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“If you keep telling people something untrue loud and long enough, they are apt to believe it.”

- Mank

MANK tells the semi-true story of the writer behind CITIZEN KANE. David Fincher once again deliveries a top notch technical movie. The pristine black and white photography, the glorious score and perfectly splendid set designs all sing from the screen. And at the center, is an Oscar worthy performance by legendary Gary Oldman.

With all of that praise, I am saddened to report that MANK feels distant. An alcoholic's descent should be compelling (see LEAVING LAS VEGAS), yet Mank's collapse struggles to find a "why" to show his story.

Mank may have been conversationally appealing, but conversations make for an interesting podcast, not a two-plus hour feature film.

It is available on Netflix starting 4-Dec

MINARI is one of most unique movies I've seen. The story and characters feel so personal - and that's what makes it universal. This touching (and very emotional) semi-autographical retelling of director Lee Isaac Chung's childhood allows raw, honest glimpses into the American Dream, immigration, and growing up between cultures.

MINARI is scheduled to be released in a limited release on December 11, 2020, prior to a wide release on February 12, 2021. Experience it then!

  • dfreedman6

When the USA Gymnastics (USAG) sex abuse scandal broke in 2016, the focus was on a serial rapist, Dr. Larry Nasser, who, as part of USAG medical team, sexually abused hundreds of girls and young women gymnasts for nearly two decades. This documentary does not really shine a light on anything new regarding Nasser – he ended up going to prison for one hundred and twenty years for his crimes. What this documentary does do really well is focus on the systemic denials and cover-ups perpetrated by coaches, administrators and the president of USAG, Steve Penny. Bela and Marta Karolyi, famous gymnastics coaches, who ran an elite training ranch in Texas, participated in the cover-ups, and were accused of mentally and physically abusing the athletes, all for the sake of producing champions. That ranch is now permanently closed.

With over 500 women athletes stepping forward to bravely disclose their abuse stories, they are led by Maggie Nichols, our ATHLETE A, who is a world-class gymnast that was punished for being one of the first whistle-blowers again Nasser, by being denied an earned spot on the 2016 US Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team. Many of the women got to face their abuser in court before his sentencing, affording them the smallest amount of justice. All that is left is for Steve Penny to stand trial and answer for his alleged evil doings – all for the sake of money and protecting the USAG brand.

ATHLETE A provides a small measure of justice to the hundreds of USA Gymnasts who were abused.

Available now on Netflix.


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