Dench shines in an uneven ‘Victoria and Abdul’

“Victoria and Abdul” – In 1887, Abdul Karim’s (Ali Fazal) life dramatically changed.  A British officer selects him to present a coin to Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) at Buckingham Palace.  Along with another local from Agra, India – Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) – Abdul sets sail for England for a ceremonial event, which seems like an awfully long journey for just a three-minute role during a royal dinner, but when in Rome….err, London. While on the palace grounds, a few officials specifically instruct the two newcomers to avoid looking into the…

‘Whisky Galore!’ does not have enough comic spirit

“Whisky Galore!” – World War II impacted hundreds of millions of people.  Sure, most did not fight on the front lines, but the war affected those at home.  Men, women and children were sick with worry about their loved ones milling in foreign lands, and federal governments demanded that food, clothing, metals, gasoline, and more be rationed.  On the island of Todday, 100 miles from Great Britain’s mainland, its residents are not immune to the aforementioned sacrifices, and in director Gillies MacKinnon’s new picture, he focuses on one specific commodity,…