Movie Review – The Battle of the Sexes

The Battle of the Sexes (2017)
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

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It’s 1973 and Billie Jean King is the first female athlete to make $100,000. She is right in the midst of her reign as the queen of the court. On the flipside is Bobby Briggs, 55, a former tennis champion for a brief moment in the late 1930s/early 1940s. He is also a gambling addict but one who wins more often than loses. Briggs gets the idea to play into the women’s lib movement of the time and hype himself as the ultimate male chauvinist, all in a bid to put on the Battle of the Sexes. This match would pit Briggs against King and help fill his pockets with endorsement money as well as build attention for U.S. Tennis. Meanwhile, King is dealing a personal revelation that will shake her life and her career.

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Comic Book Review – Superman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Volume 1

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Superman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Volume 1 (2016)
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, and Jorge Jimenez
Reprints Superman: Rebirth #1 and Superman v4 #1-13

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Superman is dead! Long live Superman! Ten years ago, the Superman and Lois Lane of a long dead universe came to the current DC Universe. They have lived in secret raising their son Jonathan who has inherited some of his father’s powers. The Superman of this reality had died in battle recently, and so this alternate reality Man of Steel has taken up the mantle to keep the dream alive. He has to balance this with the responsibility of helping Lois raise their son. Of course, villains get in the way. First the Eradicator, an ancient Kryptonian robot bent on recreating the dead planet shows up. Later, Superman and Son clash with Batman and Robin as well as the macabre Agent Frankenstein. For the Kent family, this is just life as usual.

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TV Review – Black Mirror: Crocodile

Black Mirror: Crocodile (2017)
Written by Charlie Brooker
Directed by John Hillcoat

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Fifteen years ago, on their way home from a club, Rob and Mia hit a cyclist and proceed to toss his body and bike into a lake. Now, Mia is a successful architect who is on a business trip in the city. While she is there, Mia commits a second heinous act and appears to cover this one up as well. However, Shazia an insurance claims investigator is traveling down a path that will come colliding with Mia’s. Shazia uses a new form of technology that uses sensory input to create video images of people’s memories. This way the insurance company has a more accurate gauge of the events that happened. An accident occurs outside Mia’s hotel window the night she makes a decision out of desperation, and she ends up on the list of witnesses to interview.

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Movie Review – Ginger & Rosa

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Ginger & Rosa (2013)
Written & Directed by Sally Potter

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It’s London 1962, and the world is feeling the effects of fear surrounding the Cold War. The most significant worry is that nuclear weapons will bring about the end of humanity. Feeling these fears is Ginger, a 17-year-old girl who is just beginning to figure out who she is and doesn’t want the world to end. She sits between her mother, Nat, who wants her daughter to become more responsible and live conventionally and her father, Roland, a free-spirited intellectual who encourages Ginger to rebel and skip school. In addition to these two influences, Ginger has her lifelong best friend, Rosa. While Ginger has succeeded in academics, Rosa has fallen behind and is making drastically different choices in life. Ginger feels pulled to that side of life but is also caught up in the movement to ban the bomb. Eventually Ginger will discover a dark secret about Rosa that threatens to upend the young woman’s life.

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Movie Review – The Big Sick

The Big Sick (2017)
Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Directed by Michael Showalter

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Kumail is an aspiring stand up comedian in Chicago who is under the constant shadow of his mother’s search for a wife. While he manages to avoid the expectations of his Pakistani heritage while keeping his family happy, Kumail chances to meet Emily. She’s just a woman at a set he’s doing, but the two click and immediately rush into a relationship. Things go wrong when Emily finds out he’s never mentioned her to his family and the reality of their situation sets in. However, the relationship takes an unexpected turn when Emily suddenly contracts an unknown disease, forced to go into a medically induced coma. Kumail is left to get to know her parents while coming to terms with his own parents in regards to Emily.

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Book Review – The Shadow Year

The Shadow Year (2008)
By Jeffrey Ford

shadow yearIt’s the mid-1960s on Long Island, New York, and an unnamed preteen narrator is beginning a year of his life he will never forget. This is his last year in elementary school and he, his brother Jim, and little sister Mary become embroiled in a mystery that no one else in their neighborhood seems to take note of it. It starts with the disappearance of a local boy and then rumors of a peeping tom carousing the backyards at night. The narrator spies a strange white car driven by a man dressed all in white whose presence seems to correlate with the prowler. Then his sister Mary, an odd one who allows her imaginary friends to speak through her, begins to show the possibility of clairvoyance, knowing where neighbors are at precise moments when she should not be able to. This shadow year will linger for our protagonist and what he learns will haunt him decades later.

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TV Review – Black Mirror: Arkangel

Black Mirror: Arkangel (2017)
Written by Charlie Brooker
Directed by Jodie Foster

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Marie is a very protective mother, having almost lost her daughter Sara at birth. Years later, Sara wanders off at a park sparking these feelings of terror again. An experimental new service, Arkangel appears to provide the answer. Arkangel involves injecting a small neural implant into three-year-old Sara and outfits Marie with a tablet computer that allows her to monitor her child 24 hours a day. Sara is also instructed that she can turn on a filter that will pixelate anything Sara sees that sets off her biological stress responses. This block remains as Sara gets into upper elementary and begins to cause problems. It’s also revealed the Arkangel service was banned by the U.S. government and Marie has let her tablet gather dust in the attic. That is until Sara begins to break the rules in adolescence.

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