Bob Brown

Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.

Netflix

Fear City documents the FBI’s successful bid to take down the Mafia

Television | Matter-of-fact interviews and gritty details push against Hollywood distortions
by Bob Brown
Posted 7/30/20, 02:29 pm

There’s almost something criminal about watching a mobster film without Al Pacino or Robert De Niro in it. The cinematic wise guy, with his cartoonish bravado and brazen thuggery, has enthralled moviegoers for ­generations. 

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Amazon Studios

Marie Curie is out of her element in Radioactive

Movie | The film has some surprises but is too unstable
by Bob Brown
Posted 7/30/20, 02:10 pm

“I want to tell you about radium,” Marie Curie, the Sorbonne’s first female professor, informs her class in 1906 in Paris. “A most remarkable element that doesn’t behave as it should.”

The new film Radioactive depicts Curie (Rosamund Pike) in much the same way. Independent, almost anti-social, Curie excelled at science in an era when the laboratory was pretty much a boy’s club. She was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, and one of only four people ever to win twice.

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Netflix

Stateless: No home away from home

Television | Compelling Netflix drama tells the stories of asylum-seekers in Australia from different perspectives
by Bob Brown
Posted 7/16/20, 03:37 pm

In Stateless, the lives of four individuals converge at the Barton Immigration Detention Center, located on a barren parcel of terrain in South Australia. One is an immigrant seeking asylum, and the other three are white Australians. Such a formula seems ill-suited to a political statement on refugee welfare. So, while the new Netflix limited TV series (rated TV-MA for occasional strong language and isolated moments of sensuality) does pro­ject concern for displaced persons, the personal dramas command center stage.

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