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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 - August 22, 2016

Ben-Hur. This classic tale of revenge and redemption did not need to be remade; well it was and poorly done to boot. Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is a Jewish prince living in luxury in Jerusalem. Messala (Toby Kebball), Ben-Hur’s adopted brother, falsely accuses Ben-Hur of sedition. Messala is an officer in the Roman occupying army and has Ben-Hur sent to sea as a galley slave, where he endures endless hardships. He survives a shipwreck, is saved by an Arab Prince (Morgan Freeman) and returns to Jerusalem to seek revenge against Messala. After vanquishing Messala in a chariot race Ben-Hur finds redemption as Jesus is crucified. The film’s dialogue is clunky, some of scenes will make you cringe as they look artificial and none of the actors connect with the audience. This is another Hollywood remake flop. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and disturbing images.

War Dogs. The Iraqi War is in full swing when two buddies in their early 20s, David Packouz (Miles Teller) and Efraim Diveroli, (Jonah Hill) set up a business in Miami to exploit a new government program that promotes small businesses to bid on Military contracts. They make a killing selling handguns to the Army. They take their millions back to Miami and live the highlife. Greed is a stern master and they go for a $300,000,000.00 contract to arm the entire Afghan Military. They get the deal and now have to deal with the underbelly of the arms world and get in way over their heads. Everything that can go wrong does. Based on true events, the film is much more of a morality tale than a comedy. The film does engage and kept my attention throughout, as there is never a dull moment. Rated R for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. The Internet is explored from its humble beginnings in a computer lab at UCLA to the vital all encompassing experience of our age. Is the Internet a benign tool, an evil mistress, a hiding place for modern day robbers, an addiction, the cause of mass illness, or a transformative connection that will take humans to the next level of evolution? All of these issues are explored in this thoughtful and provocative documentary that fascinates from its opening scenes. It is not a geeky scientific expose but a very thought provoking exploration of a system that in 20 years has completely dominated our lives. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some thematic elements. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

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