A Love Song, A Call to Spy, The Gray Man

Movie 1: A Love Song

Set in rural Southwest Colorado, a lone traveler waits for her old high school boyfriend to arrive at her campsite. Beautifully filmed and acted. The sense of loneliness, anticipation and innocence are almost tangible. Dale Dickey and Wes Studi make this movie shine.

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Movie 2: A Call to Spy

In the early stages of WWII Winston Churchill orders the creation of an all women spy agency. Based on true events, this war time drama is riveting and a topic we knew nothing about. The acting and writing are very good, and you quickly get caught up in the lives of the newly recruited spies. This 2020 movie is on Netflix.

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Movie 3: The Gray Man

This CIA based action thriller, set in 2003, is fast paced with location shots all over Europe. Ryan Gosling plays the shadowy CIA agent. We found the action, acting and cinematography a lot of fun. This film was in movie theatres but currently can be found on Netflix.

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Easter Sunday, Vengeance, Gabby Giffords: Won’t Back Down

Movie 1: Easter Sunday

This is a Filipino comedy about a struggling LA actor driving home to Daly City for Easter Sunday. The large family with its many interactions was fun to watch. And the San Francisco connection kept our interest. But overall, the movie is just ok and may not translate to a national audience.

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Movie 2: Vengeance

This is an R rated dark comedy thriller about a New York journalist who goes to West Texas to investigate the murder of a former girlfriend. It is the directorial debut of lead actor B.J. Novak. The writing is excellent and very timely.

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Movie 3: Gabby Giffords: Won’t Back Down

This is an excellent documentary about the former Tuscon congresswomen Gabby Giffords. It follows her life as she recovers from a 2011 shooting. It is powerful, difficult at times to watch, but necessary viewing for anyone who believes in sensible gun control.

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Emily the Criminal, Day Shift, Mack and Rita

Movie 1: Emily the Criminal

Emily struggles to repay her student debt. A criminal record and stolen credit cards don’t help. It’s a Crime/Thriller rated R for drug use and violence. The flaws are a bit annoying, but the excellent acting, writing and action make it worth overlooking. This is a surprise of a very good movie.

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Movie 2: Day Shift

A vampire action thriller with just enough action to keep viewers’ attention. It gets a bit corny with the vampire hunters union and such, but Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dog make this movie a lot of fun, sarcasm notwithstanding. This two hour film is currently on Netflix. It’s not suitable for children.

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Movie 3: Mack and Rita

This comedy is just ok. The storyline is unlikely and a bit too much slap stick. Diane Keaton, always nice to see, tries her best to salvage this movie. With so much more to watch these days don’t feel badly about passing this one.

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Movies: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Where the Crawdads Sing

Movie 1: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

This is a charming film dating back to the 1950s. A London widow cleaning lady becomes enamored with a dress by the House of Dior. It’s an ‘underdog tale’ based on the 1958 novel by Paul Gallico. It’s a whimsical comedy/drama well worth its two hour run time. Ah, Paris…

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Movie 2: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Little Marcel is only 1 inch tall, lives with his grandmother in an Airbnb. This is a charming Comedy/Mockumentary running 90 minutes. It was crafted as a mini documentary for children and family. Its concurrently kid friendly, whimsical and somewhat heartbreaking. Nice to see Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes in a cameo role.

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Movie 3: Where the Crawdads Sing

This is a powerful and sad story of an abandoned young girl, who raises herself in the marshlands of coastal North Carolina. Based on the very popular novel of the same name by Delia Owens. Not great film making, but we enjoyed it. And for once we were the two youngest people in a surprisingly well attended theatre!

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Movies: Nope, Bullet Train, Hallelujah

Movie 1: Nope

This Horror/Sci-fi film is rated R for violence, bloody images, and language throughout! The good news is the movie does not take itself seriously. The characters are interesting to watch, yet oddly don’t develop. Critics are generally less than favorable. We agree and found the creepy concept less than rewarding.

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Movie 2: Bullet Train

This film is a two hour Action/Comedy set almost entirely on the world’s fastest train. To be sure…it is a dark comedic thriller that is sometimes quite difficult to watch. Overlook the mixed bag of characters and unique style and just enjoy the ride. Brad Pitt is a hoot.

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Movie 3: Hallelujah

Hands down, our favorite film of the week!! This is a remarkable documentary about the life and times of Leonard Cohen. It’s already being touted as the best documentary of the year with Oscar written all over it. We agree. Do seek this film out.

