The Big Short (15)
The director of broad Will Ferrell satires Anchorman and Talledega Nights, Adam McKay is possibly not the first person you’d imagine making an Oscar nominated film about the U.S mortgage housing crisis of 2005 that led to 2008’s global financial meltdown based on a book about the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market. And yet, fuelled by a hyper-caffeinated energy, he’s delivered not only one of the best films of the year, but one which, in its whimsical, quirky diversions (such as having the celebrity likes of Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie deliver to-camera lessons explaining financial concepts such as collateralised-debt obligations) mirrors the sheer absurdity of what happened while still delivering a stinging, attack on those that let it.
Set across some three years, it follows three parallel stories. Oscar nominee Christian Bale is Michael Burry (the only real name here), an autistic, one-eyed, thrash-metal loving, socially-inept physician turned hedge fund manager for Scion Capital who reckons the US housing market bubble will soon burst and, therefore, much to the horror of his bosses, sets out to short (bet against) it, investing millions that banks like Goldman Sachs, thinking he’s off his head, are more than happy to take.
Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), a brash, egotistical trader with Deutschebank, gets wind of Burry’s schemes and decides to cash in too, a misdirected phone call leading him to Mark Baum (Steve Carrell, brilliant), a self-loathing idealist angry about the financial world’s corruption, who heads FrontPoint Partners, a credit-default-swap team under the Morgan Stanley umbrella. Initially skeptical, persuaded also that bond agencies and banks are working together to cover up a precarious mortgage system built on bad loans, they eventually agree to work with him.
Then there’s Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) who run a a $30 million start-up and are looking to play with the big boys. Stumbling on Vennett’s prospectus, they call, retired investment banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to help them out.
With Vennett offering frequent explanations of the jargon and others talking direct to camera (at one point, Wittrock explains what you see in the film didn’t actually happen that way) and it’s bravura filmmaking that invites the audience to root for characters who, rather than exposing the frauds (though, to be fair, Baum, who clings to faith in the system, does try to call out Melissa Leo’s Standard & Poor analyst for giving triple-A ratings to bad loans), are, working on the premise that the banks genuinely have no idea what’s going on, set out to profit from what will, ultimately, prove the collapse of the economy and disaster for investors and the man in the street alike. There are no heroes here, just winners and losers.
With a cast that also features small but effective turns by Marisa Tomei, Rafe Spall and Karen Gillan, McKay rattles the film along, playing it almost like a heist thriller and marrying sharp humour and biting indignation to hugely entertaining and illuminating effect, consistently underlining the sheer brazen audacity of those culpable (there’s a terrific moment when, asking his team why two young traders are cheerfully admitting to taking commissions on loans they know will never be paid back, Braun’s told “They’re not confessing. They’re bragging.”), such as the smug CDO manager only to happy to smilingly confirm all of Braun’s worst fears of the system’s corruption. And, as the end pointedly makes clear, got away with it too. Stunning and scary.
(Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Star City)
The 5th Wave (15)
Not shown to critics, based on Rick Yancey’s sci-fi trilogy, this clearly looks to kickstart a new franchise to fill the gap left by Hunger Games and the soon to complete Divergent and Maze Runner series. Kick-Ass’s Chloe Grace Moretz heads the (save for B-listers Liev Schreiber and Maria Bello as a couple of dodgy military types) otherwise no name cast as Ohio teen Cassie whose life is turned upside down when Earth is hit by an alien invasion that seems to be taking a leaf out of the book of Moses by coming in five waves, the first three being an electromagnetic wipe out, a tsunami and a plague.
The fourth wave are aliens who can take over human brains and start polishing off all survivors, save for children. Cue Cassie’s little brother being taken away from their refugee camp by the army to be trained as a child soldier and she setting out to run the gauntlet of ‘the others’, flying drones and whatever, to get him back, hooking up with an M-16 and hunky Ben (and, in yet another Hunger echo, being torn between him and high school crush Evan, who may have a secret of his own) and turning into a battle-hardened warrior along the way to a showdown climax revealing what the army have been up to.
(Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Our Brand Is Crisis (15)
In 2014 Sandra Bullock was nominated for an Oscar for Gravity, a year later her next screen appearance (discounting her voice work in Minions) tanked ignominiously at the US box office. Which accounts for why it’s now getting a no-profile release here on just a handful of screens before being swept under the carpet for DVD. It’s flawed, but it deserves better.
