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    Review: Papa: Hemingway In Cuba

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Is there any doubt Ernest Hemingway would have deplored the gross sentimentality displayed in Papa: Hemingway in Cuba? Short of being merely misguided, this sloppily mounted biopic of the gifted writer in 1959 Havana commits the even greater sin of not seeming to care about its subject. The first film shot in Cuba since that […]

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  • Key-and-Peele-Movie-Keanu

    Interview: Jordan Peele–Keanu

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key have been a comedy writing/ performing pair since their work together in the early 2000s. They honed their distinct brand of comedy  during their tenure at MADtv . In 2012, with the launch of their eponymous sketch show, Key and Peele’s names became permanently associated with writing and performing  brilliant […]

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  • Embrace-of-the-Serpent-2_0

    Review: Embrace the Serpent

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Forget Apocalypse Now. Toss aside Conrad’s venerated Heart of Darkness. When it comes to obtaining a vivid realization of the essence of Amazonian culture, check out Ciro Guerra’s amazing Embrace of the Serpent. The stunningly shot black-and-white Colombian Oscar nominee frames two separate interactions, 40 years apart, between a pair of white explorers and an […]

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  • EverybodyWantsSome

    Review: Everybody Wants Some!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Everybody Wants Some!! is Richard Linklater’s most deceptive film. On its surface it is light as a feather but hang out with it for its 100-minute (and far too short!) length and its 11 unique characters leave an indelible impression. Linklater, the director of numerous classics (Before Midnight, Boyhood) is also adroit at the offbeat […]

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    Review: Miles Ahead

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Unfortunately Don Cheadle, despite displaying savvy acting chops in playing the ever irascible Miles Davis, does a disservice to one of the 20th century’s leading jazz musicians. In Miles Ahead, which Cheadle directed and co-wrote, unmoored diversions plague what amounts to more of a made-up buddy/heist picture than a serious look at a complex man. In […]

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    Review: Demolition

    Sunday, April 10, 2016

    It is all the harder to swallow the premise of this fanciful film when it starts out with its antihero (Jake Gyllenhaal) writing the first of a series of lengthy personal missives to the customer service department of a vending company that cheated him out of $1.25. This in the emergency room of a hospital […]

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    Review: Hello, My Name Is Doris

    Friday, March 25, 2016

    Poised to simultaneously mock and admire an eccentric but lovable fuddy-duddy (Sally Field), Hello, My Name Is Doris succeeds in creating a character who sticks to the bones. Marred by a sluggish start and more than a sprinkling of boilerplate sit-com plot strokes, the film succeeds in presenting a 60-something nonconformist who often startles the […]

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    Review: The Witch

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    Wearing its art film standing as a badge of honor, The Witch succeeds in thumbing its nose at the conventional horror genre. Replete with oblique period dialogue and actors often seemingly bent on delivering lines in a manner to further obscure comprehension rather than clarify it, The Witch isn’t an easy go. What makes it […]

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  • DEADPOOL

Ryan Reynolds is Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL.

Photo Credit: Joe Lederer

TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

    Review: Deadpool

    Saturday, February 13, 2016

    Deadpool throws so much snark and bluster against the wall that much of it sticks. If you are willing to overlook all the misses, there’s a good time to be had here. It’s mostly refreshing to encounter an R-rated Marvel celebration and takedown of a character who is a perpetually ranting lout. Sure, the film […]

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    Review: Hail Caesar!

