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    Sunday, May 26, 2024

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans


    Storm Watch

    C.J. Box

    This consistently clever, thoughtful mystery series starring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett has been even more interesting as recent books reflect real-time developments in the Trump era. Wyoming, after all, is a decidedly red state where many citizens tend towards libertarian ideals. Box, whose own political views can only be inferred, intriguingly explores these ongoing concerns and trends. In the previous book, “Shadows Reel,” violent antifa activism played a central part. In “Storm Watch,” out Tuesday, one of the many sublime and interlocking plots concerns rogue FBI agents orchestrating and organizing violent far right groups as a trap to blow back on conservatives (as per many rumors about Jan. 6?). Is it possible Pickett and his best pal, free-thinking falconer and retired special forces soldier Nate Romanowski, could find their friendship ripped apart in a secessionist movement? Throw in a crypto currency thread and the governor’s attempt to manipulate Pickett and — whatever your political views are — you’ve got another perfectly calibrated thriller.

    — Rick Koster


    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    The title doesn’t lie. This film has it all — cartoonish action, familial angst, grand philosophy, broad comedy. Oh, and characters who zip and zap through the multiverse. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Schienert, “Everything Everywhere” is wild and wacky — but too long, at almost two hours and 20 minutes. The set-up finds a Chinese-American couple, who run a laundromat, facing a crumbling marriage and an IRS investigation. Then husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) gives his wife Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) some sci-fi speech and, with the help of a Bluetooth, sends her into another dimension. Once the story enters the multiverse, it becomes a lot of flash and fury, but not so much narrative propulsion or logic. The sublime Yeoh brings such heart to her performance (or performances, as her character is a movie star in one universe, a singer in another, and so on) that she makes “Everything” resonate in a way it otherwise wouldn’t.

    — Kristina Dorsey


    Advice for Future Generations

    Bertrand Russell

    Sixty-four years ago – when he was 88 – the British philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell was asked during a television interview to provide wisdom for the generations to follow. In a two-minute clip, Russell, with gentle and thoughtful erudition, offers what seem to be obvious and sound recommendations. Yet his eloquence and sincerity is humbling, and his precise wording seems eerily crafted for our times. Search YouTube for “Bertrand Russell / advice for future generations” and you’ll find it. Then try to imagine how Lauren Boebert or Donald Jr. would respond to the exact same question.

    — Rick Koster

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