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    • Daniel Frishberg Bizradio
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      Please Utilize Healthy Practices to Protect Yourself Due to COVID-19

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    • Are you looking for a solution to know how to migrate from Lotus Notes to Office 365? If yes is your answer, then no need to worry, make use of professional CubexSoft Lotus Notes Converter software that helps you to access and upload data files from IBM Notes to Office 365 cloud platform including all emails, contacts, calendars, and etc. items without any data loss. This software comes with so many advanced and unique functions for users to easily understand the process of how to access Lotus Notes NSF files to Office 365 aka Exchange Online without technical knowledge. During the migration, the application keeps all the folder structures without any changes and data loss. 

      If you want to migrate IBM Notes emails to Office 365 account through a manual process, then you can go with this article post mentioned below. 

      Read More >> Lotus Notes to Office 365 Migration

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              • Entertainer
                Entertainer published a blog post Moffie

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                “Moffie” is one of those films where you’ll get more out of it if you bring a specific nostalgia for, or firsthand cultural experience of, what takes place in its story. Director Oliver Hermanus employs the technique of purposely leaving all emotion out of the film, opting instead to attempt an evocation of Stanley Kubrick in feeling and Terrence Malick in visuals. Cinematographer Jamie Ramsay provides some strikingly pretty pictures, but Hermanus makes the mistake of thinking Kubrick was a cold and unfeeling director. This common assumption is not true; viewers feel for Wendy and Danny, for HAL and for Vincent D’Onofrio’s Private Pyle, the tragic figure of “Full Metal Jacket.”

                I bring up Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam drama because much of “Moffie” takes place in a brutal boot camp specifically designed to turn teenagers into heartless killing machines. The recruits are tormented by Sergeant Brand (Hilton Pelser), who is just as brutal as R. Lee Ermey’s drill sergeant though far less interesting. Most of his dialogue consists of screaming out the N-word and the homophobic slur the subtitles translate whenever the film’s title is uttered. Unlike “Full Metal Jacket,” however, these grunts are virtually indistinguishable outside of our protagonist, Nicholas van der Swart (Kai Luke Brummer). When one frazzled recruit suddenly blows his own head off with his rifle, I questioned whether I’d met this character before. Nicholas looks on with a dazed, emotionless expression on his face, which is how he spends about 90 percent of this film. He is such a symbolic, one-dimensional drone that even the rare tender moment fails to evoke much of a response on his part.

                Sixteen-year-old Nicholas enlists in 1981 to serve the two years of military conscription required for all White men. We are told of this requirement in the opening titles, but the press release explains why it is necessary: “the threat of communism and ‘die swart gevaar’ (the so-called black danger) is at an all-time high. But that’s not the only danger Nicholas faces.” I wish I had read this release before watching the film, as it would have given me the foresight that this movie had no intention of speaking to a viewer like me. I may have been able to better calibrate my expectation. When the press release implies that the oppressed minority is a danger to its oppressor protagonist, it’s clear that the film aims to speak to, and identify with, the oppressor.

                This is an intriguing path to follow, as Hermanus is a Black director casting his film in an explicitly White gaze. The two times Black characters appear, they are either being racially abused by the adolescent recruits or killed by Nicholas. Their suffering is the sole characteristic of their humanity. That first scene implies that “Moffie” will interrogate apartheid in some fashion, but it does not, leaving me to wonder why that scene exists if the film intends to show the military’s role in fomenting hatred; these kids have already learned it at home. The latter scene occurs once the film pivots to war movie mode, showing the fruits of the military training’s labor. I was more interested in asking the director about his choices than watching them play out, reminding me of Gene Siskel’s question about whether a documentary about the film would be more interesting than the film itself.

                But I digress. As “Moffie” opens, Nicholas’ family is celebrating the night before his leave. He is given a girlie magazine as a going away present, a symbolic gesture because he’s about to be trained in the South African ideal of a straight White man who thinks Blacks are inferior. It’s also a useless gesture, as Nicholas is desperately hiding his homosexuality. The other gents at this party wax nostalgic about their fraternal experience, a nostalgia that would stick in the craw of a film unafraid of offending its core audience. Everybody has to endure this government-mandated hazing, and if you survive, you’re truly a man’s man.

                That other danger alluded to in the press release I cited is “Ward 22,” an asylum for those who even remotely convey a thought or characteristic that can be deemed homoerotic, or are either caught or accused of being in flagrante delicto with another recruit. We also hear of the brutal beatings that befall anyone who exhibits gayness, real or imagined. Hermanus is quite successful at showing the irony present in the inherent homoeroticism of training exercises, impromptu Fight Club-style brawls and group showers—the lingering camera gives off a “Military Twinks for Apartheid” vibe—but it barely registers as a proper juxtaposition to Nicholas’ muted attraction to another recruit, Stassen (Ryan de Villiers).

