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    Review: The Drop

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    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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    Review: Roomiess

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Web series often fall into the trap of relying on a one-dimensional gimmick to entertain the viewer, hoping the short episode runtime will prevent the gag from becoming stale. Roomiess, on the other hand, does away with this stereotype, and goes for the simplicity of a single room, two characters, and great writing. Stu and […]

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    Review: Starred Up

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    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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    Review: Trip to Italy

    Friday, August 29, 2014

    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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    Review: When The Game Stands Tall

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    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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Jun
24

The Moment Game of Thrones Lost its Edge

Spoilers ahead. Goddamn spoilers ahead. If you read through them, it’s your own damn fault. [Harry Potter, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad are all fair spoiler game hereafter]. Game of Throne’s Season 4 has been the most action-packed in a series that mostly rests in dialogue and character development. More characters have died this season […]

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Jun
20

Review: Obvious Child

Obvious Child tackles the subject of an aspiring stand-up comedian (played by real life stand-up Jenny Slater) who decides to get an abortion after a one-night stand. Just when this bracingly funny film seems too intent on toying with its subject, Slater and director Gillian Robespierre soon shift gears into a resonant realism. The rest […]

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Jun
20

Review: Jersey Boys

Let’s first get something out of the way. It’s just too good to be true that a running theme in Jersey Boys depicts a creative relationship between Four Seasons group members Bob Gaudio and lead singer Frankie Valli (both executive producers of the film) while leaving out a key element in the group’s success. Producer […]

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Jun
15

Review: The Grand Seduction

In a perfect world, by its sheer innocuousness a film like The Grand Seduction would deflect harsh judgement. Problem is, the goings-on in this film reach so far into the corny corner, they did finally transform this viewer’s tolerance from initial submission straight to irritability. Heaven forbid how much dumber still this would have been […]

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Review: Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon

Nowadays 68-year-old Shep Gordon loves his home in Maui and reflects on having hung out with the Dalai Lama. Before he goes on to manage the likes of Alice Cooper and Anne Murray, start a film studio, and amass a probable vast fortune and a wealth of celebrity friends, we are treated to his reminiscence […]

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Jun
13

Review: 22 Jump Street

The history of sequels is tricky. For every Back to the Future 2, there’s a Teen Wolf Too. For every Toy Story 3, a Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted. And for every Godfather 2 there’s a Godfather 3. While making a sequel to a well-liked movie seems like common sense to most, the truth is that […]

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Jun
13

Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Return to Berk, a magic land where Vikings ride Dragons. Follow Hiccup, sexy, sexy, older Hiccup, as he explores uncharted territories with his faithful buddy Toothless. Watch as our hero once again proves to his dad, the evil Drago, and others that they just need to give peace and love a chance, man. The sequel […]

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Jun
6

Review: Edge of Tomorrow

It’s a small pity many more viewers will catch this admittedly entertaining film than 2011′s far better Source Code. While both are sci-fi endeavors with a Groundhog Day-like time-loop as their touchstone, Edge Of Tomorrow edges into a muddled zone of plausibility despite its highly engaging first half. Luckily, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt play […]

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Jun
6

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

You would think disease films are the bane of critics far and wide. The casual assumption is here comes another Love Story in its umpteenth incarnation replete with maudlin sentimentality and wooden stereotype characters. This film treatment of the wildly popular young adult novel The Fault In Our Stars manages to avoid much of the […]

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Jun
2

Review: Maleficent isn’t Maleficent in Maleficent

When it was announced that Disney would be making a movie starring Maleficent with Angelina Jolie cast in the lead role, the news was met with unfiltered excitement from people raised on the Disney Princess classics. So much excitement that you briefly forget we’re culturally motivated to instinctively push back against the idea of a […]

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30

Review: Fed Up

Trying to swim through the haze of food warnings these days can be trying. In the documentary Fed Up a convincing case is made that we are often lost in the thicket of corporate advertising, ill-advised government subsidies, political posturing, and shoulder shrugging at all levels. Though it’s emotionally a lot harder for many of […]

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Review: Ida

Learning devastating truths can be daunting. Experiencing the unnerving discovery of post-war realities in as spare yet vivid a manner as presented in Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida verges on breathtaking. Pawlikowski shoots in black-and-white, uses an almost square screen format, has long stretches without dialogue, and forces the viewer to focus intently on the micro reactions […]

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