Directed by David Gordon Green, it’s a campaign trail political satire and while not in the same league as The Ides of March (in which producer George Clooney – and for whom this was originally intended – starred), it does do a good job of skewering the cynicism and dirty tricks of political strategists while raising some laughs in the process.
Bullock is ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine, a neurotic political strategist with a flair for getting no hopers elected, who’s recovering from a breakdown when two campaign consultants (Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd) turn up at her isolated cabin with an offer they hope she can’t refuse. To get Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida), who’s way behind in the polls, elected as president of Bolivia, a position he held until his policies saw him forced out of office.
Arriving in Bolivia, suffering from altitude sickness, she dismissively reckons there’s nothing to work with and, making no attempt to learn Spanish, barely involves herself in the disastrous attempts to boost Castillo’s ratings. Until, arch rival, that is, she discovers Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), her manipulative, snake-oil peddling arch rival who’s beaten her in every campaign in which they’ve competed, is looking after man of the people poll leader Rivera.
What ensues is less a fight to get their respective candidates elected and more a Machiavellian battle to see who can pull the dirtiest tricks to discredit their rival’s man while appearing to hold the moral high ground. Spouting quotes by everyone from Sun Tzo to Warren Beatty (a trait that pays subsequently off with a brilliant coup), Bodine transforms from a dispirited burn out to a ferociously ruthless and intimidatingly aggressive combatant in the campaign arena for whom nothing cannot be contemplated in the determination to win. She’s like Malcolm Tucker with less scruples.
Based on Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name (which explored the real attempts by America to influence the 2002 Bolivian elections), it suffers from a narrative that’s essentially just a series of attempts by Bodine and Candy to get the better of the other, a backstory about a candidate’s daughter committing suicide after a planted drugs rumour (and who actually planted it) apparently fuelling the acrimony. But, while there’s some sly pleasure to be had in the sparring, the lack of any character dimension to Candy means there’s never any real grounding for their relationship. Likewise, nobody on Bodine’s team (and that includes the local youth who idolises their candidate) exists as more than a cipher or plot device and the ambiguity about Castillo’s intentions and ethical position, although necessary for the pay-off, never fully plays off against Bodine’s any means necessary approach.
Nevertheless, Bullock is terrific, her comic timing of Swiss precision while her quirky tics give extra dimension to the character, showing a neurotic vulnerability while still being an imposingly commanding presence. The film’s good, but it’s just not worthy of the performance she gives.
(Cineworld NEC; Showcase Walsall; Vue Star City)
Ride Along 2 (12A)
Dispiritingly, this spot-the-difference sequel to the 2014 black buddy cops comedy has overwhelmed The Revenant and displaced Star Wars at the top of the US box office, and seems like to do the same here (apparently Odeon Broadway Plaza holds the UK record for most admissions to the original), proving, once again, you should never underestimate the power of low brow.
Set a year on, screw-up security guard Ben (the irksome Kevin Hart) is due to wed Angela, sister of top cop Ben (Ice Cube), but, for reasons only desperate scriptwriting can explain (and so as to have lots of women in skimpy clothes), he first gets to accompany his future brother-in-law to Miami where he’s following up on a drug ring case. Here, they’re quickly left in no doubt that local homicide cop Maya (Olivia Munn) owns this turf and also get involved with AJ (Ken Jeong doing his usual comic relief shtick), a local hacker who has evidence implicating sleazy businessman Pope (Benjamin Bratt) as South Florida’s drugs kingpin.
As well as reworking the template of the original (complete with Hart’s obligatory shouting, face-pulling and physical slapstick), it also recycles pretty much every other cop/buddy comedy set up too, including having Hart pretend he’s royalty and Cube his underling and being attacked outside a building (by a croc) while his buddy chats away obliviously by the window. It’s karaoke filmmaking at his screechiest.
(Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Star Men (PG)
Documentary following four elderly British astronomers as they celebrate 50 years of work and friendship by taking a road trip across the southwestern United States, reliving the adventures of their youth in the 60s and reminiscing about each other’s influence on astronomy and how what they did affected their sense of religious faith, their understanding of the purpose of life, and what is knowable and unknowable. (Mon 25-Thu 28, MAC)
Bridge Of Spies (12A) Tom Hanks serves up another decent family man doing the right thing turn in the true Cold War story of how insurance lawyer James Donovan was hired to defend Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Oscar favourite Mark Rylance) and then recruited by the CIA and sent to east Berlin to broker an exchange with the Soviets for captured spy plane pilot Gary Powers. Part written by the Coens and directed by Spielberg, there’s a terrific sense of period and the scenes between Hanks and Rylance are electrifying. (Until Tue 5: MAC)
Although its star (Michael B Jordan) and director (Ryan Coogler) have been snubbed by the Oscars, Sylvester Stallone seems a sure thing for Best Supporting Actor, reprising his role as Rocky Balboa. This time round, he’s on the other side of the ropes when he’s persuaded to come out of retirement and train Adonis Johnson (Jordan), the illegitimate son of his late opponent and friend, Apollo Creed, as he seeks to make his name in boxing without trading on his father’s reputation.
