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    Review: The Stanford Prison Experiment

    Friday, July 31, 2015

    A well-known staple of Psych 101 textbooks, the 1971 exercise depicted in the film The Stanford Prison Experiment also has plenty of detractors in the field. As a docudrama, the film contains very good acting and, if you don’t bother to think about it too much, can seem quite the provocative conversation catalyst. Philip Zambrano […]

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    Review: Vacation

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    There’s the “hot spring” that turns out to be raw sewage. Add a ravishing female sports car driver who pulls up next to Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) and flirts herself all the way to a grotesque highway death. Then there’s the young brother (Steele Stebbins) who torments his far more delicate older brother (Skylar Grisondo) […]

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    Review: Southpaw

    Friday, July 24, 2015

    At no time will you mistake Southpaw for Rocky. Forget Raging Bull. It’s certainly no Nightcrawler, which contained a masterful Jake Gyllenhaal. Southpaw confounds, gives occasional reason for praise one minute, then slugs itself in the foot just as quickly. Gyllenhaal’s duke-it-out, hardscrabble performance here is the reason to see this movie. However, you’ll want […]

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    Review: Trainwreck

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Rip-roaringly, outrageously funny, then in its final turns predictably conventional, the Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck presents the one and only Amy Schumer. Both the film’s lead actor and its writer, Schumer portrays a character, Amy Townsend, who takes the words of her rough-hewn dad in the film’s opening scene, and boldly personifies them. “Monogamy isn’t realistic,” […]

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    Review: Amy

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    Director Asif Kapadia took what was the blessing of Amy Winehouse’s family and record company and then relentlessly actually made the film that needed to be made on the life of Amy Winehouse. His biopic wisely throws out any political correctness and eschews a safe approach for an ultimately honest one. The results offer a […]

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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
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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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