Movie Review

Ricki and the Flash is a peculiar movie in that it has Meryl Streep singing and banging away on a guitar as a mother who pretty much deserted her husband and children some decades ago and doesn't repent doing so even though her musical career doesn't even support her so she can quit her daytime job clerking at Total Foods. The ending is fairly predictable except that it doesn't require more of her than we can stretch our disbelief to accept.

The Gift is a totally satisfying movie that shifts between psychological crime thriller and psychological horror thriller, without losing suspense and fascination, and without resorting to gore or easy jump-out-of-the-dark cliches.

Trainwreck starts out with a lengthy scene of two people having sex, the man with deep emotion and the woman with such concern over technique that her continual instructions drain the situation of any satisfaction for either one of them. It later has a scene emphasizing why people do not sleep together face-to-face. It is a love-vs.-sex movie that is not shy about facing the facts of its theme.

20th Century Fox


Mr. Holmes purports to be about Sherlock Holmes, but it presents us with a Sherlock Holmes in extreme old age, without a 221B Baker Street or a Dr. Watson, living in a rural area with no crime in sight, keeping bees.

Self/less starts out with a very promising thesis, when Ben Kingsley, a trillionaire who feels life slipping away from him, buys a new body into which his mind is transferred for a good many more years of life. But he gradually comes to realize that he has bought more than he bargained for-- he has thoughts and memories that are not his own, and they seem to be gaining control of him.

The most interesting thing about Magic Mike XXL was that the audience I saw it with was 90% women and adored it-- but to me, it was fun, but from beginning to end a male fantasy.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a dreadfully bad title, but not exactly a bad movie, though in the end it doesn't seem to be about much of anything.

Dope is getting a lot of enthusiastic reviews, but I'm told it is not winning the Wichita moviegoers, and this is one case where I have to vote with the majority.

The cornball title suggests some kind of filmography of a composer and the movie itself skirts cliche plot elements, but, in fact, I'll See You In My Dreams is an A-One realistic drama, excellently written and beautifully acted, one of the best grownup movies in quite some time.

Blythe Danner plays a woman whose husband died 20 years ago and whose 14-year-old dog dies, but she isn't desolate or even conspicuously lonely. She hangs around with Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place and June Squibb (of Nebraska fame), and that seems to be enough for her.

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