Posted in: Review

Scream (2022)

Ever since Scream 2 opened with the premiere of the movie-within-the-movie Stab, based on the events of the previous installment, the horror franchise has been built around references to itself. The original Scream, released in 1996, is a clever deconstruction of slasher-movie conventions that’s also a masterfully effective slasher movie on its own, thanks to the […]

Posted in: Review

Courageous Warriors: Beauty From the Ashes

The bad news came quickly. It was breast cancer. It was Stage 4.  And, the doctors told her, she was not a candidate for radiation, or chemotherapy. So what can you do, the woman asked. “They told me they could keep me ‘comfortable,’” she remembers. That patient survived breast cancer, though, as did all the […]

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Killing the Shepherd

If you want to save a species from extinction, kill it. That’s the counterintuitive, but intriguing, idea behind the documentary Killing the Shepherd. Set in an impoverished section of Africa, it first lays out two real-life, and truly disastrous scenarios about our vanishing wildlife. In the first, there are no rules or regulations on big-game […]

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Inheritance, Italian Style

The Parlazzis would like to invite you to a big family dinner. Hope you like resentment. It’s the main course – and getting served up with sides of greed, anger, lust and depression. That’s the set up to the comic melodrama Inheritance, Italian Style which reunites a big, squabbling clan of Sicilians to divvy up […]

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American Insurrection

When fascism was on the rise in ’30s Europe, Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel about a dystopian, dictatorial America, sarcastically titled It Can’t Happen Here. In American Insurrection, it already has. That title, a new one, is misleading, although commercial. (The movie was originally called The Volunteers.)  Before the film even begins, an election has […]

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Spider-Man: No Way Home

Several years ago, when it was announced that Spider-Man would be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ever-expanding franchise of superheroes, it was the third time in recent memory that a new live-action version of the wall-crawler was bound for the big screen. Given the circumstances, fans could be forgiven for feeling some Spidey fatigue. […]

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Vietnam: Fast Forward

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Vietnam? The Vietnamese themselves know what it is. “War.” And around the world, especially in the West, the dominant images people have of Vietnam are of bombing raids, smoldering villages and, perhaps, helicopters departing an evacuated U.S. Embassy. The documentary Vietnam: Fast Forward, […]

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The Hand of God

While lying awake one night in the bedroom they share, Fabietto faces a question from older brother, Marchino: Would he rather have sex with their gorgeous, flirtatious Aunt Patrizia or have soccer legend Diego Maradona play for their hometown team. Ah, a conundrum made for a teenager. What else would a young man in 1980s […]

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Outlier

“I’m only doing this for your own good.” Most of us first hear, and learn to distrust, those words as children. This is for my own good? Eating liver, sitting through Sunday school, going to this crummy sleepaway camp? No thanks. The line can be infuriating coming from a parent. It’s terrifying coming from a […]

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Lotawana

Forrest has gone adrift – literally. Unsure of where he’s heading in life, he’s decided to head nowhere. Retreating to a small sailboat on a big Missouri lake, he meanders, living off his small savings and whatever catfish he can catch. And then he meets a pretty young woman, Everly. And things take a new, […]

Posted in: Review

Implanted

Imagine that little voice from Google Maps lives inside your head. Except, instead of telling you when to turn left, it tells you everything. Go to sleep, Wake up. Eat lunch. Kill that man. Wait, what? That’s the idea behind Implanted, a smart movie from director Fabien Dufils that deftly mixes plausible science-fiction with Bourne […]

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Eternals

Marvel Studios has a habit of handing the reins for its latest comic-book franchises to accomplished filmmakers whose previous work is mostly in indie film or TV. From James Gunn with Guardians of the Galaxy to Joss Whedon with The Avengers to Joe and Anthony Russo with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this approach has […]