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There are times when the comfort of predictability, a cocoon of complacency is the perfect anecdote in a season of massive doses of mayhem, morbidity, dismemberment and destruction.

“Promised Land” is the fare, pabulum, alleviating the the gloom of “Les Miz,” “Django Unchained”; a dose of “fracking” (a combination of water, sand and chemicals, hydraulically drilled into the ground to release natural gas) leads to a mildly entertaining film about the explosion of modern technology and its harmful/healing effects on a small farming community, slowly suffocating from financial duress.  

“Steve Butler” (Matt Damon) an executive with a monolithic gas company and his partner “Sue”(a tired Frances McDormand)  have a wham/bam approach to closing the deal with needy, destitute farmers; it has become so easy that they are bamboozled when this tiny town in Western Pennsylvania questions the validity of “fracking”. Enter, “Dustin Nobel”  a grass roots environmentalist, played charmingly, succinctly, devastatingly by John Krasinski; his sincerity, levity and humor deliciously redeem the mediocrity of the script.

Rosemarie DeWitt “Alice” , an untraditional beauty, a teacher,  has opted for the idyllic life of “farm county” versus the cacophony of an urban metropolis. Her magnetic aura is a dynamic draw for any male, within glancing proximity.

“Promised Land” delivers its message without blatant, bludgeoning propaganda; both sides vie for success, legitimacy; gray, not black or white, dominate each equation; ultimately “to frack or not to frack.”

It is sweetly satisfying forecasting the conclusion; “Promised Land” gifts the viewer wholesome folks, devoid of pretense; illusions rooted in reality; they want to educate their children, fix their tractors; enjoy the local pub on Friday evenings. For many, this is as good as it gets.


For Now………….Peneflix

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  1. Thanks for the definition of “fracking”, Penelope. Not sure I will take the time to see the movie though since you have not made me feel that I need to know anything more about it! HAPPY NEW YEAR and keep on getting to the movies. (You remind me of that old radio show-“Mr. First Nighter”!)

  2. Viewers Respond to Promised Land —Five movie goers comment on the film “Promised Land” on the first night of its expanded release. The movie has elicited a lot of commentary by both activists and industry people in advance of its release, based on prior expectations. So what do folks thinks of the movie once they finally see it? Video URL: (5:10)

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