LITTLE WING – Review by Nadine Whitney

Little Wing had the potential to punch up the comedy so it could gut punch the drama, but the film is lumpen where it should be light and too concerned with telling the audience what is happening but not always backing up why. The film’s star, Brooklynn Prince, will fly to heights, but Little Wing is a non-starter.

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A HAUNTING IN VENICE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Famous detective Hercule Poirot is a haunted man, even when not in a haunted house. A Haunting in Venice, director and star Kenneth Branagh’s third outing as Agatha Christie’s brilliant and persnickety detective, is his most satisfying turn yet. Full of Gothic touches that enhance the mysterious mood, the film also is rich in theme: that we all live with ghosts, to paraphrase one character, whether real or not. A Haunting in Venice is briskly entertaining Agatha Christie comfort food with a larger theme about the secrets we carry. Should Branagh and company continue putting Poirot on the case, here’s hoping they also dip into Christie’s more obscure catalogue to offer audiences more surprises.

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A HAUNTING IN VENICE – Review by Susan Granger

Released on September 15, Dame Agatha Christie’s 133rd birthday, Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice is adapted from her novel Halloween Party. In post-World War II Venice, ostensibly retired Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) is urged to attend a séance by mystery writer Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey), who has used him as a character in her crime-riddled novels. Taking considerable liberties with Agatha Christie’s original 1969 whodunit, screenwriter Michael Green and actor/director Branagh have transplanted the murder mystery to picturesque Venice, where gothic ghosts seemingly waft among the rain-shrouded canals.

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A HAUNTING IN VENICE – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Hercule Poirot is attuned to the finer points of human psychology, allowing Agatha Christie room to explore emotions alongside clues and Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice is just as invested in the way its characters feel as in what they do. Branagh never lets Poirot’s quirks take precedence over the fact that he’s a character with real depth, a man whose dedication to uncovering the truth is rooted in a past darkened by tragedy and dislocation. For all his mannered affect, injustice and cruelty offend Poirot’s sense of the way things ought to be but all-too often aren’t, and that any victory over life’s fundamental unfairness is worth the fight. When everything has been unraveled and explained, that’s a solid and satisfying takeaway.

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THE YELLOWSTONE TRILOGY – Review by Susan Granger

With Yellowstone currently wrangling its fifth successful season, its creators – Taylor Sheridan and John Linson – have lured audiences once again into the interconnected Big Sky mythology of the American West, as epitomized by the dysfunctional Dutton dynasty. The Dutton family has owned the Yellowstone since 1883. That prequel series detailed their westward journey from Texas in a wagon train, showing how John Dutton’s great-grandfather, Civil War veteran James and his wife Margaret founded the Dutton ranch on a spot of land chosen by their daughter Elsa for her gravesite.

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YELLOWSTONE – Review by Susan Granger

Now in its fourth season, Kevin Costner’s wildly successful, Western melodrama Yellowstone is a powerful geyser that keeps spewing off sequels. Created by Taylor Sheridan, the Paramount Network’s saga revolves around gruff Montana cattle king John Dutton’s battle to keep his sprawling Yellowstone Ranch out of the hands of wealthy land developers. At his side are his hellcat daughter/lawyer Beth and her husband/foreman Rip Wheeler, who brands devoted ranch hands with a “Y.”

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