Marty VanDriel
Hilary B Gayle/Amazon via AP

Mysterious Homecoming

Television | Bad language and depictions of adultery mar an otherwise compelling series
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 11/20/18, 12:27 am

If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you’ve seen a lot of hype for Homecoming, a new series of 10 half-hour episodes released in early November. Critics love the show. Should you watch too?

Julia Roberts stars as Heidi Bergman, the head of a transition center, helping veterans whose combat memories make normal life difficult. Despite thin credentials, Heidi runs the isolated campus as its primary counselor. One patient, Walter Cruz (Stephan James), recalls every detail of the death of one of his men and blames himself for his friend’s demise.

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Netflix

Exercise in evil

Movie | 22 July takes a hard look at a mass killer’s deeds, but offers no redemption in their place
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 10/19/18, 03:32 pm

A deranged killer massacres 77 people in cold blood, most of them teenagers isolated on an island. Who could do such a thing? And how can survivors cope? 22 July, Netflix’s new film dramatizing real events in Norway in 2011, explores the murderer’s motives and the aftermath of his crime.

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MAB Productions

Lost in solitude

Movie | In Leave No Trace, isolation bonds a father and daughter—and drives them apart
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 10/11/18, 02:40 pm

The brokenness of life is almost unbearable in Leave No Trace, a movie inspired by a true story. Will (Ben Foster) and his daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) live in the woods of a large public park near Portland, Ore., hiding from discovery by leaving few traces of their existence. They gather mushrooms, drink rainwater, and plant carefully disguised gardens in the lush forest. Will and Tom trek into town periodically, cashing Dad’s disability checks and selling his VA-supplied medications to other veterans.

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