                I was frustrated by the way the film pussyfoots around their brief, tender and ultimately unresolved arc, though Hermanus tries to justify this by giving us a flashback to Nicholas’ youth. This is the only peek into the character’s psyche that we get, and it proves that Nicholas deserved to be more fleshed out than he is. The scene shows just how deeply ingrained homophobia is in the culture, as a very young Nicholas is dragged out of a locker room by a grown man who has accused him of ogling another boy in the shower. Its harrowing power is almost destroyed, however, because the entire scene is scored to a mopey cover of Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze.” Needle drops like this are the bane of my critical existence.

                “Moffie” is based on a beloved autobiographical South African novel by André Carl van der Merwe. I have not read the book, but based on the adaptation, I assume there is a lot of internal monologue about its main character, things that cannot be translated properly into film. The movie was a hit in South Africa before the pandemic struck, leading me to believe that it had what its audience craved. But a film with this incendiary of a title needed to have more to say about being LGBT in a hostile environment. Dick Gregory named his autobiography after the N-word because he said that whenever someone uttered the slur, “they are advertising my book.” Perhaps that’s a common thread with van der Merwe. I can relate to the titles of both of these works, but my sexuality and my Blackness are a package deal. “Moffie” asks me to set one aside, to identify with someone who shares my affection but would hate me otherwise, then does everything in its power to be an unsatisfying punishment for my attempt. Quite frankly, I resented that. Your mileage may vary.

                Now playing at the IFC Center and available on demand.




                Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/moffie-movie-review-2021
                By: Odie Henderson
                Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:51 am

                • Entertainer
                  Entertainer published a blog post Held

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                  This movie opens with three dirtbags and a young woman drinking beer in a car. The unpleasant scene cuts away when the dirtbag at the steering wheel tells the woman she isn’t going anywhere and rolls up the car’s windows.

                  In the next scene, it’s years later, and Emma, a woman near middle age whose face is tight and drawn, is being driven by an overly inquisitive ride service guy to a remote house. An overhead shot gives an idea of its remoteness; the plot on which the house sits is surrounded by impossibly neat trees stretching out past the borders of the frame.

                  As we’ve inferred that Emma is the same character who suffered the implied gang rape in the movie’s opening, we share, maybe, the unease she feels about being in this solitary place. This solitary place equipped with what appears to be a state-of-the-art security system. Which provides her with enough of a comfort level that she can take a swim before her husband, Henry, arrives. This getaway is meant to put some spark back into their troubled marriage. But sparks, or at least errant electricity, start holding more sway over them after the house is taken over by a seemingly all-seeing entity that instructs the duo (in a really feeble faux-creepy deep voice) to “Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.” When the couple doesn’t, husband or wife get very nasty high-voltage shocks.

                  What the house wants them to do is … a lot. As the couple goes into their bedroom, Emma reaches to open the door and the faux-creepy deep voice says, “Stop. A man should open the door for his wife.” So, Henry opens the door. The voice then says “Mrs. Barrett. Smile and thank your husband.” Apparently the force controlling the house is kind of a combination Emily Post and construction worker.

                  “Could it in fact be … the patriarchy?” I thought as the movie’s premise made its very fast journey from mildly intriguing to utterly tedious. Don’t laugh. And here I will cease with the plot points. For the most part. I’m spoiler-conscious even when I’m panning.

                  The actor playing Emma is Jill Awbrey, who also wrote the script; the directorial reins are handled by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing. This is the third feature for the duo, whose last feature was 2017’s “The Gallows Act II,” which I did not much care for. How little did I care for it? I said that the movie’s finale was “a rancid misogynist cherry atop a sloppy concoction of tired jump scares.”

                  While I am hardly so egocentric as to think that as a critic I have any effect on filmmakers whatsoever (and nor is it my ambition to), I am slightly struck that Cluff and Lofing here take on a project with what I’ll call a strong feminist component—from a script that they themselves have characterized in a press release, or something, as “empowering.”

                  But their direction doesn’t live up to their noble aspirations—the goofy voice is matched by an eyeroll-generating figure of the malevolent human who stalks the house, wearing what looks like a tighter, ebony variation on the Michael Myers mask. In addition, the movie’s big reveal is shamelessly derivative of a big-ticket, socially conscious 2017 horror movie, right down to the damn production design.

                  The acting is at a level you might expect if Hallmark Movies and Mysteries suddenly decided to “go dark.” (As it happens, the performer playing Henry, Bart Johnson, has at least one Hallmark picture to his credit, and honestly I was not aware with that when I formulated my observation. Honest!)

                  And while I understand the anger that animates Awbrey’s script, anger doesn’t excuse its overall weak argumentation, not to mention its rampant plot holes. Weird, too, given the movie’s ultimate theme, that the scenario seems to take place in a world in which the police have finally been fully defunded—there’s not even a hint of a possible authority institution here. 

                  Now playing in theaters and available on demand.




