ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT – Review by Susan Granger

Adapted by writer/director Edward Berger from Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel, it follows idealistic young Germans, caught in patriotic fervor, as they proudly enlist to serve for “the Kaiser, God and the Fatherland,” marching off to war in France, only to find themselves mired in muck, facing almost certain death.

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1899 – Review by Susan Granger

When a trusted friend recommended the supernatural Netflix sci-fi series 1899, he urged me to see it quick – because – despite audience enthusiasm and positive reviews – it’s been cancelled. So I did – joining legions of bewildered viewers, wondering why there won’t be a second season for this spooky, genre-juggling maritime mystery? Was it a tax-write off? Forbes concluded: “Netflix is becoming a graveyard stacked with dead series and unfinished conclusions.”

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GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO – Review by Susan Granger

Mexican filmmaker “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” transports Carlo Collodi’s classic 1883 children’s story to Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy during the 1930s, using stop-motion animation – it’s like Pan’s Labyrinth with a puppet! It’s a far cry from Disney’s sanitized 1940 Pinocchio and the many versions that have followed, including Robert Zemeckis’ mid-2022 Lionsgate adaptation with Tom Hanks as Geppetto.

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GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY – Review by Susan Granger

It’s not exactly accurate that Rian Johnson’s follow-up Knives Out Mystery is called “-Glass Onion”- because the so-called ‘onion’ is actually a glass dome – with no layers and, essentially, hollow. Having relinquished his James Bond persona, Daniel Craig reprises the dapper Southern detective, Benoit Blanc, in this overly intricate Agatha Christie-like murder mystery set on a luxurious private island that’s populated by a motley assortment of colorful guests. Problem is: despite some intriguing cameos, none of the cast of characters in this whodunit is remotely likeable, so why should we care who murdered whom?

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STUTZ – Review by Lois Alter Mark

As an actor and comedian, Jonah Hill has taken on a variety of surprising roles over the past 18 years, portraying everything from a sex and booze-obsessed teen in Superbad to Peter Brand, the Oakland A’s assistant general manager, in Moneyball. But his most unexpected role yet just may be as producer, director and co-star of Stutz, a new Netflix documentary about his own psychiatrist, Phil Stutz. By making the world-renowned therapist’s wisdom and tools easily accessible to the world, he’s become a real-life mental health resource himself.

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GLASS ONION – Review by Martha K Baker

Gone are the cardigans and libraries. Gone the bookish air of a British mystery. Gone the cozy. In their familiar places are technology, a pandemic, wizardry, and glass galore. Writer/director Rian Johnson created a blockbuster with Knives Out, appealing to British mystery fans. He’s now created a much noisier, more intricate, more boisterous mystery but, nonetheless, an intriguing one.

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LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER – Review by Diane Carson

What distinguishes Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s new version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is her explicit portrayal of overpowering female lust, along with explosive issues still relevant. They include: class divisions, male dominance and victimization of workers, and subservience of women through control of their bodies and behavior, in part because of gossip, ostracism, and shame. In addition, multiple dysfunctional relationships contrast with Lady Chatterley and Oliver, who himself has an ex-wife demanding financial support.

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BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS – Review by TJ Callahan

Bardo tells the story of an acclaimed journalist and documentary filmmaker who returns to his native Mexico to face his past before he accepts a prestigious award in the United States. Bardo is Roma on hallucinogens. It’s blurred lines between reality and dreams, success and failure, hope and despair, English and subtitles. It’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s passion project about his early years south of the border and his guilt about leaving.

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HARRY & MEGHAN VOL I – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

American actor and activist Meghan Markle — now wife to Prince Harry, second son of the current King of England (how is that still really a thing?!) — makes an allusion here to the cheesy American dinner-theater spectacle Medieval Times, as she explains how she kinda thought everybody was sorta kidding about how she had to *checks notes* curtsey to the Queen. Which is super relatable to me, who has also enjoyed American Renaissance festivals for the goofy storybook nonsense and yet is endlessly astonished to find that real people walking around on this green Earth today genuinely genuflect to this shit.

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LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER – Review by Rachel West

French actress-turned-director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (The Mustang) delivers an affair to remember in her new Netflix adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s classic tale. The film succeeds on the red-hot chemistry between leads Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell in the (many) sex scenes. While mostly faithful to Lawrence’s novel and even previous adaptations, de Clermont-Tonnerre films the story from Connie’s point of view, as a journey of personal erotic awakening.

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