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TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

**½

(Sequel with female heroes)

Females rule in this sixth offering of the action series that brings an enhanced Grace (Mackenzie Davis) back from 2029 to 1984 to protect a young woman (Natalie Reyes) who will give birth in the future to the next leader in the war against the terminators.

Got that? Then sit back and watch three generations of women fight off the terminators in endless chase and battle scenes.

Arnold Schwartzenegger and Linda Hamilton are back again, but they take a back seat to the younger crowd.

At two hours and eight minutes, there are dozens of vehicles aand people eliminated in the continuing saga.

Fans will not be disappointed, especially when the scene is set for number 7 in the series.

For us, we’ve seen enough.

Rated R for continuous violence.

PARASITE

****

(South Korean black comedy/drama)

The lines were around the block Saturday for the evening showing of “Parasite,” the black comedy/drama that is unlike anything I’ve seen before. The 2¼-hour movie with subtitles involves two families.

The Kims are part of South Korea’s lower class – out of work, living in the slums, and fighting for their next meal. The Parks are super wealthy with maids and a driver.

When Ki-woo’s friend goes away to college, he asks him to take over his English tutoring of the Park’s daughter. Ki-woo has no training, but he is very street smart and knows how to fake it.

Through clever manipulation, he gets his sister to give their son art lessons, although she knows nothing about art except what she learned from Google.

Father becomes chauffeur and mother maid. How they pull this off is hysterically clever.

The Park family goes away on a camping trip and the Kims spend a weekend of luxury in their house.

But then one of them goes down in the basement and makes a startling discovery. We won’t tell you any more, as the comedy grows blacker and violent, leading to a wild and crazy finale.

If you are a fan of dark comedy, you’ll love this one, as the packed house at the Avon did.

Rated a big R, with violence and profanity.

THE LIGHTHOUSE

***

(Eerie tale of two lighthouse keepers)

This one is not for everyone.

First, there are only two characters (not counting an imaginary mermaid). Second, it is in black and white on an old-fashioned square frame. Third, it is eerie, slow and violent.

Saying all that it is also fascinating to watch, thanks to the acting of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

Dafoe plays Wake, a grumpy old sea captain who hires Winslow (Pattinson) to do all of the dirty work on the lighthouse island off the coast of New England (actually filmed in Nova Scotia).

Wake tells Winslow to never kill a bird because they contain the souls of dead sailors.

Wake is a demanding boss, never satisfied with his lackey’s work. Winslow is haunted by a seagull, which he kills.

On the night before their four-week commitment arrives, so does a major storm, trapping them on the island with provisions running out.

There is, however, plenty of booze, and the two men drink themselves into oblivion, causing violence and confusion. The two fall into madness, resulting in a tragic ending.

That’s about it for this slow-moving but haunting tale, which I would recommend for the acting, which is right on.

Rated R, with profanity and violence.

HARRIET

***½

(Story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman)

Cynthia Erivo gives an Oscar-worthy performance as abolitionist Harriet Tubman in a gripping two-hour film that begins with her early years as a slave and her flight to freedom.

Harriet’s story begins in 1849 when she is a young slave who escapes on her own, traveling over 100 miles on foot to Philadelphia and narrowly avoiding capture.

She is helped by many along the way and dedicates her life to helping other slaves escape to freedom.

Harriet has strong religious beliefs, praying to God to show her the way. She becomes involved in the early years of the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help hundreds of slaves find their way to the North.

Erivo captures the abolitionist perfectly, showing her growth as a strong woman who becomes an inspiring leader.

“God didn’t mean for people to own people,” she pleads as she becomes more and more assertive in her beliefs and her behavior.

The movie is an inspiration to young people and should be a class-trip for students.

The scenery, mostly shot in Virginia, is a big part of the movie, as is the inspirational background music.

Rated PG-13 because of violence, racial epithets and some profanity.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

***½

(Gangster flick with Tourette’s twist)

Edward Norton wrote, directed and starred in this old-style B movie about a private investigator with Tourette’s syndrome.

While the movie wanders aimlessly at times, Norton’s portrayal is special, with his sudden outbursts, tics and uncontrollable actions. He realizes and accepts his problems by apologizing for his behavior, which is caused by “broken glass in my brain.”

At times, he covers up his outbursts by pretending to sneeze in his arm.

His boss (Bruce Willis) is murdered and he attempts to find the killer, leading to a long and winding tale of gentrification in the slums of Brooklyn. Alec Baldwin plays the corrupt city official with a secret past who does dirty deals and allows nothing – and nobody – to get in his way.

There’s an interesting love affair, a plea for the less fortunate, and an interesting look at this unusual disease.

Rated R, with profanity and violence.

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