• 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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  • 1408134550000-Don-Cheadle-Miles-Ahead-Film-Miles-Osaka-Poster-6-30-14-1221-2

    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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  • demolition-jake-gyllenhaal-toronto-film-festival

    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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  • 1401x788-hello-my-name-is-doris-sally-field-image

    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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  • the-witch

    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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  • thumbnail_23310

    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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  • Son-of-Saul-stalone

    Review: Son of Saul

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    The Nazi’s weren’t content with the devastation of all their other combined horrors. They also devised a Sonderkommando squad consisting of Jews forced to perform the disposal of bodies and other deplorable tasks related to the executions. Robbing them of their only comfort–that of innocence–the concentration camp commanders granted those in the Sonderkommando meager extras […]

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  • oscars-winners-envelopes

    Best Films and Performances Snubbed By The Academy Awards

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    I concur with many of the eight films nominated for Oscar’s Best Film of the Year. In relative order of preference, Spotlight, Brooklyn, The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, Bridge of Spies, and The Revenant are among my own selections of best films of the year. Since it was an especially good year for […]

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May
1

Review: Avengers – Age of Ultron

Complaining about Avengers: The Age of Ultron may be as futile as complaining about the weather, but next to the first film in the series, the new installment is a dull cloudy day compared to its relatively sunny predecessor. Basically a non-aficionado who merely dabbles in the Marvel world, I identified with the deer-in-the-headlight gaze […]

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Apr
29

Interview: Misery Loves Comedy Director Kevin Pollak

“Do you have to be miserable to be funny?”  That’s the question posed by Misery Loves Comedy, Kevin Pollak’s labor of love to the comedy world.  Kevin is a comedian, actor, and, with the debut of this film, director who has been performing stand-up since he was 10 years old.  I spoke to Kevin about […]

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Apr
24

Review: 5 to 7

When Brian Bloom spots her, it’s purely love at first sight as he crosses the street toward the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. More a magazine-cover caricature than a character of the flesh-and-blood variety, Arielle (Berenice Marlohe, Skyfall) will consistently stymie this well-meaning but insipid rom-com. She’s first of all French, we’re insistently reminded. The […]

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Apr
23

Tribeca Film Festival: The Driftless Area–Review

The Driftless Area has unintentionally given critics and the critical masses the perfect adjective to describe the film: driftless. Toted as a “neo-noir dark romantic drama-comedy”—I’m serious, google it—The Driftless Area follows Pierre (Anton Yelchin), a bartender from a small Midwestern town who finds himself mixed up in a surreal relationship with Zooey Deschanel’s Stella, […]

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Apr
17

Review: True Story

The lowest point of the uneven True Story occurs when Jill Barker (Felicity Jones) pays an impromptu prison visit to accused murderer Christian Longo (James Franco). Longo is charged with unceremoniously offing his wife and three kids and stuffing their bodies in suitcases, which he then threw over a bridge. He also curiously impersonated Jones’s […]

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Apr
17

Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

Clouds of Sils Maria contains an acting clinic and so much more. French director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos, Irma Vep, Demonlover) takes many chances with his solid, often wondrous, occasionally mystifying material. The viewer needs to do some work here but the rewards are plentiful. His screenplay is straightforward enough but teasingly opaque like […]

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01
Apr
16

Review: Unfriended

Proof that movies need not be cinematic to be potent, Unfriended contains basically one set: the desktop of teenager Blaire (Shelley Hennig). We find her online revisiting the suicide of her friend Laura Barns on the anniversary of her death. A flirtatious Skype session with Blaire’s boyfriend Mitch (Moses Storm) ensues until it is interrupted […]

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Apr
16

Review: Man from Reno

Man from Reno is a dank motherfucking film. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and by God does it take you by the balls and keep running. So you best run with it. The film starts a bit slow with parallel storylines – one in the life of suicidal author of a bestselling detective series named Aki […]

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Apr
10

Review: While We’re Young

The hits barely outnumber the misses in While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach’s latest offering. A New York City-based comedy of manners that focuses on Ben Stiller’s and Naomi Watts’ characters’ mid-life crisis, the film has much of the feel of vintage Woody Allen. Well, not quite. I can’t remember Woody Allen ever getting anywhere near […]

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Apr
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Review: Furious 7

Vin Diesel has stated that the latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, Furious 7, or as director James Wan wants it to be spelled, “Furious Seven,” was the hardest film he ever had to make due to the passing of Paul Walker.  Behind all of the puns, jokes, and ridiculousness of the stunts […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015