Plotwise, it follows a predictable path, playing a familiar surrogate father/son riff as it casts an eye over themes of legacy and black youths/absent fathers, throwing in a health scare along the way to cement the bonding process.
However, aided by strong performances, Coogler mostly avoids manipulative sentimentality as the film makes its way to the inevitable big fight, here staged at Liverpool’s Goodison Park as, pressured to box under his father’s name, Creed takes on the defending British lightweight champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew). Solid stuff that fully deserves to wear a champion’s belt. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Daddy’s Home (12A) As expected, the pairing of Will Ferrell as insecure but steady nice guy stepdad Brad competing with Mark Wahlberg as the kids’ unreliable Alpha male biological father, Dusty, suddenly back in their lives after several years absence, is a bland sub-sitcom as the latter seeks to undermine and embarrass the former at every opportunity, Brad becoming ever more erratic in his attempts to measure up. Inbetween predictable knockabout slapstick there’s the equally predictable genitals size comparisons gags and assorted other obligatory raunchy banter (mostly from Thomas Haden Church as Brad’s boss) as well as tired racist misunderstanding set-ups. Avoid. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Danish Girl (15) Having already won an Oscar playing someone physically trapped inside their own body, Eddie Redmayne is sure to be Oscar nominated for doing it again in director Tom Hooper’s classically styled factional story of Lili Elbe, an early receipent of sex reassignment surgery.
A successful Danish landscape artist, Einar Wegener (Redmayne) is married to less successful portraitist Gerda (Alicia Vikander, another Oscar nod); however, when she asks him to stand in for a sitting by prima ballerina Ulla (Amber Heard), Einar’s contact with the stockings and dress unlocks something buried inside. Initially, his new cross-dressing predilections serve to spice up their sex life, but when first Gerda proposes he attend a reception dressed as Lili, Einar’s supposed cousin, and ‘she’ is propositioned, and then Gerda’s portraits of Lili become all the rage, so his female alter-ego assumes dominance. Seeing himself as a woman trapped in a man’s body, supported by Gerda and childhood friend art dealer Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), Lili seeks to make the ultimate transformation. Elegant, tasteful and understated, it eschews some of the actual facts and events, but, driven by outstanding performances, it’s an utterly mesmerizing work. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Electric; Empire Great Park; MAC; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Good Dinosaur (PG) Set in a sort of vague Prehistoric Wild West, Pixar’s latest animation skews young and low on plot in a variation of the boy and his dog chestnut, the difference being that the boy is a dinosaur trying to find his way home and the dog is the feral young human with whom he forges a bond. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Grandma (15) The latest from writer-director Paul Weitz features Julia Garner as Sage, a teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy, who turns for help to her acerbic, spiky grandmother (Golden Globe nominee Lily Tomlin), a free spirit lesbian poet woman with a secret soft heart, but who also happens to be long estranged from Sage’s fiery high-flier mother (Marcia Gay Harden). A simply story with a complex heart. (Fri 22-Tue 26: MAC)
The Hateful Eight (18) Channelling Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns via Agatha Christie’s country house murder thrillers, Tarantino’s eighth feature is every bit as graphically visceral, cooly smart and brutally amoral as you’d expect. Snowbound in a Wyoming trading post, you’ve got bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell), his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), fellow bounty hunter Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), hangman Oswaldo Mowbray (Tim Roth), taciturn cowpoke Joe Cage (Michael Madsen), former Confederate General Smithers (Bruce Dern), Tom (Demian Bichir), the mexican who claims to be looking after the place while the ownesr are away, and former Confederate marauder Chris Mannix (Warren Goggins), the new sheriff of Red Rock, where Daisy’s to be hung and the hunters will get their bounty. Not unreasonably, given the $10000 reward, Roth’s wary that someone may want to take his prisoner. He’s right, but not for the reasons he thinks. And, among the enforced company of strangers, who might not be who or what they claim?
