

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THE CHAIR – Review by Susan Granger

This ‘Back to School’ month is the perfect time for Netflix’s new college-set series The Chair, starring Sandra Oh (Killing Eve, Grey’s Anatomy) as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first female head of the English department at (fictional) Pembroke University. A prestigious “lower-tier Ivy,” Pembroke has always favored its rich, white students and faculty, so the newly elected Chair faces not only gender prejudice but also racial bias. A single mother, she’s raising an adopted daughter, Ju-Ju (Everly Carganilla), with the help of her widowed, Korean-speaking father (Lee Ji-Yong).

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DON’T BREATHE 2 – Review by Susan Granger

Back in 2016, there was a horrific home invasion slasher/thriller from writer/director Fede Alvarez subversively pitting a trio of teenage thugs against an old, blind former Navy SEAL, whose backstory identifies him as a kidnapper/rapist/murderer. Here, Alvarez tries to turn this repulsive, reprehensible villain, who admits he’s a “monster,” into an action antihero – and the brutal, hyper-violent redemption simply doesn’t work.

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SEE – Review by Susan Granger

This dystopian sci-fi fantasy/drama series begins its second season with a third already in production. The opening credits are a montage of nerve endings that, as the volume increases, form various shapes. As star Alfre Woodward notes: “The characters in season two do not see the past coming to haunt them, but the past coming to be resolved…See has so many parallels with what is going on with the world – or even what could happen. There’s the idea of the masses laying trust in prophetic figures.”

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