Four new May reviews from Movies and Shakers



Deadpool 2 continues to break and mock the traditional rules of moviemaking.  This is superhero meets pop culture and grotesquely lambasts them all. It comes rapid fire with references to everything from comparisons of songs from Disney’s Frozen to Barbara Streisand’s “Yentl.” You’ll hear names of celebrities, rock stars, other superheroes and even news stations. They all pop up fast when you least expect it. Wait. What?! Pay close attention. These are the jokes, folks. Some are overkill but many are really clever and funny.

This is a farce within a farce and if you get into it, it can be pretty amusing. Co-writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, both wrote the original, and now with Reynolds’ input, show the actor has no problem poking fun at his own career, Marvel movies and show biz in general. Ryan Reynolds makes fun of himself throughout the film. He even mocks himself at one point. Reynolds appears as his younger self, excited at getting the role of Green Lantern. That’s when Deadpool shoots him, saying tongue in cheek, “You’re welcome Canada.”


Pope Francis is so congenial, mild mannered and soft spoken, the scenes this film shows following him can lull you into a very passive place. His speeches and interactions with people all over the world, old and young, are very inspiring. He is definitely the peoples’ Pope. Always cheerful and smiling, he is like the religious version of Mr. Rogers, spreading love and kindness, not in the neighborhood, but all over the world.

He is the first Pope from the Americas, and from South America. He’s also the first to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, the Saint of the poor and of brotherhood who tried to bring peace during the 13th Century Crusades between Christians and Muslims. The film shows all of that is relevant today. It starts with a characterization of the real St. Francis which we did not think was necessary for the film. It was more a distraction.


It’s kind of fun to see how the other half live, or maybe the 1%. We love old hotels. The Carlyle is an 88-year-old hotel that attracts celebrities from all over the world because of it’s history and because it’s discreet. It was the first hotel that had a reputation for “what happens here stays here.” There are a lot of stories, some of which don’t go anywhere, or suggest something may have happened, but it’s still intriguing creating an aura of secrecy about the guests and their activities at the hotel.


This film is more a theatrical piece, or like a fine painting that comes to life on screen. It is exquisitely staged in a beautiful setting using the most intricate detail. The cast is also exquisite. This film depicts much more than lazy days in the mid 1800’s Russian countryside. It’s Steven Karam’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play directed by Michael Mayer (Both Tony award winners) where everybody loves somebody else at one time or another.  


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