Crawl – Review

It’s incredibly satisfying to watch a movie that delivers exactly what you expect, and that’s just what Alexandre Aja’s creature feature Crawl does. In the midst of a brutal hurricane Kaya Scodelario’s swimming-champ protagonist, Haley, doesn’t just have to battle the elements as she searches for her father in the crawl space of their old home, she also has to battle a horde of outsized alligators.

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Greta – Review

In the ‘90s, I thrived on thrillers such as Hush, A Perfect Murder, and Kiss the Girls. If Gwyneth Paltrow or Ashley Judd were on the poster, you had a pretty good idea of what you were getting into. Watching these movies now with a more critical eye, it’s difficult to ignore their clichés and contrivances. But there’s no denying they still give me a rush of guilty pleasure – which is just what Neil Jordan’s new psychological thriller Greta does.

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Around the World in Words – Argentina

When I was five years old, I moved to Argentina: a German-speaking South African girl who now had to get a full grasp on English and Spanish. I became fluent in both: rolling the former off my tongue with a non-descript American twang with which my South African-accented mother and brother found much amusement, and the latter like a Buenos Aires native.

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The White Crow – Review

Dance movies are touch and go. They’re often so devoid of plot and character, you just have to let it go and enjoy them for what they usually are: an appreciation of dance. The White Crow is one of the exceptions. The richer-than-usual plotting and character may be partly due to the true nature of its story – it’s based on the career and defection to the west of Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev – but credit must be given where else it’s due.

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Rocketman – Review

This movie’s gift is its song, which director Dexter Fletcher and his incredible cast use to tell the story of musician Elton John. In many ways, Rocketman follows the formula of a standard music biopic; but by embracing John’s music and spirit through the medium of a full-on musical this movie is heightened in style, tone, and emotional depth. While the movie does replicate various of John’s famous concerts and performances, the rest is a full-bodied song and dance that allows the story and its characters to shine.

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Around the World in Words: Iran

No book could be more apt to get me back on my writing horse than Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. While my reading challenge has continued unabated, my personal writing has come to a grinding halt. But Nafisi, as a professor of literature, was the perfect writer to inspire me to get back to my own work.

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