• OVERNIGHT_web_2

    Review: The Overnight

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    Jason Schwartzman, fresh off a relentlessly acerbic performance as a misanthrope writer in Listen Up Philip goes intense again in The Overnight. Similarly, it’s not his fault this film about would-be swingers comes up limp. Schwartzman goes into overdrive with a gushing likability this time that is practically the flip side of his rotten-egg personality […]

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    Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    Friday, June 19, 2015

    In a recurring animated sequence in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a moose suddenly appears and instantly tramples a small unidentified mammal. Symbolic of the school knockout’s treatment of the film’s lead character Greg (Thomas Mann), the sequence sets the tone for this quirky, steadfastly unsentimental film about important stuff. It also reveals […]

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  • Jurassic World

    Review: Jurassic World

    Friday, June 12, 2015

    Director Colin Trevorrow, fresh off the delightful, small-budget ($750,000) Safety Not Guaranteed, steps up to the $150,000 million Jurassic World. To quote some street jargon, Trevorrow’s not playing. The first flat-out summer blockbuster, Trevorrow’s film knows when to go hard and when to tread lightly. In the spirit of executive producer Steven Spielberg, Trevorrow’s screenplay […]

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  • survivor-host-jeff-probst

    Could Netflix be the Right Spot for a Reality Renaissance?

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    I am a sucker for reality shows, especially competitive ones. There’s something about watching a group of people compete with the consistent threat of elimination that is captivating. One competitive reality show that I watch is Survivor; a show that has become emblematic of mega successful reality Juggernauts that dominated ratings in the early aughts. […]

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  • spy-1

    Review: Spy

    Sunday, June 7, 2015

    The low point of last year’s lousy Melissa McCarthy vehicle, Tammy, was when the film completely changed from shrill, unfunny comedy to banal bathos in one ludicrous scene. McCarthy mooing with co-star Mark Duplass looking down at Niagara Falls was enough to make you ill. It’s even worse than the scene where McCarthy holds up […]

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Oct
21

PFF23 Review – The Overnighters

A third act revelation either enhances or compromises the unique documentary The Overnighters–see it and decide. Pastor Jay Reinke opens his church and even his own home, to eventually thousands of migrant job-seekers, including some with criminal records, in the oil-boom North Dakota town of Williston. Reinke’s the kind of guy who would give you […]

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Oct
21

PFF23 Review: Breathe

Lou de Laage excels as Sarah, the new kid in town in Breathe, the impressive, confident first feature directed by French actress Melanie Laurent (Inglorous Basterds, Beginners, Enemy). The story of an opposites-attract teenage friendship between Sarah and Charlie (Josephine Japy) that gradually turns abusive never feels fake. As secrets about Sarah are gradually revealed, […]

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Oct
17

Review: Fury

Imagine the chilling opening beach scene from Saving Private Ryan–only for an entire film. It’s no wonder since director David Ayer (the vastly underrated LAPD flick, End of Watch) is at the helm. No brutality, however gory and explicit, is spared. No doubt there will be cries of “war porn” with Fury but they would […]

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Oct
17

Review: The Best of Me is Bested by Most Other Romantic Films

The Best of Me opens on a peaceful image of water overlooking a huge oil rig and set against an orange sky. This peaceful imagery is reminiscent of the sort of epic beauty made familiar by previous and more prominent romantic films (i.e. The Notebook). Dawson Cole ( James Marsden), our hero, works on repairing […]

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Oct
10

Men, Women & Children is not the Anti-Social Media Film You’ve been Waiting For

Writer-director, Jason Reitman, addresses the subject of social media and how it affects the way human beings interact with one another in this solid adaptation of Chad Kultgen’s novel, Men Women & Children. As bad as this movie could have been, especially with a cast lineup that includes Adam Sandler and teen heartthrob du jour […]

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Oct
10

Review: Kill the Messenger

Jeremy Renner made a splash in the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker. After equally talented performances in supporting roles in American Hustle and The Immigrant, he’s back in a starring role in the well-intentioned, occasionally stirring Kill The Messenger. Renner plays Gary Webb, a journalist with the minor-league newspaper The San Jose Mercury News in 1996. Iran/Contra, […]

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Oct
10

Review: The Judge

Hank, a slick, iconoclastic Chicago defense lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) asks prospective jurors what message is on their bumper sticker. In the very first scene, he also pees on his opposing prosecutor while they both visit a men’s room. The wildly uneven yet ultimately successful The Judge constantly veers between a deep, estranged father/son tale […]

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Oct
9

Global Perspectives: Jean-Claude Djereke on Françafrique and Film

  Last semester I took a French course, and on the last day of class my professor gave an impassioned speech on the state of his country. He informed us of the injustice that French-colonized African countries still face. A few days later I got the chance to talk to him to learn more. We […]

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Oct
3

Review: Gone Girl

The less said about the plot of Gone Girl the better. Suffice it to say it is a biting, grisly crime film equally concerned with the nature of secrets in marriage, public media image, and the criminal mind than with the nuts and bolts of linear narration. Yet the story is so mind-blowing it would […]

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Oct
3

Review: Annabelle

Despite the constant opportunity to fall short Annabelle, the spinoff of James Wan’s The Conjuring, manages to be a genuinely scary and satisfying addition to the franchise. By its nature, Annabelle presents a lot of challenges that could be damning for a less skilled filmmaker.  Not only is it a horror film about a haunted […]

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Sep
30

Contest: “Dracula Untold” Screening Passes

Dracula Untold looks like a bad-ass remake of Nosferatu. Unlike that black and white boring classic, Dracula Untold is full of action, badassery, and more action. If you’d like to see this movie EARLY and for FREE!!! then email us at the info below for a chance to win screening passes in Philadelphia. Where: UA […]

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Sep
29

Trailer: Inherent Vice

The hotly anticipated new film from Paul Thomas Anderson has finally released its first trailer and it’s dazzling. Like the director’s breakout film Boogie Nights, his new project Inherent Vice recreates 1970s Los Angeles for its take on the Thomas Pynchon detective novel of the same name. With a star studded cast featuring Joaquin Phoenix, […]

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