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'Against the Sun' Matches:

Against the Sun

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    3 Godfathers (1948)

    John Ford and Christmas seems like a perfect combo, and yet the old master included Christmas themes in only two films, a scene of a Hawaiian Christmas in Donovan's Reef (1963), and 3 Godfathers (1948). The latter was based on a 1913 novel by Peter B. Kyne, which has been filmed many times (including the very good anime version Tokyo Godfathers). The story is a fairly obvious allegory for the Three Wise Men who journey to see the baby Jesus, but with Ford's poetic touch, a sentimental story turns into a very solid, color Western. read more...
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      3 Godfathers (1948)

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      • With: John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, Mae Marsh, Mildred Natwick, Jane Darwell, Guy Kibbee, Dorothy Ford, Ben Johnson, Charles Halton, Hank Worden, Jack Pennick, Fred Libby, Michael Dugan
      • Written by: Laurence Stallings, Frank S. Nugent, based on a story by Peter B. Kyne
      • Directed by: John Ford
      • MPAA Rating: NR
      • Running Time: 106 minutes
      • Release Date: 11/30/1948
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      What's Cooking? (2000)

      This one could be classified as a so-called "chick flick," but What's Cooking? (2000) is so nicely balanced and fine-tuned by director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) that it turns into an honest holiday film, filled with plenty of delicious-looking shots of Thanksgiving dishes being prepared and served. It focuses on four families: one Jewish, one Vietnamese, one African-American, and one Latino, as they go about their holidays, filled with personal dramas. A son lies to his family to spend the holiday with his girlfriend, a lesbian couple tries to cope with conservative parents, a pushy mother-in-law gets in the way, an ex-husband is accidentally invited to dinner, and a gun is found in a teen's backpack. The stories are universal and could apply to anyone of any background, and indeed, the 17 year-old movie is surprisingly timeless (a political discussion in one scene could easily apply to last year's election). Chadha co-wrote the screenplay with her husband Paul Mayeda Berges. The all-star cast includes Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Kyra Sedgwick, Mercedes Ruehl, Lainie Kazan, Alfre Woodard, and Dennis Haysbert. read more...
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        What's Cooking? (2000)

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        • With: Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Maury Chaykin, Estelle Harris, Dennis Haysbert, Lainie Kazan, Victor Rivers, Douglas Spain, Isidra Vega, Gregory Itzin, Estelle Harris, Kieu Chinh, Kam Fong
        • Written by: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges
        • Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
        • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality, brief language and a perilous situation
        • Running Time: 109 minutes
        • Release Date: 11/30/2000
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        The Family Fang (2016)

        Laced with subtle performances and rich characters, Jason Bateman's The Family Fang is a big improvement over his last movie, the overly cynical-but-cute Bad Words. Adapted from a novel (and feeling very much like an adaptation of a novel), it focuses on the titular family. In the 1970s and 1980s, two parents, a son and daughter, acted in real-life "performance art" pieces designed to push the boundaries of what's acceptable in public, i.e. a child committing a bank robbery, or orphaned children singing bad punk-rock songs in the park. read more...
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          The Family Fang (2016)

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          • With: Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett, Kathryn Hahn, Jason Butler Harner, Harris Yulin, Linda Emond, Alexandra Wentworth, Michael Chernus, Marin Ireland, Danny Burstein, Gabriel Ebert, Scott Shepherd, Steve Witting
          • Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire, based on a novel by Kevin Wilson
          • Directed by: Jason Bateman
          • MPAA Rating: R for some language
          • Running Time: 105 minutes
          • Release Date: 05/05/2016
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          On the Basis of Sex (2018)

          United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, wrote the screenplay for this sweet, bright biopic, the story of an early, crucial court case in Ginsburg's career. Ruth (adorably played by Felicity Jones) stumbles upon a case in which a man is denied financial aid to care for his elderly mother, and hopes to use it to establish a precedent for other examples of discrimination on the basis of sex. Stiepleman's screenplay is a subtle marvel, managing to take piles of tax law jargon and turn it into a dynamic, vivid, human story. The casting and acting here are the high point. Aside from Jones, Armie Hammer is excellent as Ginsburg's husband Martin, a unique man who was comfortable with his wife's immense power. Sam Waterston seems to enjoy his role as the villainous, sex-discriminating Dean of Harvard Law, as does Kathy Bates in her role as cynical, acid-tongued activist Dorothy Kenyon. But Justin Theroux steals the show as Mel Wulf of the ACLU, sinking into his 1970s mustache and wardrobe as if he'd time traveled from there. On the whole, On the Basis of Sex is not too heavy or serious, and also nicely compliments the recent documentary RBG. read more...
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            On the Basis of Sex (2018)

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            • With: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey
            • Written by: Daniel Stiepleman
            • Directed by: Mimi Leder
            • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some language and suggestive content
            • Running Time: 120 minutes
            • Release Date: 12/24/2018
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            Hidden Figures (2016)

            Based on a non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures is an awards-season, based-on-a-true story movie about three African-American women who worked at NASA during the space race of the 1960s, overcoming certain small racial obstacles in the process. All in all, the story is a good one, and the movie never feels too heavy or preachy. read more...
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              Hidden Figures (2016)

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              • With: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle MonĂ¡e, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali
              • Written by: Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi, based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly
              • Directed by: Theodore Melfi
              • MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and some language
              • Running Time: 127 minutes
              • Release Date: 12/24/2016
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