MARLOWE – Review by Susan Granger

This is 70-year-old Liam Neeson’s 100th film! I just wish it were better. Based on The Black-Eyed Blonde by Irish novelist John Banville, writing under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, it’s not even one of Raymond Chandler’s original Philip Marlowe tales. Leisurely scripted by William Monahan (The Departed) as a vintage film noir, it’s self-consciously directed by Neil Jordan.

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MARLOWE – Review by T.J. Callahan

It’s not February without Liam Neeson hunting someone down and killing them. This time he tries Noir on for size as he follows the fingerprints of a long list of famous actors like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum and James Garner by playing the 1930’s sleuth, Philip Marlowe. Neeson is no stranger to the cop turned detective role in this, his 100th film. While he can still beat up multiple men half his age all in one punch, Liam utters once again, “I’m getting too old for this.” making him a rather worse for wear gumshoe. Give Neeson credit for continuing to try to please his fans and tackling a slightly different style, but Marlowe is just mediocre

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CONSECRATION – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Riffing in some ways on director Christopher Smith’s cult favourite Triangle (2009), Consecration once again finds him in time-bending horror territory as he combines a complex story that weaves between past, present and future into a film that shares the same fascinations with organized religion as his most recent 2020 feature, The Banishing. Smith and his collaborators here click beautifully with the material making it one of his strongest films in years.

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LIFE UPSIDE DOWN – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The drama Life Upside Down taps into those feelings that gripped so many during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Inertia, ennui, limbo, and isolation. The restlessness of trying to better ourselves, stay centered, or at least sane. And for some, noticing how quarantining revealed more than a few cracks in a relationship.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Dec. 22-28: BIG EYES

Opening Dec. 25, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Big Eyes, Tim Burton’s study of painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), whose phenomenal success in the 1950s and ’60s gave way to legal wranglings after her husband (Christoph Waltz) claimed credit for her work. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug. 25-31: THE CONGRESS

Opening Aug. 29, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is The Congress, from writer-director Ari Folman and starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti, and Jon Hamm. The unusual film combines live action and animation to present a unique premise set in a world in the not-too-distant future where Wright gives a studio control over her digital likeness for use in perpetuity. Read on…

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