RHODY LIFE

At the Warwick Showcase

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CRUELLA

**½ (Joyce)

*** ( Don)

While I agree with Joyce that the story is dull and stupid, I did like the acting of both Emma Stone as Cruella and Emma Thompson as the Baroness.

We are limited to three Dalmatians in this prequel to “101 Dalmatians,” and they are as cruel as Cruella.

The movie starts ever so slowly as we learn what made Cruella so cruel. The poor little girl was left an orphan and grew up on the street with her two cohorts in crime, Jasper and Horace.

She lands a job with the Baroness as a dress designer and eventually learns the truth about her past.

Cruella begins a long, dragged-out scheme to learn the details of her past and bring the Baroness down.

All this takes almost two and a quarter hours and never seems to want to end.

A major problem for the movie will be finding an audience. Because of its nasty themes and violence, it is not really suited for young children, although it is advertised that way. It carries a PG-13 rating, and includes a transvestite and the unpleasant suggestion of skinning dogs to make coats.

A QUIET PLACE II

**½

Inconsistent sequel

John Kasinski’s “A Quiet Place II” opens with a bang. Literally.

Just about everybody in the sleepy little town is at a boys’ baseball game when the monsters come out of nowhere and destroy everything and everybody in sight.

Krasinsky disappears from the movie and his wife (Emily Blunt) takes her new baby and young boy and girl and hits the road.

They meet Emmet, who has lost his family, and take shelter in an old foundry building with lots of places to hide.

Regan, the daughter, is deaf, which provides some interesting directorial moves for the story.

When the monsters appear, there is lots of banging and screeching. At times we watch the action unfold through Regan, which translates as complete silence.

The adults do a lot of whispering, which we couldn’t hear. When Regan uses sign language, we get subtitles.

The family gets separated again and we watch mom and son in one battle and daughter and Emmet in another, switching back and forth until the movie comes to an abrupt end, signaling that you’ll have to wait at least a year for Part III.

In spite of all the violence, it has a PG-13 rating.

When you get right down to it, it is little more than another monsters-chasing-humans movie. ***

On Netflix

THE KOMINSKY METHOD

*****

Season three is back, and it is as good as the first two seasons, even with one major change.

The opening scene is both sad and funny, as Sandy recalls his relationship with his best friend, Norman.

Michael Douglas is one of our favorite characters on Netflix. Playing a 75-year-old acting teacher gives him the chance to develop the cynical, sarcastic, emotional character to its fullest.

There is a big surprise in episode two that could change his life.

There are six chapters, and we wish there were more, because this is one of the best shows ever.

SECRET CITY

***

This Australian series has a bit of everything, from a strong central character who will go to any lengths to get her story and expose corruption to a bevy of sinister characters out to stop her.

Harriet Dinkley gets caught up in conspiracies involving Australia, China and the United States. Main characters are killed off, hostages are taken, terrorists strike, and dead bodies show up everywhere.

There’s a bit too much computer gobbledygook for my liking, and things get a bit complicated at times. But there is enough action and intrigue to hold you until the end.

movies, cinema

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