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April 20th, 2014

Max’s View

The Square ***

  Nominated for Best Documentary   Americans tend to have a positive view of revolutions.   That certainly makes sense, since the revolution that founded our country was so remarkably successful.   Most revolutions wind up with dreadful unintended consequences, though.   Look at the French Revolution. It began with the ideals of...

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The Act of Killing ***1/2

Nominated for Best Documentary     Very few Americans get away with murder.   The vast majority of killers are promptly arrested and serve time. The handful who are not caught probably can’t rest easy. They have to spend the rest of their lives sleeping with one eye open, fearful that the blond lady from “Cold Case” is tracking them down....

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Her ****

  The most momentous event of the 21st Century is the rise of the machines.   Not Terminator-style, of course. I am referring to the smart phones that almost everyone carries around now and that young people won’t stop playing with.   Ask a 13-year-old boy whether he’d rather give up his iPhone5 for a year or give up a good friend, i...

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Jobriath A.D. ***

  To me, the history of awesome top-40 rock music begins in 1971.   Marc Bolan went on Britian’s Tops of the Pops wearing a shiny silver blouse with purple pockets. His band T. Rex played their first #1 song – “Hot Love.” And the glam rock phenomenon was born.   The Beatles had just broken up, and with them went the whole 60s m...

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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters ***1/2

  “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. I play video games; which I think is a far superior addiction to all those other ones.”   -Random Video Game Nerd from “The King of Kong”   Sorry, Random Video Game Nerd from “The King of Kong,” I think you might be mistaken.   I am not recommending that you take up smoking, dri...

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The Wolf of Wall Street ****

“The stock market is way too complicated for you to deal with. Just trust us with your life savings. We’re professionals.”   Sincerely, your money manager     The full service brokerage industry is an absolute scam.   They scare you into thinking that the stock market is an unruly beast that you can’t possibly control. And then...

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Saving Mr. Banks ***

  If I got to write the epitaph on Walt Disney’s tombstone, it would read:   “This Man Commoditized Childhood.”   I’ve got to hand it to him. Walt Disney had a magical, white-washed vision of America and he figured out how to sell it to us. And not just once. Again and again, decade after decade.   Every generation grew up with...

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Dirty Wars ***

Max’s View   Since the dawn of recorded history, mankind has fought wars in pretty much the same way: A country assembled a group of young men, gave them weapons, and sent them off to a battlefield to fight to the death against a group of young men from another country. The first country to run out of men or weapons lost.   Every civiliza...

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Max’s Favorite Things

  Oprah has many favorite things. I only have a few.   You know that feeling you get when you watch a commercial for an exciting new product/gadget and you wish you could have it for yourself? Well, I don’t.   Happiness doesn’t come from consumerism. And therefore I’m not much of a consumer.   You probably have someone like me o...

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Dallas Buyers Club ***1/2

  There are two different categories of drugs:   1. Medicine prescribed by a doctor that you purchase legally at a pharmacy.   2. Medicine that you learn about from friends or the internet that you have to purchase from a dealer and could potentially lead to arrest.   There is no official definition to determine which substances...

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