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Movies: The Black Phone, The Forgiven, Mr. Malcolm’s List

Movie 1: The Black Phone

Oye! Where to begin with this one? It’s a really intelligent horror thriller, but there is so much more. Parents should be aware the film is rated R for language, drug use, violence and bloody images. Ethan Hawke plays his role as a sadistic child kidnapper very well. Run time is 1 hour, 42 minutes. This movie is very intense.

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Movie 2: The Forgiven

This British movie is beautifully filmed in the Sahara Desert and High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. A random accident impacts a lavish weekend house party. We found the movie interesting because of the actors and the beautiful locale. However, this R rated film may not be for everyone.

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Movie 3: Mr. Malcolm’s List

This 19th-century British film is about the relationships of wealthy young Londoners. It’s a period comedy/romance piece. It reveals insight into the culture of the time. Much of it less than acceptable by modern standards and that makes it a bit challenging to follow. Beautiful costumes and sets in a lavish English countryside. If you are a fan of the Bridgerton Netflix series, you will enjoy this movie.

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Movies: Top Gun: Maverick, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Eiffel

Movie 1: Top Gun: Maverick

This film has enjoyed over 20 years of audiences with action adventures. The most current release is as good if not better than its predecessor. It should be no surprise to learn Top Gun has earned over $1 billion world wide. This movie has great action scenes, good dialogue and very entertaining.

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Movie 2: Downton Abbey: A New Era

This new rendition is refreshing with its inherited villa in the South of France. The drama and romance is still there. The audiences seem endless as its popularity continues to grow with each new series. Beautiful costumes, sets and wonderful storyline.

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Movie 3: Eiffel

This French film is about the architect Gustave Eiffel and how and why he built the world famous icon in 1889 Paris. There is intrigue and romance in this very entertaining period piece. French with English subtitles.

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Movies: Elvis, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Lightyear

Movie: 1 Elvis

The latest movie release about Elvis Presley is nothing short of riveting! Tom Hanks and Austin Butler give bombshell performances. This rendition spans a 20 year period. It’s rated PG-13 for substance abuse, language and suggestive performance. Run time is 2 hours, 39 minutes. A wonderfully entertaining movie!

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Movie 2: Cha Cha Real Smooth

Here is a warm hearted independent film about a man who is a party host befriending a young woman and her daughter. It’s loving, sentimental and often funny. Its rated R for language and sexual content. It’s listed as a Drama/Comedy. It’s available on Apple TV. We viewed it at our local theater.

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Movie 3: Lightyear

This animated Comedy Adventure film takes Buzz Lightyear and his recruits on an intergalactic adventure. On one hand it’s lighthearted and easy to watch. On the flipside, it’s a bit disappointing given its Disney pedigree. This movie has been banned in China and Saudi Arabia because of one, brief lesbian kiss.

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Movies: Jurassic World Dominion, The Phantom of the Open, Hustle

Movie 1: Jurassic World Dominion

The long awaited release of the latest in the series does not disappoint!! Dinosaurs and humans co-exist. It runs a whopping 2 hours, 26 minutes. It’s rated PG-13 but parents should be aware there is intense action, violence and strong language. Very good special affects and good fun to see original cast members.

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Movie 2: The Phantom of the Open

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This British Drama / Sport film is targeted to golf fans of every age and skillset. It is based on a true life story dating back to the 1976 British Open. It’s quite entertaining. Run time is 2 hours, 12 minutes.

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Movie 3: Hustle

This is a wonderful basketball movie. An aging basketball scout discovers a promising player abroad. It’s beautifully filmed. The run time is just under 2 hours. It has a good cast and plot. Currently on Netflix.

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Movies: Operation Mincemeat, The Northman, Memory

Movie 1: Operation Mincemeat

This WWII drama, based on a true story of the Allied invasion of Sicily, has managed to balance human nature, suspense and raw action! It’s set in 1943 during the peak of the war. It’s available in movie theatres and on Netflix. Parents should be aware of war images/violence, some sexual content and strong language if children are attending. This film is very entertaining.

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Movie 2: The Northman

Here is an R rated Action/Mystery/Thriller that is filled with adventure/violence and some nudity. It’s set in Iceland during the Viking period. Alexander Skarsgard delivers a powerful, vengeful depiction as he seeks to kill his fathers murderer.

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Movie 3: Memory

Here is an Action/Thriller that is rated R for violence, bloody images, and language. Liam Neeson delivers a wickedly good performance as a hit man in the early stages of dementia in this film noir. The film is based on the 1985 novel. It’s dark, cynical and “slightly amoral”!

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