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James Quillinan, known primarily for his expertise in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Conservatorships and related Litigation is also an avid movie-goer.  His reviews started in the Law Office around 1998 when associates and clients began asking him about the movies he had seen.  He began sending his reviews by email to a list of friends and movie fans which now has grown to include world-wide distribution.

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Monday Morning Movie Reviews - September 21, 2015

Black Mass.  Johnny Depp brings the business of crime to the big screen, as he portrays Boston real life street thug, James “Whitey” Bulger.   In an unholy alliance, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) and "Whitey" trade secrets and protect one another as they had as kids growing up together in South Boston. FBI's Boston office wants to take down the Italian Mafia as does  “Whitey” to eliminate the competition. As head of the Irish Mob, “Whitey” goes nuts brazenly committing murder, dealing drugs and running the rackets as the FBI turns a blind eye. Needless to say, this cozy deal unravels and a lot of people go to jail, except “Whitey” who is on the lam for 15 years before he is caught. This is a hard-hitting and well-done crime drama – no punches are pulled in this cold expose. Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use.

Jimmy’s Hall.  It is 1932 in rural Ireland and Jimmy Gralton returns home after many years of involuntary exile in the USA.  He has some money and new attitudes he wants to share with his impoverished neighbors. His mother Alice and their neighbors are all happy to see Jimmy. They want him to reopen the local hall so they can sing, dance and learn together. But neither Father Sheridan, the local priest nor the village squire, are happy. The reason is obvious, Jimmy is an activist they label a communist. So with the village hall open for folks to gather to sing, dance, paint and study, the officials use whatever means they have to rid themselves of the hall and Jimmy. This is a true story that highlights what damage ignorance can cause when coupled with true belief.   Rated PG-13 for language and a scene of violence. Find this indie gem and enjoy.

Meru.   A breathtaking visit with three mountain climbers who tackle the most difficult climb in the world – India’s Mount Meru. Much more difficult than Everest, the strength, endurance and technical brilliance that it takes to reach the top is awe-inspiring. The three best climbers in the world, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chinn, and Renan Ozturk are obsessed with conquering Mount Meru, the pinnacle of Himalayan mountain wall climbing. We follow them up the ice and granite walls, live through storms hanging on hooks in the ice, experience the cold and thin air as these three guys work as a team to overcome amazing obstacles. So beautifully photographed, you could ignore the dialogue and just take in the amazing visuals. Go find this movie and enjoy. Rated R for language. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.  Chaos, nonsense, zombies and too many chase scenes make this second installment of the trilogy a chore to sit through. In this latest installment of the "Maze Runner" tale, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers journey to the Scorch, a dystopian landscape filled with inconceivable hindrances and full of zombies for good measure. Thomas and his surviving Gladers team up with some resistance fighters to take on WCKD and discover its evil plans for them. We have to wait until the next installment for this all to be sorted out.   Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language.

East Side Sushi.  Finally a movie about real people taking on real life problems. Even with its down to earth themes, the film is quite funny and heartwarming.   Set in contemporary East Oakland, CA, Juana Martinez is a single mom who can slice, dice, grill and cook anything to make tasty food. She has many odd jobs to support her family but longs to be a chef. Having enough of her menial jobs, she takes a job at a local Japanese restaurant.  Fascinated by the Japanese Cuisine and sushi craft, she uses her skills to make unique sushi dishes of her own.  She tries to become a sushi chef, but is stifled due to being the “wrong” race and gender.  But she is a clever woman, and enters a contest for sushi chefs and the wall of prejudice begins to crumble. She won’t let anyone stop her from attaining her dream. This is wonderful indie movie, find it and enjoy. I am sure Donald Trump will never see it. Not rated but is a suitable family film. It is a Peggy’s pick.

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