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March 27th, 2015

Max’s View

Max’s View

Blue Ruin ***1/2 I learned a terrible lesson about humanity on September 11, 2001. And it isn’t the one you’re thinking of. In 2001, I was into punk rock and punk ethics. Punks, generally speaking, espouse pacifism. They are anti-colonialism and anti-militarism. So I was unpleasantly surprised when the kids on punk IM chats and message boards were...

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Max’s View

The Missing Picture *** There were some horrible murderous regimes in the world during the 20th Century. The most perversely horrible of them all is not the one you’re thinking of, though. It was the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge only ruled Cambodia for four years. But the suffering and destruction it caused was incomprehensible. Plenty of oth...

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Max’s View

Foxcatcher ** One of the greatest accomplishments of the Revolutionary War is that it gave the founding fathers the opportunity to abolish titles of nobility. Through the very warfare that freed it, however, America put itself under the thumb of a new nobility. Not long after independence, an industrious French immigrant named Eleuthere Irenee du P...

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Point and Shoot

**1/2 When I read a headline about a westerner being captured by ISIS, my first thought is to feel horror and sadness for the poor man. My second – less empathetic – thought is, what the heck was he doing in the most dangerous part of the world to begin with?! “He was there to help the needy or report the news,” you say. Sure, but that...

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The Theory of Everything

*1/2 For most of human history, people imagined that the earth is at the center of the universe; or at least that the earth is a significant part of the universe. The great astronomers and cosmologists of the 20th Century completely shattered humanity’s earth-centric view. We already knew that our planet is dwarfed by the sun. The sun is about 1.3...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1

*** “All the believers…shared their belongings with one another. They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed.” Guess where that came from. Karl Marx’s Communist Manisfesto? Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book? President Obama’s personal journal? Nope. That quote is from the bible. A...

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Birdman

***1/2 Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Corey Haim, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan…There is a tendency for former child stars to freak out and become disturbed, dysfunctional adults. I have a theory as to why this happens. In addition to the normal pressures of fame, former child stars are tormented by their past. They have to deal with the horrible trut...

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Interstellar

*1/2 Some people say that humans are destroying the planet. I don’t think that’s true. Generations ago, doomsayers said that the earth was becoming overpopulated. Today, we are easily feeding a much larger human population with fewer farmers. When I was in elementary school, news anchors warned us that hairspray and discarded McDLT containers were...

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Nightcrawler

**** While Vermont TV news still maintains a little decency, big city local news has lost all restraint. Every night at 11 p.m. and every morning at 6 a.m. it’s the same horrible routine: accidents, violence, fear-mongering and death. And for every lurid story about twisted car crashes and street corner stabbings, there was someone there to film it...

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St Vincent ***1/2

I do not understand why some people prefer to live alone. I spent nine joyless months living by myself in a studio apartment right after college and decided that I will never live that way again. When you live with other people, you come home from work to a surprise every night. It could be guests, fun, tv watching together, or just a smiling face...

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