Posted in: Review

The Break-In

Everyone knows about big Hollywood releases like Batman v Superman  and Zootopia. And many people are aware that the independent scene provides lower-budget, buzz-worthy titles like Everybody Wants Some!! and My Name is Doris, to cite two recent examples. What many folks do not know, however, is that there exists a thriving “micro-budget” filmmaking scene. The low cost/high utility nature of modern […]

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A Country Called Home

A troubled, directionless young person is forced by tragedy to return to their hometown (or some other remote location), where quirky relatives and new acquaintances unknowingly help them sort out their personal problems. What movie is this? If you’re a fan of independent cinema, you probably had at least a dozen titles flood your head […]

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Forsaken

Westerns were once a dime a dozen, but they’ve become less common in recent years. One reason for this is surely the fact that there are only so many ways to combine the genre’s core elements: dusty towns, saloons, shootouts, whores, and so on. Finding a new angle with which to approach these things isn’t easy anymore. […]

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Krampus

In folklore, the Krampus is kind of an anti-Santa Claus – a horned, hoofed creature that comes around every yuletide season to punish the children who have behaved poorly. Nothing like getting your kids to comply by telling them a demonic-looking beast will show up to terrorize them on Christmas Eve, huh? At the same […]

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Youth

Youth has something to say, but that something is pretty obvious, and so the film dresses it up in a lot of self-satisfied artiness. The approach is akin to hearing someone say the alphabet backwards: impressive if you don’t think about it too much, rather pointless if you do. Michael Caine plays Fred Ballinger, a retired […]

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The Danish Girl

Roger Ebert once said that movies are like a machine that generates empathy. What he meant was that good films help us understand people who are different from us by emphasizing what we have in common: emotions, dreams, desires, and so forth. Movies like Sean Baker’s Tangerine and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl currently serve an important purpose […]

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A Snowball’s Chance: Awards Season’s Least Likely Contenders

Awards season is once again in full swing. With numerous film critics’ groups and industry guilds preparing to unveil their annual awards — all leading to the ever-important Oscars — studios now have their PR departments working overtime to secure as many nominations as possible, from as many voting bodies as possible. This is done […]

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It’s Not “Game Over” For Videogame Movies

Here’s a list of every great movie based on a videogame: Short list, huh? It’s not news that movies based on videogames are terrible. We all know that they run the gamut from “Well, I guess that didn’t completely suck” (Tomb Raider, Silent Hill), to abysmal (Need For Speed, the current Hitman: Agent 47), to downright unwatchable (Wing […]

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Evil and Needs to Die

Marvel Studios has, for the past several years, been carrying out one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted in cinema. Under the direction of studio president Kevin Feige, they have been attempting to replicate the interconnectedness of their comics via the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” or MCU. The original idea was simple, yet brilliant: produce a slew of superhero movies that […]

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The Rewrite

The Rewrite marks the fourth collaboration between writer/director Marc Lawrence and star Hugh Grant. Okay, so they aren’t exactly Scorsese and De Niro. They’ve never delivered a Taxi Driver or a Raging Bull. The Grant/Lawrence productions have run a relatively small gamut, from “reasonably pleasant” (Music & Lyrics) to “slightly more appealing than actual physical […]

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Are We Still Friends On Monday? – The Breakfast Club Turns 30

On February 15, 1985, a landmark film was released in theaters. No one had any clue of the impact it would have. It was, after all, “just” a teen comedy. Within a short period of time, though, The Breakfast Club would become the teen comedy. It would turn writer/director John Hughes into a household name, and […]

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Black or White

Mike Binder is a filmmaker interested in telling stories about identifiable people dealing with identifiable problems. In films such as The Upside of Anger, Indian Summer, and Reign Over Me, he has displayed an empathetic desire to understand humans at their weakest moments, to see what makes them tick and what allows them to keep going. In an age where […]

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Frank

Frank is a movie so bizarre and strange that it’s practically a miracle it got made at all. Aside from its eccentric subject matter, the film keeps the face of its most recognizable and bankable star obscured for the majority of its running time. One can only wonder about the reasons why anyone ponied up the […]