• 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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    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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Sep
26

Review: The Skeleton Twins

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, playing estranged twins with depression issues, discordantly slip into Saturday Night Live mode once too often during The Skeleton Twins. At the film’s outset Maggie (Wiig) shows up in the hospital room of Milo (Hader) after he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself. The call to inform her of this event, […]

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Sep
20

Review: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them is a distillation of two separate movies subtitled “Him” and “Her.” Viewers will get a chance to see the original two films in October. After watching “Them” a disturbing paradox presents itself. Admittedly, what seems like a half-baked, occasionally dull synthesis might have been caused by too harsh a […]

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Sep
20

Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones

Veteran screenwriter Scott Frank (Get Shorty, the underrated Out of Sight) directs revenge movie honcho Liam Neeson in this at once ugly and grim suspense-cum-horror tale. Based on the novel by Lawrence Block, Neeson portrays Matthew Scudder, an unlicensed private investigator and former NYPD cop. The film contains plenty of familiar crime movie fodder: Scudder’s […]

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Sep
12

Review: The Drop

A viewing of The Drop prompted a repeat examination of Tom Hardy’s “one man” film from earlier this year: the unique and compelling Locke. Taken in tandem, it’s hard to think of two recent performances that have displayed such a stunning array of acting chops. In The Drop, Hardy plays Bob Saginowski, a skittish, deliberate, […]

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Sep
7

Review: Starred Up

When it comes to an intensely raw portrayal of prison life, it would seem hard for any film to top Steven McQueen’s Hunger (2008). Startlingly, Starred Up submerges itself into even deeper territory. Weaving a father/son (they’re new prison mates) plot with starkly observed, uncanny realism, David Mackenzie’s film also includes three of the year’s […]

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Aug
29

Review: Trip to Italy

British comics Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan share an amusing penchant for performing incessant spot-on impressions in The Trip To Italy. In Michael Winterbottom’s sequel to 2011’s The Trip, the semi-fictional pair have the enviable task to take an all-expenses-paid excursion along Italy’s Liguria and Amalfi coast. Their mission: write a few reviews of high-end […]

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Aug
22

Review: When The Game Stands Tall

Family values, family values. It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. There’s no “I” in team. The wording of these bromides is changed slightly but they come thick and heavy in When The Game Stands Tall. Jim Caviezel plays high school coach Bob Ladoucer whose team at De La […]

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Aug
21

Event: Reel East Film Festival

This weekend marks the first Reel East Film Festival. The newest, and second closest film festival, to Philadelphia. The schedule is short and sweet, with a wide variety of amazing films that would make even the most timid film lover weep with joy. See below for the full schedule. Go buy tickets and find out […]

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Aug
19

Review: Rich Hill

As a chaser to Richard Linklater’s monumental Boyhood, take a peek at this Sundance award-winning documentary profiling three destitute white kids from rural Missouri. Their level of poverty and all-around impoverishment makes Linklater’s screen kid look like he’s part of the Trump family. Three distinctively different kids emerge. One is all-get-out upbeat, another, mostly dour […]

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Mitch Levine
Aug
18

Interview: Mitch Levine “In Confidence”

Mitch Levine is a director, writer, and producer of theatre, film, opera, and dance, whose latest short film, “In Confidence” had its Los Angeles premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last month. In Confidence tells the compelling story of Molly who makes a heavy and dangerous choice and must deal with the consequences.  The […]

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Aug
15

Review: The Giver

The goal: get rid of suffering and dissension and along with them, any shade of diverse thinking. First, trash emotion–have everyone pop pills everyday to suppress it. Leave out books, animals, and any changes in the weather while we’re at it. Now eliminate color. Yes, color. Such is the world of The Giver, the new […]

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Aug
10

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Way back when Marvel Studios announced Guardians of the Galaxy, fans collectively raised an eyebrow. Even those of us who are familiar with the comics were perplexed as to why Kevin Feige and company would create a franchise around such an obscure group of characters. However, after seeing the finished product, I can definitely say […]

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