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‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’s’ fascist themes are everywhere this fall

Back in November 2016, before the premiere of the first installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” spin-off series, J.K. Rowling told press that the story had been influenced by rising populism around the world. Her debut screenplay focused on happy-go-lucky “magizoologist” Newt Scamander scurrying around New York in pursuit or errant …

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‘The Clinton Affair,’ ‘Enemies’ probe past, with eye on present

The very busy Alex Gibney has two documentary series premiering Sunday night, and in a way, they’re complementary: “The Clinton Affair” looks at events leading to President Clinton’s impeachment — featuring an extensive interview with Monica Lewinsky — while “Enemies: The President, Justice & the FBI” explores a history of …

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‘Green Book’ cruises on star power of Mortensen, Ali

“Green Book” can’t avoid “Driving Miss Daisy” comparisons, and probably doesn’t want to, as the film — amid unease about political polarization and racial division — conspicuously strives to be uplifting and bridge building. To the extent it achieves those objectives credit Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, whose performances bring …

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‘Little Drummer Girl,’ ‘Escape at Dannemora’ join miniseries’ new golden age

The miniseries is in full flower right now, offering major stars willing to commit to six or seven episodes but not open-ended runs. Enter two such projects, both dealing, as it happens, in sexual manipulation: “Escape at Dannemora” — a stranger-than-fiction prison escape story, airing on Showtime — and AMC’s …

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ plunges deeper into pre-Harry Potter world

More workmanlike than magical, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” nevertheless feels like an upgrade from its predecessor, one that adds star power, introduces key characters and lays the foundation for a genuine “Wizarding World” franchise. To call J.K. Rowling’s mythology-heavy plot dense would be an understatement, but the film …

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