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    Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans


    The Banshees of Inisherin

    It’s been too long since Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson shared the screen. They made for an unforgettable duo in the classic “In Bruges,” and now they reunite with each other under the leadership of writer-director Martin McDonagh, who also helmed “In Bruges.” This is a dark and often darkly funny tale of a friendship fractured. The tale is set on an isolated Irish island in 1923, against the distant backdrop of the Irish Civil War of the early 1920s. The kind but rather dull Padraic (Farrell) is stunned when his friend (Gleeson) cuts off their relationship. All of a sudden, and with no explanation, Colm doesn’t even want Padraic to speak to him. Things devolve from there, in sometimes bloody ways. Farrell has rarely been better than here, as Padraic tries to understand what he has done wrong. Gleeson glowers and quietly fumes, eventually unveiling what is driving Colm. The supporting actors, particularly Kerry Condon as Padraic’s sister and Barry Keoghan as the simpleton son of the village’s policeman, are superb. Heck, even the animal actors are good.

    — Kristina Dorsey


    The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson

    By Jeff Pearlman

    I’ve been a fan of Pearlman since his infamous Sports Illustrated profile of former Braves pitcher John Rocker. He has since become a prolific biographer, writing incredibly detailed and researched books on Walter Payton, the 1986 Mets, the Showtime-era Lakers and more. As a sports-crazed kid growing up in the 1980s and early 90s, Bo Jackson’s rise to prominence was right in my wheelhouse. It was the pre-Internet era, so many of Jackson’s feats and accomplishments went around a lot slower via traditional media and word of mouth rather than like wildfire on TikTok and Twitter. He may very well have been the greatest natural athlete ever, and his iconic Bo Knows Nike ads will live on forever, but, in retrospect, Jackson’s professional baseball career lasted only eight years, and his days in the NFL half that. He was more shooting star than Hall of Famer. Here, Pearlman does a good job separating fact from fiction and everything in between, revealing one of the truly unique athletes in American history.

    — Owen Poole


    The Furies

    John Connolly

    There are those fans for whom Connolly’s Charlie Parker PI books appear too infrequently. I’m none of them. Delight, then, in this volume, which contains TWO short Parker novels. No one writes like Connolly. Parker’s first-person voice is almost Dickensian in its flowing eloquence, and his extremely wry, dark humor is a terrific counterpoint. The characters are always marvelously drawn and the plots a complex brew of the felonious with a sharp twist of the supernatural. Both novels are brilliant — as always.

    — Rick Koster

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