It’s some 100 minutes before the first bullets fly, but then the blood quickly flows as the body count rises and truth purposes are revealed, the last act delivering reveal flashbacks to earlier that day.
Laced with social commentary on America’s racial and political divides, the dialogue crackles with barns and gallows humour, the cast chewing eagerly on the meat it offers. Jackson, Russell and Goggins are terrific, but it’s arguably Jason Leigh who steals the show as the magnificently unpleasant Daisy, strangely unperturbed by her approaching fate. (Electric; Empire Great Park; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (12A) The conclusion to the saga as, part of a propaganda mission, alongside Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), whose conditioning to hate her has still not been fully overcome, Katniss goes against increasingly manipulative District 13 leader Coin’s orders and determines to penetrate the Capitol and assassinate Snow. Intense, dark and with a high major character body count, this bows out in powerful style. (Odeon Broadway Plaza)
In The Heart of the Sea (12A) In 1819, under the captaincy of novice George Pollard Jr (Benjamin Walker) and experienced first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), the whaling ship The Essex set sail from Nantucket harbour in search of whale oil. Finding the usual area fished out, they headed into the South Pacific where, in November 1820, the ship was attacked and sunk by a giant white sperm whale, the survivors not finding rescue for a further three months at sea in the small row boats, resorting to cannibalism to stay alive.
Their story provided the basis for Herman Melville’s great American novel Moby-Dick and, framed by the last living survivor (Brendan Gleeson) unburdening his soul to Melville (Ben Wishaw), is retold here by Ron Howard, focusing on the clash between Pollard and Chase and the subsequent struggle to survive, stalked (though this never actually happened) by their aquatic nemesis. The onboard scenes are effective, especially as the ship is destroyed, and the performances are perfectly fine, but there’s very little tension, the dialogue creaks and some of the CGI is decidedly subpar. When Melville published Moby Dick it was savaged by the critics. Today it’s regarded as the great American novel. Howard’s resolutely underwhelming film is unlikely to enjoy a similar reappraisal. (Cineworld NEC)
Joy (12A) Her third film for director-writer David O’Russell, casts Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a divorced New York mother of three who, sharing house with her ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez) and divorced dysfunctional parents (Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen), has long since lost sight of the potential she once showed. That is until, cleaning up a broken class on the yacht of her dad’s widowed new Italian girlfriend, Trudy (Isabella Huppert), she comes up with the idea of a self-wringing mop. Persuading Trudy to invest, she eventually manages to get a shot on QVC, a new cable TV shopping channel run by Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) and, after an initial hiccup, her mop becomes a runaway success.
However, the involvement of dodgy business partners, threatens to turn triumph into bankruptcy disaster until Joy finally takes matters into her own hands. A true American Dream fairy tale with a few bumps in the road along the way, narrated by Joy’s supportive grandmother (Diane Ladd), it’s uneven and at times eccentric, Lawrence delivering a straight and often intense dramatic performance that won her a Golden Globe Best Actress award while those around her are more caricatured, but, as inspirational against the odds entrepreneurial stories go this is like The Apprentice with brass knobs on. (Cineworld NEC, Solihull; Odeon Broadway Plaza; Vue Star City)
The Revenant (15)
It looks like a close fight between this, Spotlight and Mad Max for the Film/Director Oscars, but Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get to walk away with a golden man for his portrayal of Hugh Glass, a real life frontiersman and trapper who, in 1823, attacked by a bear and left for dead by those supposed to ensure him a proper burial, over the course of six weeks, crawled and rafted the 200 miles back to Fort Kiowa in South Dakota before setting back out to seek revenge on the two who had abandoned him. Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, this embellishes the true story by giving Glass a half-Pawnee son who is then murdered in front of his eyes by the brutal Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), thereby driving his determination to survive and gain vengeance. From the brutal ferocity of the opening attack by a tribe of Native Americans to the grizzly attack and painful slow slow across forbidding frozen terrain and Glass taking shelter in the carcass of a dead horse, it’s a relentlessly harrowing, bleak story that was clearly just as tough to film.