                  Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/held-movie-review-2021
                  By: Glenn Kenny
                  Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:51 am

                  • Entertainer
                    Entertainer published a blog post Slalom

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                    Perhaps the most disquieting aspect of “Slalom,” a heartbreaking tale of awful sexual exploitation that contains numerous tough-to-watch scenes, is how predictably its story plays out between a vulnerable and impressionable young girl and an abusive someone in a position of power that she looks up to. But its foreseeable nature makes it neither unimportant nor hollow. On the contrary—by telling a story we’ve all heard a million times before (and perhaps even experienced first-hand to some degree) plainly and bravely, Charlène Favier reaches something urgent and devastating with her feature debut, sensitively written by Favier and Marie Talon.

                    When we first meet Favier’s central character, the 15-year-old Lyz (Noée Abita), she is rigorously training in the cold, stomping the ground in rapid steps that simulate the motions of skiing. In the backdrop are the majestic, snow-clad French Alps she can’t help but glance at longingly, even when her coach curtly asks the ambitious rookie to step aside and not be in everyone’s way. In these tone-setting opening moments of her powerful, meticulously calibrated film—and many other similarly intricate scenes that follow—the filmmaker stays close to Lyz’s receptive face, as well as her magnificently deep and wide eyes that still linger in a territory of childlike innocence, capturing her insatiable desire to make it to the top and to be seen for who she is in the process. 

                    In that regard, “Slalom” rhymes with the likes of Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank” and Joyce Chopra’s “Smooth Talk,” in telling an age-old story of youthful mental and emotional hunger, sadly susceptible to abuse in the manipulative hands of grown-ups. In the case of the talented loner Lyz, whose life lacks sufficient adult guidance with an absent father and a caring but self-centered mother, Catherine (Muriel Combeau), that predator ends up being no other than her overpowering ski coach Fred (Jérémie Renier). At first hard on the inexperienced high-schooler in the exclusive ski club famous to raise leading professional athletes of the country, Fred changes his tune in time, designating Lyz as his new star trainee, buttering her up with confidence-boosting compliments and motivational pats on the back.

                    Well, they are at least supposed to be motivational, but audiences will be quick at picking up on his subtly inappropriate physical contacts and longer-than-necessary, domineering glances towards Lyz. There is also all the constant, carefully planned grooming that confirms our most demoralizing suspicions about Fred—improper talks about the beauty of Lyz’s menstrual cycle, constant praises to heighten her sense of pride, and so on. So when the unspeakable sexual abuse scenes arrive, filmed with a sense of toughness and unforgiving veracity—sometimes just a little too close to exploitation themselves—you will recognize that you’ve been cringing all along, hoping to somehow avoid seeing the inevitable. And you will also realize that you’ve been several steps ahead of the young girl, who can only respond to the atrocity thrown her way in utter shock. Lyz’s silently emerging perception mixed with a side of stubborn denial is all too damning to witness: while she was busy feeling a crushing disappointment towards her mother who starts a new job away and a new romance to boot and winning her competitions one by one, Fred has been sinking his claws deep into her somewhere behind the scenes.

                    Delivering an unforgettable breakthrough performance, Abita is phenomenal in pitching Lyz on the slippery slope between an adult wannabe and a little kid, boldly wearing even the smallest nuances of her character’s rapidly shifting emotional world on her resolute face. The young performer is similarly impressive in her difficult abuse scenes with Renier, transposing Lyz’s out-of-body state on to the screen with bone-chilling depth. A regular of the Dardenne Brothers’ world of realism, Renier deserves no less credit for portraying a textbook predator with startling accuracy. Both actors sell their excruciating dynamic extremely well—it’s thanks to them that “Slalom” often feels like a psychological thriller in following Lyz’s downfall and suffocating fight to get back up.

                    What also contributes to the spine-tingling sensation of “Slalom” is Favier’s kinetic, almost magical fervor behind the camera. This is especially evident with the high-speed ski scenes, cleanly choreographed and lensed by someone with a deep knowledge and appreciation of the sport and the isolating psyche of competitive athletes yearning to perfect it. But beyond the fairy tale-worthy cliffs and powdery summits of the French Alps, what Favier really captures is an all-too-common female coming-of-age tragedy with an insider’s clarity. And she doesn’t stop there, somehow managing to wholly build two additional female characters in supporting roles. In due course, she allows Catherine the time and space to grow in her role as a single mother. She also gifts Fred’s increasingly suspicious wife Lilou (Marie Denarnaud) a compelling storyline as she both confronts and genuinely worries about Lyz. When Lyz finally learns the empowering sway of the word No the hard way, you will somehow hear the voices of both women in her self-assured echoes.

                    Now playing in virtual cinemas.




