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February 13th, 2016

Max’s View

Max’s View

To Be Takei ***1/2 I am not proud of this, but when I see political activists on television or on the streets protesting, my first thought is to oppose them. My thought is, “This country gave you leisure time, plenty of food, and the freedom to protest. So why don’t you spend this time appreciating all of the great things about America instead of t...

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Max’s View

Exodus: Gods and Kings *1/2 I know this isn’t news to anyone, but it really is striking how different Jesus is from God in the Old Testament. Jesus had a clear, focused game plan. In the course of a year, he taught us how to live righteously, he founded his earthly church, he died for our sins, and he defeated death by rising from the grave. God in...

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Max’s View

A Most Violent Year ***1/2 Not too long ago, New York City was a rough place to live. In the 1970s and 80s, New York was called the City That Never Sleeps. But those who ventured out at night were taking a serious risk because the streets were teeming with rogues, ruffians, and rapists. Twenty-first century New York is a different world. It is one...

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Max’s View

Ilo Ilo ***1/2 If someone from a third world country asked you why it is that the United States is so wealthy and prosperous, what would you say? Maybe we are economically successful because we are a muli-party republic where no man can lead for more than eight years. Maybe it is because of our commitment to personal liberty and free enterprise. Ma...

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Max’s View

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief **** This time last week, I only knew a few basic rumors about Scientology. I heard that it is a cult that brainwashes its adherents and doesn’t allow them to leave. But I had no idea how Scientology succeeds in controlling its members or how it continues to get away with bad behavior while still ma...

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Max’s View

Life Itself ***1/2 Available on Netflix Hollywood movies are more than just entertainment. They are an important part of our lives and our world. They are a shared language for people who otherwise don’t have anything in common. Ever wonder why English is the go-to second language for people from Singapore to Sicily to Sao Paolo? It isn’t because T...

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Max’s View

Now on Netflix Cash for Kids *** 1995: 12-year-old Bethany picked a schoolyard fight with her classmate Crystal because Crystal called her fat. Lucy received a firm scolding by the principal and a one-week suspension. 2015: 12-year-old Kelly picked a fight with Madison because Madison called Kelly’s family poor because she still has an iPhone 4. Th...

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Max’s View

Exporting Raymond ***1/2 Available on DVD and iTunes In articles about Russia’s attempt to control the Ukraine, the writers inevitably describe the conflict as the beginning of a “new Cold War.” I find that point of view unjustified and discouraging. I agree that Ukraine’s civil war is horrible and largely due to Vladimir Putin’s meddling. But I do...

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Max’s View

Whiplash *** I believe that great artists make our lives richer, more intellectually stimulating, and more inspiring. I think that they make the world a better place. I don’t think, however, that great artists make their own lives any better. Boundary-pushing creativity is motivated by extreme dissatisfaction. And groundbreaking art tends to lead t...

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Max’s View

Still Alice ***1/2 There is an old saying that my churchgoing office buddy Debbie likes to repeat, “All things work together for the good.” Obviously that isn’t true. For example, I was raised to root for the New York Jets and the New York Knicks. So after nearly 40 years, I have learned full well that sometimes life is disappointing, disgraceful,...

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