Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cold War

Writer/Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is a sullen, but haunting, Slavic love story that takes place between 1949 and 1964.

Zula (Joanna Kulig) is a singer/dancer and Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is an impresario/pianist, initially at a Polish school for young performers. The two form a sad/happy/sad relationship that moves from a behind the Iron Curtain to Paris and back again over the next 15 years.

Pawlikowski captures the stark reality of the Cold War period thanks in large part to Cinematographer Lukasz Zal’s exquisite black & white palette. 

The film, Pawlikowski and Zal have been nominated for Academy Awards, the former as Best Foreign Film. 

It’s poignant viewing and, if nothing else, should be remembered for a classic line, when Wiktor asks Zula if she really killed her father.  Her response: “He mistook me for my mother, but I took a knife to show him he was mistaken.”

I give Cold War a 4.2 out of 5.

Friday, January 18, 2019


The scariest thing in Writer/Producer/Director M. Knight Shyamalan is actress Sarah Paulson’s makeup, which puts it up against the current Administration for most Hideous Cover-up Job of 2019.

Besides that, the words “puerile” and “disappointment” don’t do this film justice. You’d have to be the most avid fan of the previous Shyamalan films Unbreakable and Split for which this is the sad sequel to really enjoy more than the charming transformations of James McAvoy as a schizoid monster.

I will confess that the overly long and tedious setup had me dozing at points, so it’s possible I may have something amazing.  Not.

But, the ridiculous point of all this mayhem…that there are people keeping us from believing there are super-heroes…is not worth the price of admission, unless you’re into throwing things at the screen.  Food fight!

I give Glass a 1.2 out of 5.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Initially, I wasn’t interested in seeing Writer/Director Adam McKay’s Vice because I see enough of DC trash on TV.  But, after Christian Bale received his Best Actor award at the Golden Globes, I felt impelled to see the story of the Grandfather of Trash. And, I’m glad I did.

Mckay’s script provides a unique blend of documentary and narrative styles and he has some of the finest actors in the business to carry it out.  Besides Bale, special mention has to be made to Amy Adams, who portrays the real life Lady Macbeth, egging on her husband’s evil.

Steve Carrell as the pernicious Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush are excellent, as well.

Hats off to Francine Maisler for her brilliant casting of lookalikes for many of the characters.

Of particular interest are the devious ways in which the Iraqi War was sold to the public through the use of focus groups.  Make sure to stay for the Credits as the there is a funny sequel to the focus groups during them.

 I give Vice a 4.2 out of 5.