                    Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/slalom-movie-review-2021
                    By: Tomris Laffly
                    Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:52 am

                    • Entertainer
                      Entertainer published a blog post Thunder Force

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                      "Thunder Force" takes place in current-day Chicago, where the citizens struggle in the aftermath of a 1983 cosmic-ray blast, which turned sociopaths and criminals into lethal villains wielding deadly superhero-like powers. They are called "Miscreants" by the cowed and helpless populace. The Miscreants have wreaked havoc ever since, and regular human beings are powerless to stop them. Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) and Emily (Octavia Spencer), best friends in grade school and then estranged for many years, team up to combat the Miscreants, using a genetic soup-formula developed by Emily over a painstaking years-long process, which can be injected into "regular" people, giving them superhero powers as well. Written and directed by Ben Falcone, "Thunder Force" is also a kind of genetic soup, a mish-mash of different genres: buddy comedies, buddy dramas, girl-power superhero movies. With such powerhouses as McCarthy and Spencer at the helm, it's a surprise that so much of the film is inert, rote, conventional.

                      When Lydia and Emily come back into each other's lives after childhood, Emily has risen to the top of her field as a geneticist and CEO of her own company. Lydia works a forklift. When Emily doesn't show up to the high school reunion, Lydia is devastated, and goes to Emily's gleaming corporate offices, determined to drag her friend back to the party. This is their childhood all over again: Emily was studious, Lydia was a bruiser. It worked in childhood, but not so much as an adult. Lydia is told not to touch anything in the offices, but Lydia does, accidentally injecting herself with half of the superhero-genetic formula, the one that will make someone super, super strong. Lydia did not sign up for this, and neither did Emily. Emily is enraged, but there's nothing she can do. She takes the other half of the genetic formula, the one that will make someone invisible.

                      Then comes the training montage, as they both get comfortable with their new powers. Meanwhile, a mayoral race heats up in Chicago. One of the candidates is nicknamed "The King" (Bobby Cannavale), and he is an openly evil thug, strutting around in suits that make him look like he stepped out of a Damon Runyon story. The King is in cahoots with the Miscreants, one in particular, named Laser (Pom Klementieff), whom he sics on his perceived enemies. Lydia and Emily name themselves "Thunder Force," go on a couple of trial runs, before setting their sights on taking down The King. Lydia gets side-tracked by a flirtation with a half-Miscreant named Crab Man (Jason Bateman), who has no visible superpowers, unless you call awkward crab-pincer arms superpowers.

                      All of this is very standard and none of it is particularly interesting. Watching CGI-generated McCarthy and Spencer flipping and twirling through the air attacking their enemies is not my idea of a good time. What is my idea of a good time, however, is watching them develop a relationship, watching them make each other laugh, watching them act together. They're great together. That's the draw, the two of them. There's not enough of it. By comparison, "The Heat," where McCarthy played a volatile unpredictable FBI agent partnering with the prim-and-proper rules-following Sandra Bullock, used specific genre scaffolding mainly to let the two actresses run wild within that structure. Every scene features goofy schtick, and the crime they investigate is somewhat irrelevant. The only game in town is their chemistry as actors. "Thunder Force" doesn't allow for that.

                      The best moments in "Thunder Force" are actor-generated, the loosey-goosey "riffs" in between hurtling plot points. McCarthy has one very funny riff on Joe, the guy in accounting, and the button of the moment is Spencer's deadpan response. There's one long sequence where McCarthy does an imitation of Jodie Foster in "Nell" and nobody in the room has seen it and they all think she's gone insane. There's a fun bit when Spencer tries to say "Thunder Force" and make it sound badass, with coaching from Lydia. Bateman's dry humor is present in every moment, and his gift is in playing things totally straight, especially in beyond silly moments when he attempts to pick up his martini glass with crab-pincers. There's one recurring bit where McCarthy and Spencer, encased in superhero armor, try to pull themselves out of a tiny purple Lamborghini. The whole movie stops to watch them laboriously extricate themselves from the automobile. "Thunder Force" needs more of this.

                      Taylor Mosby is very good as Tracy, Emily's brainiac daughter, a Stanford graduate at 15, and now in charge of her mother's lab operations. Lydia barges into Tracy's life, and assumes the role of a laid-back aunt. There are some nice mother-daughter scenes as well, where Emily wonders if she's been too hard on her daughter. Both were taunted about being "nerds," and the family mantra is: "I'm not a nerd. I'm smart. There's a difference."

                      The movie comes to life any time the actors are given space to mess around. It's just not enough to hold the whole thing together.

                      On Netflix today. 




                      Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/thunder-force-movie-review-2021
                      By: Sheila O'Malley
                      Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:52 am

                      • Entertainer

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                        10 NEW TO NETFLIX

                        "At Eternity's Gate"
                        "Croupier"
                        "Get on Up"
                        "Insidious"
                        "Legally Blonde"
                        "My Fair Lady"
                        "Philomena"
                        "The Pianist"
                        "Savages"
                        "Saving Private Ryan"

                        10 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

                        "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar"

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                        Josh Greenbaum's comedy was delayed thanks to COVID but found a very receptive following when it was released on VOD earlier this year (and you really must read Sheila O'Malley's gift of a review, linked above). It feels destined to become even more popular now that it's more widely available, including this very strong Blu-ray release. Some of the PVOD era pandemic releases have been given relatively minor physical releases, probably because studios are pushing more to pure digital plans, so it's nice to see the wonderful characters of Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) given a lavish Blu-ray treatment complete with a commentary and deleted scenes. People love this movie and that love is only going to grow.

