Movie Review – Menashe

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Menashe (2017)
Written by Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed, & Joshua Z Weinstein
Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein

menashe

Menashe is a widowed Hasidic man whose young son is living with Menashe’s in-laws until the man can remarry. He works a dead-end job at a grocery store with a manager who cuts him no slack. Menashe was never delighted with his arranged marriage, though he misses his wife and loves his son. He attempts to take his son back, but this unravels into a conflict with his brother in law Eizik. Their rabbi decides that Menashe will keep the boy for the week leading up to his late wife’s one-year memorial. Menashe struggles with being the father his community doubts he can be and maintaining his sense of individuality within his tight-knit cultural group. Every day feels like a loss of his self to make others around him happy.

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TV Review – Castle Rock Season 1

Castle Rock – Season 1 (2018)
Created by Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason
Written by Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Gina Welch, Scott Brown, Lila Byock, Vinnie Wilhelm, Marc Bernardin, and Mark Lafferty
Directed by Nicole Cassell

castle rock

Henry Deaver is returning to his childhood home of Castle Rock, Maine for the first time in decades. His mother, Ruth, has slipped further into dementia and Henry feels an obligation to arrange accommodations for her. He finds Alan Pangborn, the retired sheriff living with his mother rekindling a love affair they had behind Henry’s father’s back. The late Reverend Matthew Deaver died under mysterious circumstances when Henry was a child, with his adopted son vanishing into the woods for some days before emerging with apparent amnesia. Even as an adult, Henry cannot remember what happened to him during that missing time. Around the same time Henry returns, a discovery is made at Shawshank Prison; a young man kept caged for years by the former warden. The one thing the man says, no matter the question is “Henry Deaver.”

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Movie Review – Mandy

Mandy (2018)
Written by Panos Cosmatos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Directed by Panos Cosmatos

mandy

In 1983, lumberjack Red Miller and his lady Nancy Bloom were living a peaceful life in the Shadow Mountains. Nancy is an artist, enamored with fantasy, heavy metal, and science fiction, all of which work their way into her paintings. Their lives are forever changed when the Children of the Dawn come into their life. This cult’s leader, Jeremiah Sand, glimpses Mandy and decides he must have her, no matter the cost. What follows is a trippy, psychedelic journey into the depths of horror and revenge. Red quickly loses his humanity to do whatever it takes to get back Mandy.

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Comic Book Review – Batman: White Knight

Batman: White Knight (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Sean Murphy

batman white knight 01

After years of constant battle through the streets of Gotham City, Batman has finally come to a terminal point with The Joker. In front of television cameras, the Gotham PD, and his own sidekicks the Dark Knight attempts to kill his archenemy. It fails, and due to overdosing on a strange psychotropic chemical The Joker is unmade, returning to his civilian identity of Jack Napier. This leads to his desire to make right by fighting for the underclass in Gotham. Batman doesn’t believe this reform for a second and sets out to prove the Joker has never changed. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon, Nightwing, Batgirl, and others are starting to listen and find Napier has a lot of value to say about what Batman has done to their city.

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Movie Review – W.

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W. (2008)
Written by Stanley Weiser
Directed by Oliver Stone

w 2008

In 2002, President George W. Bush and his administration were seeking strong reasons to invade Iraq. Surrounded by people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice, the President wants to avenge his father in a certain way, seeing the conclusion of Desert Storm as an anti-climax against Sadaam Hussein. Through flashbacks, we follow Bush from his fraternity days at Yale through his constant disappointments to his father, the development of his relationship with Laura, and finally his aspirations to seek higher office in Texas. All of this leads to the beginning of the Iraq War and realization of the military action’s failure and subsequent fallout.

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Comic Book Review – Punisher: In the Blood

Punisher: In the Blood (2011)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Roland Boschi

punisher in the blood

There was one significant loose end left at the end of Remender’s Punisher run: Jigsaw’s paternity of Henry Russo. There’s also the resurrected former sidekick Microchip running around. Moreover, to add to the chaos, a mysterious leather-clad masked woman appears on the scene, and Frank believes this is his wife, brought back from the dead by the Hood, still alive and kicking. Life isn’t going to get comfortable for Marvel’s top vigilante as Remender brings his run on the character to its conclusion.

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Movie Review – A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story (2017)
Written & Directed by David Lowrey

a ghost story

A man and woman live in a small house in rural Texas. There is an ongoing argument about whether they should move to a place with more opportunities or stay in this place. The woman wants to leave. The man wants to stay. Then he dies, his car t-boned by another vehicle. After she visits the hospital morgue and goes in tears, the man rises, still covered in the sheet and wanders back home. This is when he begins to haunt that small house. Time slows to a crawl; then it passes in torrents. The man eventually comes to see his time in this home from a new perspective and comes to a very final conclusion about not just his life, but all of ours.

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