Jeff York has two new “Page 2 Screen” podcasts to review “Julieta” and “John Wick: Chapter 2”

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“JULIETA”

Julieta is Pedro Almodovar at his complex and colorful best.

For 20 films now, Spain’s Pedro Almodovar has been enthralling movie audiences and pushing the boundaries of cinema. Whether the genre is comedy, melodrama, or even thriller, Almodovar always remembers that character is story. Julieta is his newest endeavor and it’s based on three short stories by Alice Munro. And the central character here is so complex, it takes two actresses to play her.

Julieta (Emma Suarez) is in a funk, still carrying the baggage from her past and how it ruined the relationship with her daughter. The younger Julieta (Adriana Ugarte) from decades ago was a vital woman, so what happened to her? Almodovar explores these mysteries with his expert attention to narrative twists, nuanced characterization, and vivid production design. It’s one of his best films, and though it may be subtitled, its message about love and forgiveness speaks to all of us.

“JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2:”

“John Wick: Chapter 2” brings genuine artistry to the actioner.

Burnt out on action movies? “John Wick: Chapter 2” will restore your faith in what “shoot ‘em ups” can be. This sublime sequel to the 2014 cult classic not only builds on its predecessor but it expands what that franchise is and what a popcorn movie can be. Exciting, gorgeous, and smart, it does all that at a fraction of the cost of your average tent-pole production.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves, giving it his all) returns as a retired hit man out for more revenge and it’s fun from start to finish. Screenwriter Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski twist genre tropes into exciting new shapes, creating an expensive world of international assassins, beautifully choreographed set pieces, and top-notch production values. This actioner is not only state-of-the-art, it’s practically art.

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