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        Audio Commentary with Director Josh Greenbaum, Writer-Actor Annie Mumolo, and Writer-Actor Kristen Wiig
                        "Barb & Star: Making Life a Little Brighter" Featurette
                        "Barb & Star: Casting in Paradise" Featurette
                        Bloopers
                        Deleted Scenes
                        "Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Fashion Show" Piece

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Defending Your Life" (Criterion)

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                        I miss Albert Brooks. The wonderful writer/director/actor isn't nearly as active as he used to be (his last film was 2005's "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World" and he's only directed seven in total), but he leaves a nearly unimpeachable resume, including classics like "Modern Romance" and "Lost in America." I would hold this 1991 gem up against any of his films. It's a brilliant imagining of what happens after we die that's honestly encouraging and uplifting about how to live better lives before we do. Brooks is great as a guy who discovers that the afterlife features a sort of purgatory wherein one has to examine and defend the choices they've made. It's funny and ultimately powerful stuff.  

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
                        New conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
                        New interview with theologian and critic Donna Bowman about Brooks's vision of the afterlife
                        New program featuring excerpts from interviews conducted in 1991 with Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
                        Trailer
                        English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
                        PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Earwig and the Witch"

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                        In 2014, the film world was shattered to learn that Studio Ghibli would halt production on original films. Following the release of Hiyao Miyazaki's masterful "The Wind Rises," it felt like the end of an era. Much like the retirements of Michael Jordan or Steven Soderbergh, this one was short-lived. Hiyao Miyazaki is working on a new feature, and his son released what is canonically the first SG film since 2014 last year in his third film, "Earwig and the Witch." The first 3D-CGI film in the Ghibli library, it was met with pretty mediocre reviews, but that hasn't stopped GKIDS from giving it a nice Blu-ray release. Being a huge Ghibli fan, I'm conflicted on "Earwig," torn between the part of me that can see its notable flaws and the one that is just so happy to have the Totoro brand back in business.

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        Feature-Length Storyboards
                        Creating "Earwig and the Witch"
                        Interviews with Japanese Voice Cast
                        Trailers & Teasers

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Gattaca"

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                        In 1997, audiences didn't really know what to do with Andrew Niccol's "Gattaca." It had major stars in it like Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, but it felt more like an arthouse drama or even an old-fashioned noir than a blockbuster. Critics mostly liked it, and some fans found it before long on VHS and DVD, but it feels like a film that has become timelier and more beloved over the nearly quarter-century since it came out. This month, it's dropping in a 4K steelbook edition that's a beauty (look at that cover art!), and remastered from the original negative in a way that really enriches its smart, deep color palette. I forgot how gorgeous this film is, using shadows and light in a way that blends its science fiction and noir sensibilities in a riveting manner. I'm not sure the ending lands, but there's so much to like here, and it seems like a film that was truly ahead of its time. 

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
                        HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
                        ENGLISH DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
                        Deleted Scenes
                        Blooper Reel
                        Welcome to Gattaca Featurette

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Godzilla"

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                        Fans of the new Monsterverse are falling in love with the big guys over the title in "Godzilla vs. Kong," now in theaters and on HBO Max for a couple more weeks. It's actually the fourth film in this series, which rebooted back in 2014 with Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla," still my favorite of the modern flicks (although I like "Kong: Skull Island" and "GvK" too; not so much "King of the Monsters"). There's something to the grandeur of Edwards' approach that hasn't really been matched in the kitschier sequels, and it's even easier to appreciate the way Edwards plays with perspective and light in this new 4K release. Let's hope "GvK" gets a 4K release as strong as this one down the line too (although a few more special features would have been nice).

                        Buy it here

                        Special Features
                        HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
                        DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
                        MONARCH: Declassified 
                        The Legendary Godzilla

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Monster Hunter"

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                        The latest from "Resident Evil" director Paul W.S. Anderson was released to a surprisingly receptive audience in December of last year, a great example of people just needing something mindlessly fun at the end of the longest year ever. I get that. I don't agree that "Monster Hunter" does that kind of escapism well, but I would never take that kind of fun away from people who need it, especially in 2021. And so here's the 4K release of a movie that definitely should be watched in the highest HD quality possible. Do with it what you will.

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
                        DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
                        Deleted Scenes
                        The Monster Hunters: Cast and Characters - Featurette
                        Monstrous Arsenal: Weaponry in the Film - Featurette
                        For the Players: From Game to Screen - Featurette

                        Now streaming on:


                        "The Mortuary Collection"

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                        It may be on Shudder now but this is the kind of fun indie horror movie that I really enjoy watching find a bigger following and so thought its upcoming physical release deserved a shout-out too. Ryan Spindell wrote and directed this horror anthology flick that owes more to '80s masters like Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi than most films of the age of "elevated horror." With some remarkable practical effects, Spindell merges classic cautionary tales with modern sensibilities. It's just fun, and the Blu-ray is pretty loaded, including over a dozen featurettes, a commentary, and deleted scenes. 

