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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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    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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    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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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: Ixcanul Volcano

Dirt-poor with no running water nor electricity, and unable to read or write, Maria (unprofessional actress Maria Mercedes Coroy) is set up by her strong-willed, well-meaning parents for an arranged marriage to the foreman of the coffee plantation they inhabit. What transpires is a revealing glimpse into the Mayan culture of the Guatemalan highlands. Maria’s […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: Dheepan

If you haven’t seen Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet (2010), do whatever it takes to catch up. Also, don’t miss Auduard’s latest, Dheepan, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Dheepan is the story of a “fake family” of refuges from war-torn Sri Lanka. Former Tamil Tiger Dheepan (Antonysaythan Jesuthasan, himself a former boy soldier), in […]

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Oct
27

PFF24 Review: 600 Miles

The highly versatile Tim Roth stars as Hank Harris, a DEA agent who gets kidnapped by a small time Mexican gun runner in 600 Miles. Sicario it is not. The film’s early scenes depict twerpy south-of-the-border Arnulfo (Kristyan Ferrer) acquiring automatic weapons at Arizona gun shops and gun shows. His pesky gringo friend Carson (Harrison […]

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Oct
19

Review: Bridge of Spies

Returning to the suspense realm he so strikingly presented in Munich (2005), Steven Spielberg tackles the Cold War era in Bridge of Spies with resounding success. Tom Hanks stars as an unwitting spy straight out of Frank Capra. Hanks plays James Donovan, an insurance lawyer with no apparent political leanings (although he had worked as […]

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Steve-Jobs-movie-full-trailer-image-001
Oct
16

Review: Steve Jobs

An impossible perfectionist, an utterly vainglorious egomaniac, an intently focused mover and shaker, Steve Jobs also sucks at life outside the workplace. Yet he’s somehow not a total asshole. Leave it up to his biographer and people who knew him to pass judgement on the accuracy of Michael Fassbender’s performance as Steve Jobs. On the […]

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Oct
9

Review: 99 Homes

To steal a sports metaphor, when Michael Shannon is in one his his “zones” the result is pure magic. In 99 Homes, Shannon portrays Rick Carver, a calm-as-a-monk, slyly ruthless opportunist. His game? Real estate repossession manipulation and outright scams, and he’s a hall-of-fame level competitor. The plot device here is Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), […]

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Oct
8

Review: The Walk

An unnerving, exhilarating, you-are-there capturing of the sensations an aerialist experiences is really all that matters in The Walk. Director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump, Cast Away) tells the story of Philippe Petit, who walked a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center not long before the […]

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Oct
5

Review: Mississippi Grind

A couple of apparent losers get acquainted during a poker game in some godforsaken Iowa town. One, Gerry (a terrific Ben Mendelsohn), is a fascinating degenerate gambler who probably couldn’t stop if someone told him the world would end tomorrow if he didn’t. The other player, Curtis (an equally good Ryan Reynolds), is like-able although […]

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Oct
2

Review: The Martian

There’s not a whole lot of real substance in The Martian, and even less surprise. What it does nicely maintain, though, is a frisky well-above-average entertainment level. Director Ridley Scott has been around so long he practically makes cinematic moves in his sleep, and most of them work. While it may all seem a bit […]

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SICARIODay 01
Oct
2

Review: Sicario

Sicario (translation: Hitman) doesn’t fool around. With an uncanny intensity, it centers on a covert CIA mission to combat Mexican drug cartels–an exercise intended to “create chaos” and “dramatically overreact.” So says the group’s unlikely ringleader, Matt (Josh Brolin), who’s apparently so important he attends a high-level meeting with FBI officials clad in flip-flops and […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

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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 Club

The Club, intelligently complex yet not in the least academic, has the dynamism of a thriller. Essentially a moral fable, the Chilean director Pablo Larrain follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Film No, is at once a bold tale rooted in the reality of the Catholic Church’s pedophilia scandal. Four exiled priests and a caretaker nun live […]