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JOKER (2019) – My rating: 9/10

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CAROL's WORLDS

Joker is a psychological thriller directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film is based on DC Comic’s character, the Joker and was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. An origin story set in 1981, the film follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City. The trailers were vague but issued warnings of a dark movie that earned Joker an “R” rating. While dark, Joker gave an in-depth look into an infamous character we never imagined.

In 1981, party clown Arthur Fleck/Joker (Joaquin Rivers) lives with his mentally ill mother, Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy), in Gotham City. Penny is always asking Authur to check the mail for a response to her letters hoping that Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen), her former employer, who is rich and kind, will take them out of poverty and…

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HUSTLERS (2019) – My rating: 8.3/10

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Hustlers is a crime drama written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler. Jennifer Lopez is also a producer on the film through Nuyorican Productions, alongside Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay through their Gloria Sanchez banner. The plot follows a crew of strippers in New York City who begin to steal money by drugging stock traders and CEOs who visit their club, then running up their credit cards. I had no idea the New Yorker article would become a movie, they did a good job.

**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****

In 2014, former New York City-based stripper Dorothy/Destiny (Constance Wu) is invited for an interview with Elizabeth (Julia Stiles), a journalist working on a story involving Dorothy’s former friend and mentor, Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez). Seven years prior, Dorothy, known by her stripper name…

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AD ASTRA (2019) – My rating: 7/10

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Ad Astra is a science fiction adventure produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. The Movie follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System. The trailers for Ad Astra indicated the film as a possible Oscar contender, which piqued my interest so I went to see the movie.  I do not agree that Ad Astra is Oscar-worthy.

In the near future, Earth’s solar system is being struck by a series of mysterious power surges, threatening human life. After surviving an incident caused by a surge, Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), son of famed astronaut H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), is informed by U.S. Space Command (SpaceCom) that the surges have been traced to the “Lima Project” – created to search the farthest Solar System for intelligent life, under Clifford’s leadership – from whom nothing has been…

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DOWNTON ABBEY (2019) – My rating: 10/10

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Downton Abbey is a British period drama that represents the continuation of the BBC television series of the same name. The film is directed by Michael Engler and written by Julian Fellowes, who is also the creator and executive producer of the television series. Much of the original cast has returned as they perform the first Downton Abbey movie.  An official state visit by the British Monarchy to Downton Abbey upsets the entire staff and their way of life, as they bend over backward to please the King and  Queen of England. I found Downey Abbey to be one of the year’s best movie and I absolutely loved it.

****  SPOILERS BELOW  ****

Downton Abbey begins in 1927 when Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), the Earl of Grantham, receives a letter from Buckingham Palace announcing that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton…

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DON’T LET GO (2019) – My rating: 8/10

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Don’t Let Go is a psychological horror-thriller directed and written by Jacob Aaron Estes, from a story by Estes and Drew Daywalt. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Bobby Cohen and David Oyelowo.

I took a chance and went to see Don’t Let Go, despite the fact I  never heard of it. This one flew way under the radar, as I really enjoyed it.

Don’t Let Go starts off with Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo) who is a homicide detective, picking up his niece Ashley Radcliff (Storm Reid) from a theater, after her parents had forgotten. Ashley is somewhat detached from her parents, especially her father Garret Radcliff (Brian Tyree Henry) due to his bipolar disorder and past years of drug abuse. Jack decides to have a stern talk with Garret about his lack of decent parenting skills. The movie goes on to show the…

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OVERCOMER (2019) – My rating: 9/10

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Overcomer is a Christian drama directed by Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote the script with Stephen Kendrick. It is the Kendrick brothers’ sixth film and their second through their subsidiary, Kendrick Brothers Productions. I was unsure of Overcomer but was glad I went to see it.

John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) is a basketball coach at Brookshire Christian High School. Since the city’s major source of employment is closing down, most of the town’s residents are forced to look for employment elsewhere.  Because most of the town’s people had to leave the city, coach Harrison lost his basketball team but was offered the job of coaching the cross-country running team, which he reluctantly takes on despite there’s only one person on board, Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson) who is asthmatic. Hannah’s sporting journey will be accompanied by a self-discovery that will answer a question that has been a concern for her for a…

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READY OR NOT (2019) – My rating: 4/10

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Ready or Not is a black comedy/horror film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. When I first saw this movie listed, it had 100% rotten tomatoes. A few days later it had been adjusted to 91%. The film is about a newly-wed woman who becomes hunted by her in-laws. I felt I had to see it. It was the biggest waste of my time, ever.

“Ready or Not” follows the ultra-rich Le Domas family. They are in the business of games and are about to add a new member, Grace (Samara Weaving) to the family. After courting Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), the youngest brother of the family, the two have decided to tie the knot. The wedding is taking place on the enormous family estate where Alex’s parents, Tony Le Domas (Henry Czerny) and Becky Le Domas (Andre…

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