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        Director's Commentary
                        14 Extensive Behind-the-Scenes Segments
                        In-Depth Conversations with Director Ryan Spindell, the Actors, and Crew 
                        Deleted Scenes
                        And More

                        Now streaming on:


                        "News of the World"

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                        Paul Greengrass directed this four-time Oscar nominee that was released in theaters briefly back in December before a PVOD release and now gets a physical one (these cycles are getting so incredibly small and one wonders if they will return to "normal" or if this is the way it is now). Tom Hanks is phenomenal (as usual) as a Civil War veteran who travels the country reading the news to locals. He stumbles upon a girl who had been taken by the Kiowa and tries to return her to her family. Riveting and elegiac, it is one of the best films by Paul Greengrass, and that's saying something.  

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR PAUL GREENGRASS
                        DELETED SCENES
                        PARTNERS: TOM HANKS & HELENA ZENGEL - Witness the successful (and very fun) working relationship of movie veteran Tom Hanks and newcomer Helena Zengel.
                        WESTERN ACTION - Explore the creation of NEWS OF THE WORLD's most exciting and challenging scenes.
                        PAUL GREENGRASS MAKES NEWS OF THE WORLD - A look at how director Paul Greengrass assembled the very best filmmaking team to realize a lifelong ambition of making a western.
                        THE KIOWA - Filmmakers explain why the authentic representation of the Kiowa was so important to them.

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Secrets and Lies" (Criterion)

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                        One of my favorite Roger Ebert statistics is the fact that he gave Mike Leigh ten 4-star reviews out of a possible 11 times. That's a stunning accomplishment, and the best track record for any filmmaker I can find. One of those 4-star reviews was for his 1996 drama that arguably became his most popular movie, landing a nomination for Best Picture. Roger loved the film so much that he put it in his Great Movies collection only a few years after it was released, writing, "'Secrets & Lies' (1996) reveals a filmmaker who works with the most delicate precision to achieve exactly what he desires." It really is a perfect distillation of the way Leigh works, with actors that never feel anything less than genuine, blending Leigh's storytelling with the notorious freedom he gives his ensembles to build characters. It's a joy to see it join the Criterion Collection, and I hope more Leigh films follow. Roger would likely agree. 

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        New 2K digital restoration, approved by director Mike Leigh and director of photography Dick Pope, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
                        New conversation between Leigh and composer Gary Yershon
                        New conversation between actor Marianne Jean-Baptiste and film critic Corrina Antrobus
                        Audio interview with Leigh, conducted by film critic Michel Ciment in 1996
                        Trailer
                        English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
                        PLUS: An essay by film programmer and critic Ashley Clark

                        Now streaming on:


                        "Soul"

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                        The film that seems destined to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (even if my vote would go to "Wolfwalkers"), Pixar's latest has had a unique journey in that it barely got a theatrical release and has been available on Disney+ for months now at no extra cost. With the Mouse House pushing so much to their streaming service, I was worried that they would cut ties with their incredibly strong legacy of physical releases with top-notch video/audio quality and special features. Luckily, that doesn't appear to be the case yet as this month's excellent 4K release of "Soul" proves. Commentary, deleted scenes, and a 4K quality that's simply better than streaming. This is the way to watch this movie. 

                        Buy it here 

                        Special Features
                        Deleted Scenes
                        Audio Commentary 
                        Not Your Average Joe 
                        Astral Taffy 
                        Pretty Deep for a Cartoon
                        Into the Zone: The Music and Sound of Soul 
                        "Soul," Improvised 
                        Jazz Greats

                        Now streaming on:




                        Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/streaming/home-entertainment-guide-april-2021
                        By: Brian Tallerico
                        Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:53 am

                        • Entertainer
                          Entertainer published a blog post Voyagers

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                          A group of gorgeous young people give into their most primal urges on a decades-long, interplanetary journey in “Voyagers.” And if that sounds like sexy Lord of the Flies in space, well ... it is. But despite the familiar nature of the themes writer/director Neil Burger is exploring, his film still offers plenty of tension and his trademark visual panache.

                          Similar to his “Limitless” from a decade ago—the film that showed the world Bradley Cooper was a serious actor and not just a pretty face—Burger tells a story about what happens when people tap into their heightened, true selves, for better and for worse. Instead of taking a drug, though, they eliminate one from their systems: a daily drink they refer to as “The Blue.” These astronauts think it’s a vitamin supplement to fortify them for the long haul, but it actually evens them out and suppresses negative tendencies like jealousy and rage. It’s supposedly all for the greater good, though, in Burger’s streamlined, sci-fi tale.

