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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 - June 27, 2016

Maggie’s Plan. Greta Gerwig is Maggie who brings a modern twist to a ménage a trois. Maggie wants to have a baby but without the complications of a husband. She convinces a male friend to take some time off from his pickle business to be a gamete donor. But Maggie's plan goes off the rails when she falls hard for John (Ethan Hawke), a married man. Maggie destroys his marriage to the brilliant, challenging and unique Georgette (Julianne Moore). After three years of marriage and a daughter, Maggie falls out of love with John and conspires to reconnect John with Georgette. The film is a quirky attempt to recreate a modern madcap comedy. It does not quite work, as the premise is just too much of a goof. Rated R for language and some sexuality.

Keanu. Key and Peele are known for their clever sketch comedy skewering race and pop culture. In this awful film that glorifies violence and the drug culture they really lose their way. The whole absurd set-up involves a cat that escapes a drug massacre and lands with Peele who names the cat, Keanu. Keanu then gets catnapped by another drug gang. Peele then enlists his cousin, Key, to help rescue Keanu. The action then starts as they careen around LA shooting people, delivering drugs and get caught in the middle of another drug war. The only real laughs in the film are when Key shares his obsession with George Michael’s music with a bunch of street thugs and converts the thugs to George Michael fans. With audacity and sheer dumb luck the boys save Keanu and bust up the drug gangs. Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality and nudity. Peggy says it’s the worst movie she has seen in ages!

The Lobster. A very peculiar love story set in a dystopian future where single people are required to pair up with a spouse. Singles are required to report to a weird hotel where they must find a mate in 45 days or they will be transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into the woods. People with matching foibles seem to find one another as perfect matches. The film is in essence a surrealistic comedy about the strangeness of social and religious edicts that seemingly smart people fall for. These seemingly modern relationships also lead to tragedy. Rachel Weisz and Colin Farrell star as two singles trying to connect but do so with beyond bizarre consequences. Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence.

The Dark Horse.
It is a rousing true story of a group of Welsh friends from a local pub who decide to take on the British elites of horseracing by breeding and racing a thoroughbred horse. Their mining community is on hard times as the mines are closing, but their small alliance pledges £10 a week to keep their dream alive. They name their horse “Dream Alliance” who despite his humble beginnings captures the imagination of the racing crowd as he wins and wins convincingly. The film captures the heart of these ordinary people as they accomplish great things. The thrill of the race is palpable. The film will bring joy to your heart, so find it and see it. Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and language. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

The Music of Strangers. Yo Yo Ma and a bunch of his friends from around the world gather to create marvelous music by celebrating diversity through the common bond of music. A Syrian clarinetist, an Iranian Kamancheh player, a Chinese Pipa player, a Galician Bag Pipe virtuoso, Indian drummers, classic violinists, keyboard artists, a world class cellist and more passionately play music from around the world. Known as the Silk Road Project, they discuss their philosophies on music and culture as what drives them to create splendid music. This is a great treat. Find it and enjoy. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. It is a Peggy’s pick.

Free State of Jones. Set during the Civil War, the film tells the true story of a renegade Southern farmer, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), who leads an astonishing rebellion against the Confederacy. He sees that simple farmers are dying to keep rich planters wealthy. Newt creates a local militia with local farmers and escaped slaves, to have their home, Jones County, Mississippi, secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continues his efforts through reconstruction and well into the 20th Century. The main story is complemented by a love story between Newt and Rachel (GuGu Mbatha-Raw), a local slave who helps out the insurgency. Rated R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing graphic images. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

The Slice of America Tour. Peggy and I just finished a road trip through the center of the country. We flew to Minneapolis and then drove north to Fargo, North Dakota to begin our trip. I am sad to report, that we could not find the film Fargo playing anywhere. We then proceeded south along a beautiful highway with an 80 mph speed limit to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sioux Falls is a wonderful town with fabulous falls, an accommodating old downtown with restaurants, shops and public art. On our way south to Omaha, we visited the University of South Dakota campus at Vermillion, Nebraska – the alma mater of many famous friends and folks. We followed the Missouri River through Iowa until we crossed into Nebraska. In Omaha we enjoyed the Durham Museum that is housed in the old, beautifully restored Union Station. We then enjoyed a fabulous meal of prime Omaha beef with our newest best friend, Deborah Cunningham. From Omaha we took a short hop to Lincoln, Nebraska, to check out the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice, NE. The next day was our longest drive to Wichita, Kansas, where it was very hot. We explored the Tanganyika Wildlife Park where you can get up close and personal with the animals in their cages. Our next stop was Oklahoma City, OK, to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The museum celebrates the art of the West and glorifies the myth of the cowboy. It is a fascinating art museum worth the trip. We also visited The Oklahoma City National Memorial that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. It is quite moving. We headed south to Baja Oklahoma (aka Texas) to visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum located on the SMU Campus in Dallas, Texas. The Museum celebrates George W the athlete, the comedian, the family man, the baseball fan and most importantly, the Texan. The purpose of the trip was to visit states we had not visited before (North Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma) and to complete our quest to visit all of the Presidential Libraries – mission accomplished.

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