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Movie Reviews

'Bohemian Rhapsody': Fate, Free-Will and Rock 'n' Roll
I once knew a rock band, The Original Kounts, and, because lead singer Howard "Richard" Tepp was my best friend, I was sort of the manager for a while sometime in the late 1960s. That was before Bob Crewe's Larry Brown ("Tie a Yellow Ribbon") walked into Newark, N.J.'s Indian Pizzeria and heard Howie singing to the
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'Colette': Liberté, Égalité and Literature
Watching director Wash Westmoreland's "Colette," about the life and times of Gabrielle Colette, the heralded French literary figure whose celebrated "Claudine" novels were published under her husband's name, I feared I wasted my life by never having moved to Paris.    Such hyperbolic
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'A Star is Born': Yet Again
With four "A Star is Born" iterations in the books and probably many more to come — expect one every ensuing generation — the universality of the tale is a given. Until some bold director makes a woman the established star, and the up-and-comer a male, the formula remains the same. He's a major star flirting with the
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'The Wife': Anatomy of a Marriage
We all know one or more couples who confound us entirely; folks who appear to be tragically immersed in a marriage made in Hell, and yet, for none of the usual rationalizations, like kids money or religion, persevere in their obviously troubled plight.   But don't you dare voice your criticism and pretend to know something
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'White Boy Rick': The Wild, Wild Midwest
My dad was a bench seat philosopher who, while a man of measured words, occasionally liked to opine from behind the wheel of our '51 Buick Roadmaster, the one with the Fireball 8 engine.   I look back at it as our quality time. Maybe it was a quick trip to Sears to buy some roofing material, or to get me some White Castle
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'Juliet, Naked': Anatomy of a Triangle
Ethan Hawke's Tucker Crowe in Jesse Peretz's intelligent, seriocomic "Juliet, Naked," had me thinking back to 1969 when, during a hiccup in my education, I visited my best friend, rock 'n' roller Howard "Richard" Tepp, in Malibu. It was the era of free love and, like the fictitious Tucker Crowe, Howie,
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'Operation Finale': Crime & Punishment
Director Chris Weitz's "Operation Finale," a tension-filled historical drama about the Israeli Mossad's 1960 capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, reminded me of a turning point.   In my house when I was little, you didn't hear the actual word Holocaust. More often, the tragedy that had
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'Puzzle': She's Come A Long Way, Maybe
We are reminded in Marc Turtletaub's "Puzzle," about an unappreciated housewife who finds meaning and identity in doing jigsaw puzzles, that if you want to find truth, look to fiction. We Homo sapiens have been doing it since time immemorial. No one's feelings get hurt, at least not until their misdeeds are exposed for what
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'Crazy Rich Asians': Poor Little Rich Millennials
There you are, standing on your porch, looking for either a pickup truck or a van to pull up, something a handyman might drive. It's just a little job: the repair and painting of the front steps. Twenty minutes pass, as do numerous workmen — none of them looking for your house.   "He said he'd be here," you
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'BlacKkKlansman': There's no Politics like Show Business
I doubt I've ever reviewed a movie more important than Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman."   Greater? Most likely. Although, in astutely fashioning his heartfelt SOS about America's burgeoning racist threat, Spike Lee is no slouch in the art department, either. This scintillating film based on a true story about
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