                          In a near future, Earth has become uninhabitable because of climate change, drought, and disease. Scientists discover a new planet for humans to colonize—trouble is, it takes 86 years to get there. So they breed a crew of brilliant cadets who will board the ship and eventually procreate during the trip, with the ultimate goal of having their grandchildren start over in this brave new world. They include level-headed Christopher (Tye Sheridan), inquisitive chief medical officer Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead), who’s clearly going to turn villainous based solely on his intense eyes and chiseled cheekbones. The only seasoned adult on board is Richard (a tender and grounded Colin Farrell), who’s played a crucial role in raising these astronauts from their earliest days and wants to see the mission through, even though he knows he’ll die during the course of it.

                          Burger efficiently establishes the rhythms of this place and the roles the crew members play in it. They are busy and bustling but peaceful as they work together in their matching, midnight blue T-shirts and joggers to make repairs, grow food, and keep themselves fit. Part of their daily routine is a trip to the mess hall fountain to pour themselves a slim glass of a blue beverage they believe is for their overall health. But when Christopher and Zac begin questioning its benefits and stop drinking it—and then advise others to do the same—a thrilling sensory awakening occurs in all of them.

                          Reminiscent of the drug montage sequences in such films as “Requiem for a Dream,” Burger depicts in zippy and vibrant fashion the rush of experiencing pure emotions for the first time: the joy of running down a hallway, the exertion of playfully wrestling in the gym or—in time—the pleasure of touching a member of the opposite sex. (Apparently there are no gay astronauts on this mission.) A geyser erupts, pupils shrink and expand, arm hairs stand up on end—the kind of imagery you’ve seen many times before to suggest a symphony of sensations. But the dark strings in the score from composer Trevor Gureckis suggest this reverie cannot last, and a ship that once seemed full of boundless discovery and possibility tightens with claustrophobia and paranoia. (Chilean cinematographer Enrique Chediak makes this sleek, singular location feel both expansive and constricting, forcing you to hurtle through the hallways as if you, too, are being chased by angry, horny teens.)

                          Going off The Blue allows the astronauts’ true personalities to reveal themselves, resulting in a tried-and-true, nature-versus-nurture debate. As the cadets grow more confident and curious, issues of free will and consent also come to the forefront. But Burger doesn’t really dig into these topics too deeply; rather, he seems more interested in keeping the story moving along at a sprightly clip as characters turn on and attack each other. Burger also directed the first “Divergent” movie, which “Voyagers” resembles with its attractive actors and futuristic, YA-friendly premise.

                          Within this crucible, the kindhearted but boring Christopher emerges as a natural leader seeking to protect his crewmates and maintain some semblance of civilization. He’s the Ralph figure, if we may continue this Lord of the Flies analogy—and Zac clearly becomes the swaggering, antagonistic Jack as his impulsivity and cruel streak take hold. At one point he even says to the others: “Anyone who wants to follow me can. I’ll make more food.” He’s chilling in his depravity and in his cool ability to lie and spin events to suit his narrative, but there’s not a lot of complexity there. Depp, as Sela, keeps her wits about her amid the mayhem but gets little more to do than serve as the beautiful woman they're both fighting over. And the by-the-book Phoebe (Chanté Adams of “Roxanne Roxanne”), who’s constantly being shushed when she tries to argue for reason, functions as the sadly put-upon Piggy figure.  

                          But if Burger were interested in telling a truly relevant and thought-provoking story, it would have been cool to have her be in charge, or anyone besides these two simple, male archetypes he’s whipped up in his own lab.

                          Now playing in theaters.




                          Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/voyagers-movie-review-2021
                          By: Christy Lemire
                          Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:52 am

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                          In the 25 years since Stanley Tucci’s “Big Night” was released in 1996, there has been, in America, a great upsurge of movies and television shows revolving around the world of restaurants, chefs, and fine dining. Tucci’s film, which he co-wrote with Joseph Tropiano and co-directed with Campbell Scott (who also appears in the film as a somewhat odd car salesman), about the final days of a struggling Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey, run by two immigrant brothers—businessman Secondo (Tucci) and brilliant chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub)—was certainly not the first such film. Outside of America, there had already been, just in the decade or so before, Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo,” Alfonso Arau’s “Like Water for Chocolate,” and Ang Lee’s “Eat Drink Man Woman” (and depending on whether or not you wished to count such a thing, Peter Greenaway’s “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and & Her Lover”)—but it certainly seems to have opened the floodgates. Since then, there has been no shortage of film and TV shows that deal not just with cooking, but the life struggles of those who cook at a high level, including films like cooking-as-a-metaphor-for-Jon-Favreau’s-film-career “Chef,” but also reality competitions like “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Top Chef.” The common thread in a lot of these post-“Big Night” products is how difficult it is to succeed, not just as a chef, but as a professional, as a person. “Chef” was seemingly born out of Favreau’s foundering creative spark after his unlikely move from independent cinema to the world of studio blockbusters. “Top Chef” is at least as much about who goes home, and when, and for what reason, as it is about who finally wins the season.

