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November 27th, 2014

Max’s View

12 Years A Slave ****

  Slavery is bad. Everybody knows that. Everybody agrees with that.   So there’s no point of making a simple anti-slavery movie. That would be as pointless as making an anti-Osama Bin Laden movie. Everybody agrees that Bin Laden was awful. And he’s gone forever, anyway.   To make a great film about slavery, you need to give us more t...

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The NFL is Great, But it Could Be Better

  I watch NFL football every week. It’s what Americans do. I love it.   But I don’t think it’s perfect. NFL games are too long, with too many unnecessary breaks in the action. I have come up with four ways to make games shorter and faster-moving.   Here they are:       Get Rid of Instant Replay.   Most challenges go th...

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Captain Phillips **1/2

  It is weird to me that pirates are so popular.   Pirates are portrayed as dashing rebels who sail the seven seas, hunt for hidden treasure, and offer people mass-produced spiced rum.   Thousands of kids will choose to dress up as pirates this week. And I know that Halloween costumes are often scary bad guys, like ghosts and witches...

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Gravity **

Life is impossible in space.   With these words, writer/director Alfonso Cuaron begins “Gravity.” Then he spends 90 minutes trying – unsuccessfully – to prove it.   The argument that space travel is foolhardy might make more sense to younger viewers. To kids, space is something that Americans visit in movies and video games...

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Don Jon

Hollywood never makes honest movies about sex. I can think of two reasons why:   1) This is a Puritan country. New England was originally settled by strict Calvinists. The Puritans found the Church of England to be so tolerant on social issues that they chose to leave the entire continent rather than live amongst the hedonists. America has bee...

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Goodbye, Mariano Rivera

  Last month, my best friend and I were watching the Yankees play the Orioles. It was Mariano Rivera’s final time playing in Baltimore. Before the game, the O’s organization took the time to honor the retiring Yankee with a pre-game ceremony and some thoughtful gifts.   “They don’t do that for every retiring player,” my friend observed....

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Lee Daniels’ The Butler ***1/2

  I roll my eyes at the English people’s obsession with the royal family. But, truth be told, Americans are just as obsessed with our presidents.   The president is just one man in a government of thousands. And due to the Constitutional framework of checks and balances, the president doesn’t have all that much power to change things. But...

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Reincarnation **1/2

Now on DVD   Who is the most influential American of the past 20 years? Possibly Snoop Dogg.   Twenty years ago, kids were listening to very different music: Metallica, Def Leppard, Van Halen. Seriously, I owned a Van Halen CD. Looking back, I have no idea why.   Rap existed, but it was a niche genre. That is until Dr. Dre’s “The Chr...

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Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer – ***1/2

DVD Pick One of the most arrogant things a person can do is send another person to prison.   When you order someone to go to jail, you are essentially saying: “I am a man. You are an animal. Now go into your cage until I decide it’s okay to let you out.”   As arrogant as that is, it is not nearly as arrogant as sending people to prison fo...

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The Rise and Fall of the Evil Empire

I think I understand the three reasons why baseball fans hate the New York Yankees.   1) They play in New York   2) They spend a lot of money on free agents   3) They are consistently good year after year   Well, now you should only hate the Yankees 2/3 as much. Because they are no longer good.   For the first time since De...

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