Diversions into hallucinatory flashbacks and present delirium underscore the film’s existential spiritual drama while the stunning photography reinforces the man vs. nature themes, but at a punishing and oftimes extremely graphic 156 minutes you’ll need every bit the same fortitude as Glass. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Electric; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
With several of the other major trophies already under her belt, Brie Larson seems a safe bet for Best Actress in Emma Donoghue’s adaptation of her own bestseller. Helmed by Britain’s Lenny Abrahamson (himself among the director nominations) it also features an astonishing performance from Jacob Tremblay as Jack, the six-year-old son of Larson’s Joy who has never experienced the world or life outside of the 10×10 garden shed in which his mother had been kept captive since she was abducted as a teenager. Eventually, Joy enlists her son to pull off a daring escape, freeing them both from the claustrophobic prison, as the drama shifts it focus to how Jack adapts to a world he’s never known other than through his mother’s stories and interference-riddled TV programmes, while Joy endures a post-traumatic breakdown trying to cope with her regained freedom and feelings of guilt over her son.
There’s some obvious plot holes and the emotional charge isn’t as strong in the second act, but, fuelled by its terrific central performances (a a small but potent cameo by William H. Macy as Joy’s father), this powerful psychological drama will stay with you. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC; Solihull; Empire Great Park; Everyman; Showcase Walsall)
Sisters (15) Discovering their folks have sold the family Florida home and are moving into a retirement condo, middle-aged siblings, Kate (Tina Fey) and Maura (Amy Poehler) decide to throw one final house party. Except this time, terminally sensible Maura wants to let her hair down and for party animal Kate to stay sober as the “designated mom”.
Add to the mix that, embarrassed by mom’s irresponsibility, Kate’s teenage daughter has been secretly staying with her aunt, but has come to Florida under the impression her mom’s got a job and they’ll both be moving in with her grandparents. This is basically all a preamble to the party itself where, with their old unfulfilled classmates, nice guy neighbour James (Ike Barinholtz) and Kate’s school nemesis Brinda (Maya Rudolph) indulging in booze and drugs, everything descends into predictable house trashing chaos before more lessons about growing up, facing responsibilities and being who you are not who you think you were are duly trotted out. Not consistently funny, but the central deadpan performances are a treat. (Vue Star City)
Snoopy and Charlie Brown : The Peanuts Movie (U) Animation studios Blue Sky affectionately and faithfully revive Charles M. Schulz’s classic characters, following the comic strip formula of running parallel, thematically linked, stories about both Charlie and his pet beagle, Snoopy. Thus, the former shyly tries to get new neighbourhood arrival Little Red-Haired Girl to see him for who he really is, not the loser his friends all regard him as while Snoopy sets about writing a book about himself as a famous World War I fighter pilot battling legendary German flying ace, The Red Baron.
Schulz’s cartoons generally saw the world as one of constant disappointment, the message here is more upbeat, about striving to be the best you can, even if you don’t succeed. Firmly skewed young, its gentle melancholia and ultimate upbeat ending should strike a chord with kids who feel themselves sidelined among their friends but it isn’t going to give the Minions any sleepless box office nights. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Spectre (12A) Overlong perhaps and lacking the emotional gut punch of Skyfall (and without a single BAFTA nomination), but, peppered with allusions to many previous Bond movies, this is still suitably dark and dynamic as Daniel Craig goes maverick in search of the mastermind behind all his torments and funds it closer to home than he’d imagined. Good to see Ralph Fiennes making solid and complex fist of the new M too. (Cineworld NEC; Showcase Walsall; Vue Star City)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D (12A) With George Lucas taking a backseat, director JJ Abrams and co-writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt dispel sour memories of Episodes I-III with a triumphant resurrection that may tread familiar narrative ground, but does so with a fresh heart. Set some 30 years on from the destruction of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing and the dark forces have regrouped as the First Order, its stormtroopers led by the mysterious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who possesses both the Force and a red light sabre. Built around the search for a map revealing Skywalker’s location, the film’s basically a lengthy chase between Ren and his forces and scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and renegade stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) who have come into possession of BB8, a droid belonging to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a fighter pilot for the Resistance now headed by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), that contains the vital key. Their eventually joined by returning legends Han Solo (a soulful Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as the plot turns into a race against the clock to stop the First Order launching planet-destroying weapon as the force also proves strong in another of the new characters. Rattling along from explosive opening to nail-biting climax by way of a stunning shock revelation and death, the force is strong with this one. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Steamboat Bill (U) One of the classics of silent cinema. Buster Keaton performs some of his most famous stunts in this story of rivalry between two paddle boat owners, Steamboat Bill Jr (Keaton), who steps up to the mark when his father lands in jail, and local fat cat J. J. King and his floating palace. (Sun 24, Electric)
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