                          Because, of course, “Big Night” is about a restaurant that shuts down, a restaurant that fails. The film takes place over the course of a few days, as Secondo tries to find a way to keep his and Primo’s flailing restaurant, Paradise, from going under. Despite Primo’s genius, the restaurant is doing anemic business due to the fact—at least according to rival, but avuncular, restaurateur Pascal (Ian Holm)—that the chef is too precious about his food and is unwilling to make any concessions to what American customers unfamiliar with Southern Italian food at its purest might want to eat. Indeed, when Secondo suggests to Primo that they maybe take the expensive and unpopular seafood risotto off the menu, Primo thinks they could replace it hot dogs. “They might like that,” he says.

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                          In a last-ditch effort to save their business, Secondo, with Pascal’s help, sets up an invitation-only dinner party at Paradise, at which will be a journalist to cover the event, because, so Pascal has promised, his friend, the great jazz bandleader and singer Louis Prima will be making an appearance. So the stage is set for a mostly light, occasionally romantic, and very funny comedy, but one grounded in everyday realism, and also fraught not just with the suspense inherent in seeing if Secondo’s plan will pay off, but also with subplots that the audience knows will eventually blow something up—specifically the revelation that Secondo is cheating on his girlfriend Phyllis (Minnie Driver) with Gabriella (Isabella Rossellini), who also happens to be Pascal’s wife. Needless to say, every one of these people will be at the party.

                          Twenty-five years on, “Big Night” holds up like gangbusters. As funny, and as filled with wonderful, charming performances as the film is—Tucci and Shalhoub are both basically perfect, Holm acts like a wild imp throughout, Driver effortlessly gives the kind of performance that used to be called “winning”—it is nevertheless infused throughout with an unavoidable melancholy. There’s a terrific shot, just before the dinner party gets started, just before the real night’s work kicks off, of Cristiano (Marc Anthony), the Paradise’s busboy and waiter, stepping outside, into the dusk, to smoke a cigarette, and the camera lifts up into the air to show the emptiness and quiet of the New Jersey street. This cuts to a pan down the long table and its simple, elegant glass-and-silverware, white napkins and tablecloth, before tilting up to Secondo, Primo, and Cristiano, standing together, dressed for work, all to the strains of Matteo Salvatore’s gorgeous “Mo Ve’la Bella Mia Da La Muntagna.” The shot sets up a rather intense feeling of anticipation for the party about to begin (somewhat counterintuitively, given the gentleness of the two shots), but also feels ineffably sad. Somehow, perhaps, the audience knows what’s to come.

                          Another thing that “Big Night” has now taken upon itself, without asking for the responsibility, is the weight of our current existence, from roughly March of 2020 until now (but hopefully not too much longer). For one night, Paradise looks not merely like the greatest restaurant anyone has ever been to, with its dancing and drinks and timpano, but could ever hope of ever going to. But in the end, it still shuts down. As restaurants all over the country and the world have shut down, not through any fault of the owners—and despite Secondo’s many faults, I’m not sure one can blame him or Primo for running a restaurant that went under for being too good—but because customers have had to stay home simply because they didn’t want to catch a disease, or to give it to others. And while options for restaurant pick-up and delivery options have been abundant, with the fast financial uncertainty of any given household being what it is, one is more likely to have McDonald’s delivered to one’s home than risotto from the best Italian restaurant in your town.

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                          As many people’s most recent experience of sitting down for a nice meal in a nice restaurant withdraws further into memory, revisiting “Big Night” now brings with it a wistfulness for a world that we all, at our most pessimistic, fear may be gone for good, at least as we once knew it. You watch the dinner party now, and they’re all sitting so close together. Who could have ever imagined something like that would one day be something we remembered, rather than experienced all the time?

                          “Big Night” closes with one of the most poignant final scenes of, at minimum, any film of the 1990s, if not even beyond that. After everything has blown up, and Louis Prima didn’t show (he was never going to), and Paradise is about to be gone forever, the party’s over, and it’s very early in the morning, Secondo walks into the kitchen. Only Cristiano is there, and Secondo begins making eggs for both of them. In one unbroken shot, he finishes, adds a big chunk of bread to each plate, and wordlessly the two men begin to eat. Then Primo, with whom Secondo has recently fought terribly, arrives. Secondo puts half his eggs onto another plate, adds bread. Cristiano leaves them alone, and the two brothers sit together, and, still silently, eat their breakfast. Just the two of them, jobless, keeping within their own circle, their own household. As content as their current circumstances will allow.

                          "Big Night" is now available to stream on Paramount+. 




                          Original: https://www.rogerebert.com/features/breaking-bread-on-the-25th-anniversary-of-big-night
                          By: Bill Ryan
                          Posted: April 9, 2021, 11:53 am

                        • Want to become a life coach? Learn what a professional life coach or counselor thinks about it. Sasha Raskin, a professional life coach talks with P.hd students about become a life coach. Read more to know what e think. 

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