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Paddington 2, review: Bear maximum

Paddington 2, review: Bear maximum Imagine a London where bears are accepted as persons and move about freely; a London where Aunt Lucy and her nephew Paddington board a bus and buy tickets for “One-and-a-half bears.” Imagine a bear named Paddington, so called because his adoptive human family find him at Paddington railway station. And imagine a bear that has the highest moral standards and sets the benchmark for ethics and courtesy, not only among regular humans, but even jailbi...

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Review: US nephew, Russian nephew, German niece and the sinister Italian plot

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Review: US nephew, Russian nephew, German niece and the sinister Italian family plot It’s not about a man or the man, and the clever acronym for the secret agent network is a clear reference to Uncle Sam, alias the President of the United States of America, even though United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (UNCLE) is formally created only in the very last shot of the film. Then, again, it is not about Americans only. There’s a Russian KGB man too,...

Movie Review: Music and Lyrics

"Music and Lyrics" is an unsurprising, perfectly agreeable romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.  The film contains a fair amount of very smart ideas for a rom-com, not the least of which is its main plot conceit:  an amateur lyricist and an aging, has been pop star join forces to create a hit love song for the reigning pop princess of the day (think of an even more vapid Britney Spears).  The germ of a great flowering romance is all there (how they connect through...


Satire is a tricky genre. The basic rule of effective storytelling -- at least the kind that audiences have responded to ever since stories have been told -- is to provide characters that one can relate to and feel some modicum of empathy towards. Nasty, biting satire flies in the face of this conviction. It urges you to recognize the very worst qualities in people. In a way, though, they live or die the same way any genre does; on the sharpness, cohesiveness and clarity of their observations...