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    In Hail Caesar! co-directors Joel and Ethan Coen lean fairly hard on silliness. In what amounts to a simultaneous spoof of, and tribute to the Studio Era of Hollywood, the Coens provide commendable optics of splendid cinematography and surefire editing. Their presentation of a 27-hour trajectory of a day-in-the-life of studio “fixer” Eddie Mannix (Josh […]

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Recent Articles

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Nov
25

Review: The Night Before

Seth Rogen, clad in a Star of David sweater, is tripping on mushrooms while out gallivanting with his two buddies on Christmas Eve. Before he leaves home, his pregnant wife provides him with a small box full of drugs. So it’s only natural according to the logic of dumb comedies that, after wandering away from […]

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Brooklyn
Nov
25

Review: Brooklyn

The 1950s-era drama Brooklyn possesses the unique ability to break your heart while it simultaneously renews your faith in humanity. In what could have been a setup for sentimentality in lesser hands, director John Crowley fine tunes the heartstrings into a stellar chamber piece of emotionally intense filmmaking. When young Irish immigrant Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) […]

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Nov
23

Review: Man Up

Most romantic comedies have the same basic plot. Boy meets Girl, otherwise known as the Meet Cute. Boy and Girl start hanging out more, and grow closer: The Relationship. Either the Boy or the Girl leaves for some reason- it could be a misunderstanding, a previous commitment, etc.: The Exit. Boy and Girl spend time […]

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Nov
16

Review: Spotlight

A resistant Boston archdiocese that covered up a massive scandal of pedophilia among its priesthood is confronted by a crack Boston Globe team of investigative reporters in the excellent Spotlight. Among the obstacles the journalists face is a 53 percent Catholic readership who, along with the courts, were for many years manipulated into looking the […]

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Nov
16

Review: The Assassin

Sometimes you just need to throw out the expectations provided by the conventionalities of film–plot, developed story arc, action itself. With the Assassin, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s wuxia that was seven years in the making, a master of extreme craftsmanship throws the martial arts film on its head. The result is so beautiful to watch, you may […]

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Nov
6

Review: Spectre

Rampant plot shortcuts, large stretches of filler, and a Daniel Craig so laid back this time out he actually seems anesthetized–all add up to a dry-martini-sipping James Bond caught in a movie that’s mostly all wet. The Bond franchise made strides toward reclaiming the high standing of the Sean Connery era with the advent of […]

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truth_still
Nov
6

Review: Truth

Portraying Dan Rather, Robert Redford perfectly captures the former CBS anchorman’s Texan vocal nuances. Yet Truth, the new film by James Vanderbilt (screenwriter, Zodiac), places its emphasis on Rather’s producer, Mary Mapes, in telling the story of their mutual downfall after televising an investigative report questioning George W. Bush’s military service. Cate Blanchett, as Mapes, […]

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baskin
Nov
6

PFF24: Baskin

While the Turkish horror film Baskin is, throughout its run, a beautiful film with creative imagery, its inability to foster a tone of tension (mostly through the fault of its characters), leaves it with an empty feeling overall and to its violence. Baskin plays with a beautiful color palette from the beginning in its lighting […]

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spl2review-1
Oct
29

PFF24 Review: SPL 2: A Time for Consequences

The sad thing about SPL 2: A Time For Consequences is that I can’t get excited about writing a review for it. One would think that a movie with a title that over-the-top and with a trailer that features a bunch of insane action snippets would be fun and engaging to watch. Unfortunately, the movie […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: The Program

The narrative surrounding Lance Armstrong was just too good to offer much public resistance. His overcoming of testicular cancer diagnosed at age 21, his championing of promoting others to fight the disease, and not least, his seven consecutive Tour de France victories all clouded the many signals that something grim was awry. Stephen Frears’ The […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

Man up paint
Nov
23

Review: Man Up

Most romantic comedies have the same basic plot. Boy meets Girl, otherwise known as the Meet Cute. Boy and Girl start hanging out more, and grow closer: The Relationship. Either the Boy or the Girl leaves for some reason- it could be a misunderstanding, a previous commitment, etc.: The Exit. Boy and Girl spend time […]

baskin
Nov
6

PFF24: Baskin

While the Turkish horror film Baskin is, throughout its run, a beautiful film with creative imagery, its inability to foster a tone of tension (mostly through the fault of its characters), leaves it with an empty feeling overall and to its violence. Baskin plays with a beautiful color palette from the beginning in its lighting […]