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    Review: Good Kill

    Saturday, May 23, 2015

    Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) suffers from a new kind of culture shock. An F-16 military pilot with six Iraqi tours under his belt, he now finds himself inside a claustrophobic trailer that serves as a drone command center near Las Vegas. Major Egan, surrounded by newcomers recruited because they “were a bunch of gamers,” has […]

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    Review: Tomorrowland

    Friday, May 22, 2015

    Tomorrowland comes off like an expanded Super Bowl TV advertisement: cocksure of itself and sure to dazzle but ultimately a hollow, superficial gewgaw. Director Brad Bird (the excellent Ratatouille and The Incredibles) even has a wonderful young actress (Raffey Cassidy) and two venerable pros (George Clooney and Hugh Laurie) going for him, but the film’s […]

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    Review: About Elly

    Monday, May 11, 2015

    With his third film released in this country, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi continues his growth in stature and deserves to be included among the very best international auteurs. The brilliantly absorbing About Elly was filmed two years before Farhadi’s Oscar-winning gem A Separation (2011) and withheld from domestic distribution until now. Like A Separation and […]

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    Review: Hot Pursuit (More like Hot Mess…)

    Friday, May 8, 2015

    Never at a loss for finding ways to disappoint us, Hot Pursuit is utterly devoid of a basis in anything resembling reality. Unfortunately, a comedy depends of plausibility every bit as much as a drama. Thus, this new Reese Witherspoon/Sophia Vergara female buddy flick becomes fatally unfunny almost as soon as it begins. Officer Cooper […]

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    Review: D-Train

    Friday, May 8, 2015

    Trying to come off as simultaneously cynical and warm-and-fuzzy, D-Train succeeds somewhat tantamount to a flat tire. Starting with an insipid premise, and scaling new heights in screenplay vapidness, the new Jack Black vehicle possesses a jittery, shifting point of view and a horrid plausibility quotient. Its main character, Dan Landsman (Black), part schizoid and […]

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Review: Black or White

Director and screenwriter Mike Binder will be called on the carpet by the gripe-happy protectors of the politically correct. He’ll be accused of tripping over stereotypes as he presents the story of a custody battle over a racially mixed seven-year-old, Eloise. Despite being a little obvious around the edges, Black or White essentially presents a […]

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Review: Two Days One Night

In the haunting Two Days, One Night, directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne add a profound level of morality drama to their customarily brilliant trove of social reality themes explored since their outstanding first film, Le Promesse (1997). What is unique this time is they are working with an actress who is emerging as one of […]

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Review: Man Seeking Woman “Traib”

Man Seeking Woman episode two does very little to change my mind about the one dimensionality of its side characters. Josh and Mike try to find out why Josh’s walls are whispering “Maggie,” and all of her stuff attacks them. This sequence uses a ton of practical effects reminiscent of Evil Dead or The Exorcist. It was a great […]

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Man Seeking Woman Shows Signs of a Burgeoning Absurdist Masterpiece

Simon Rich created an absurdist masterpiece with the first episode of Man Seeking Woman. Josh Greenberg (played by Jay Baruchel) is a character that may or may not be mentally disturbed. Other absurdist shows usually just have sprinkles of the bizarre, but MSW embraces the insanity to the point where it becomes reminiscent of a […]

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Jan
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Review: American Sniper

Far from an excerise in yahoo-ism, American Sniper offers us a film startlingly immediate in its action scenes. Coming to be known as “The Legend,” Navy Seal Chris Kyle, its subject, went through four tours in the Iraq War, in which he performed around 160 official “kills.” (and apparently another hundred unofficial ones). The film […]

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Jan
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Parks and Recreations’ Final Season: 2017/Ron & Jammy

Through 6 seasons, the characters on Parks & Recreation have gradually grown as their interpersonal dynamics developed and added texture. Season 7’s premiere “2017” marks the show’s farthest leap forward, both literally and metaphorically. True, that jump into the future first occurred in the waning minutes of Season 6’s finale “Moving Up”; however, last night’s“2017” […]

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Jan
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The Walking Dead: Season Five Expectations

With The Walking Dead’s fifth season’s return around the corner there are a few key plot points and fan expectations that need to be addressed. A one-minute trailer was just released in which the current group walks through the woods brandishing and utilizing a variety of weapons while an omniscient voice states that “Surviving as […]

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Jan
9

Review: Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice will likely be a polarizing film. It is bound to either bring belly laughs and fresh insight on the one end of the spectrum, or confusion perhaps to the point of walking out of the theater on the other. Those hidebound filmgoers who see the need to evaluate every film in terms of […]

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Review: Selma

Selma builds its way toward a celebration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sharply focused on the key months leading up to a series of three nonviolent protest marches in Selma, Alabama, it agonizingly captures the textures of human toil and determination that led to the momentous legislation. Director Ava DuVernay […]

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Jan
6

Interview with Selma Director Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is one of the most poetic and thoughtful cinematic minds working today, these traits often come up in not just her screenwriting and directing but in the relationships she’s forged as a filmmaker. Her films have been marked by the wonderful presence of David Oyelowo and the expressive beauty of cinematographer Bradford Young’s […]

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Review: Big Eyes

The paintings in Big Eyes remind one of the most insipid examples of a summer boardwalk art show. Bulging-eyed lonesome-looking urchins, pretty much in cookie cutter fashion, dominate each canvas to the point where the rest of the painting seems to have disappeared. In many ways, a miscast Christopher Waltz, normally a very fine actor, […]

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