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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 - November 23, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.  The saga finally concludes in a maze of intrigue as the war in Panem worsens with the destruction of other districts. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly leads her small band of rebels to the Capitol to kill President Snow (a deliciously evil Donald Sutherland). Meanwhile President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) arrays her vast army of rebels to supplant Snow’s regime. There is a surfeit of special effects and mindless action sequences that all add up to bring the story to a surprisingly sad end. Despite the heartbreak that Katniss endures, there is a strong feeling of hope as the excesses of past gave way to hope. Good performances by Lawrence, Southerland and Moore make the film. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.

Heart of a Dog. 
The film is an elegy to the death of a dear pet, the filmmaker’s dog. Using old 8 mm footage, modern impressionistic art and musical themes Laurie Anderson uses the death of her dear pet in a broader context of loss of her mother, friends and the near death of her twin brothers. A melancholy poem, the experience is very artsy and very personal. The movie has almost a cheerful tone in dealing with loss, so is not that much of a downer, as its themes would suggest.

Big Game – 2015.  The Stanford Cardinal again bested the Cal Bears in the 118th Big Game. With a final score of 22 to 35 Stanford has now won the last six Big Games in a row. The PAC-12 Championship Game is next for Stanford.

Brooklyn.  A young Irish girl Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) leaves Ireland for the promise of a better life in 1950s Brooklyn, NY. She fortunately has a job waiting for her and quickly establishes a network of friends to support her in her new life. At a church dance she catches the eye of Tony and a true romance quickly develops. Eilis has to return to Ireland for a family emergency. While back home she enjoys her time with family and friends but also and quickly yearns to return to Tony and escape the pettiness of rural Ireland. She has a dilemma and must choose between two countries, two men and two ways of life. She chooses well. The film uses real life emotion and honestly addresses the characters’ feelings. The realness of the portrayals and situations makes this a special film and a must see. Rated PG - 13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language. It is a Peggy’s Pick.

Love the Coopers. This holiday film is a bit of a pleasant surprise. When four generations of the Cooper family arrive for their annual Christmas Eve dinner, there are some unexpected visitors and some unexpected events that turn their bickering into a renewal of family unity as the spirit of the season wins out over petty gripes. An all-star cast of Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and Olivia Wilde makes the film. Rated PG - 13 for thematic elements, language and some sexuality.

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