THE FABELMANS – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The creative life is a circus for an artist, with allures impossible to resist. Director Steven Spielberg’s semiautobiographical drama The Fabelmans shows his early fascination with movies; yet instead of making himself the focus—a portrait of the blockbuster pioneer as a young Steven, if you will—he crafts an intimate story that credits his parents as his inspiration.

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THE FABELMANS – Review by Diane Carson

The Fabelmans presents director Steven Spielberg’s family story. Spielberg, who needs no introduction, has co-written, produced, and directed his most personal movie to date, the autobiographical The Fabelmans. Beginning January 10, 1952, in New Jersey, progressing through 1964 high school graduation, and concluding a year thereafter, the story profiles this family, anchored in Sammy, i.e., Steven. Beginning with his first film, Sammy is captivated.

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THE BATMAN – Review by Susan Granger

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a brooding, noir’ish interpretation of the DC Comics superhero, focusing for almost three hours on a sorrowful, conflicted Dark Knight, haunted by serious psychological issues involving his late father. Working with cinematographer Greig Fraser and production designer James Chinlund, director/writer Matt Reeves bathes the film in a bleak, inky blackness, enhanced by Michael Giacchino’s symphonic score.

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THE BATMAN – Review by T. J. Callahan

The Batman is set 20 years after the murder of young Bruce Wayne’s parents. It’s Halloween and Gotham’s “on the take” political leaders are being killed by the sadistic Riddler…forcing Batman to scrutinize the city’s corruption and the Wayne family’s possible involvement. The Batman is a throwback private eye film and a psychological thriller. It’s more True Detective and less Super Hero.

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ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA – Commentary by Martha P. Nochimson

Ultimately, this show about brief, ambiguous escapes is reminiscent of the fatalism of the early 20th century American naturalist novels in which the plight of trapped characters becomes a microcosm of the American macrocosm, a culture depicted gloomily as the habitation of beings with no real place either in nature or culture, no core identity, no coherence outside of the deadening rules and conventions society has invented. This is a vision that is too bleak for my taste, but I respect it because it goes well beyond being the same old familiar jailbreak story. It has a perspective.

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WILDLIFE – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A first-time screenwriter, Dano, known for his performances in “There Will Be Blood,” “Love & Mercy” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” adapted “Wildlife” alongside his actress/screenwriter partner Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick,” “Ruby Sparks”) from Richard Ford’s 1990 novel about thoughtful teenager Joe Brinson, who watches his parents’ marriage unravel shortly after the family’s move in 1960 to small-town Montana.

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