(Documentary by Shane Salerno, 2013) (The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, 1951) The consolation of philosophy.  That gave Salinger some peace from his war-borne PTSD, his difficulty with close relationships, his hankering for younger women, his feather-like sensibilities and his disdain for almost any other living writers. It also gave us his best book, Franny and Zooey (1955), but regretfully, it conferred upon him an unwholesome permit to abjure the world, retreat to a snow-bound hut and write for the sake of writing. Alas, he may have been clapped-out by the time he perfected his Unabomber impersonation – his 1965 story,…

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Chicken People

August 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Documentary, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Nicole Lucas Haimes) (2017) We’d rather fry it than spy it. A shotgun wedding of Best in Show and Brother’s Keeper, Chicken People is a massively inconsequential account of the hopes, dreams and struggles of a few select oakies, trying to breed the best bird in class and ultimately, in show.  Full of “characters,” the film, though competently made and shot, can’t disguise the fact that it would struggle to make it to prime time free-to-air, let alone the cinema.

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Eight Days a Week

November 29, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

The Beatles (sans Ringo) at Adelaide Town Hall, 1964 (photo courtesy of "The News")

(Dir. Ron Howard) (2016) For any Beatles baby, or post-Fab Four folks who want to see what the fuss was about, this documentary, featuring engaging new footage but no new insights, is an entertaining and memorable review of the touring years of the World’s Most Famous Pop Group. The Beatles were an ‘event sociological’ in the 1960s: you can use them as a parlour game to track through that wacky decade: Cavern Club Brian Epstein Mop Tops Jelly Babies Yeah, yeah, yeah Pierre Cardin jackets Ed Sullivan Show Milkmen whistling their tunes “Rattle your jewellery” A Hard Day’s Night MBEs Help! Live…

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Get it up proudly (photo by Thomas Good)

(Produced & Directed by Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg) (2016) Is a Great Man not also a Man?  Think of the Emperor Tiberius, or John F. Kennedy.  The flesh is weak, and our moral standards can’t harden when some slack should be cut. In 2011, 7-term congressman and Democratic attack-dog Anthony Weiner (a kind of American Sam Dastyari) resigned office over salacious ‘sexting’, featuring close-up photographs of his bulging underwear, weiner prominent. After the dust settled from that, Mr Weiner (a scrappy, combative, demonstrative Weiner) decided to run for Mayor of New York City in 2013.  This documentary follows that campaign, with what seems…

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The Case that Will Not Die

September 22, 2016 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | CRIME, Documentary, Drama Film, LIFE |

The Death of Jon Benét Ramsey We have spoken of the various imaginative, speculative and trashy treatments of this awful case before: See Perfect Murder, Perfect Town and Books About Jon Benét. Disclaimer: TVC has a keen interest in but no actual knowledge of, this matter.  Apart from an individual who appears to have confessed to the crime in order to be extradited from a Thai jail, no one has admitted guilt nor been charged.  Patsy Ramsey is now deceased and she always denied involvement in the killing, as have John and Burke Ramsey.  We are discussing possible solutions on a…

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