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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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Apr
6

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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Apr
6

Welcome to the Dogpocalypse: White God–Review

White God is a film which goes out of its way to defy your expectations. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, the film starts with a girl on a bike in a post-apocalyptic city: empty roads, cars with open doors, and a crushing silence. From around the corner come 200 dogs. The film jumps between genres a […]

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Mar
27

Review: Get Hard

Venemous comes to mind when attempting to describe this jittery new “buddy” comedy with Will Farrell and Kevin Hart. Followed closely by clueless. A stillborn yarn about a super-wealthy stuffed-shirt, James King (Farrell) who suddenly finds himself sentenced to time in prison, Get Hard is a barrage of hollow sketches sewn together with racism and […]

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Mar
13

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella Offers a Fresh Take on a Classic

Let’s face it: practically nobody was asking for a live-action remake of one of Disney’s most iconic films, the 1950 classic Cinderella. Aside from Disney seeking out some easy money, there really wasn’t any reason to take such a beloved animated film and remake it as a live-action film with actors your children probably don’t […]

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Mar
13

Review: Wild Tales

Beginning with a chills-inducing Twilight Zone-esque vignette aboard an airliner and ending with the quintessential disrupted wedding reception, Wild Tales was a deserved Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film. Superbly directed with a jaundiced eye by Argentinian Damian Szifron, its six separate stories share a penchant for the perverse side of human nature. Overflowing with […]

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Mar
9

Review: Buzzard

Marty Jackitansky is hardly a character who elicits empathy. I found his nihilism amusing but also wouldn’t have minded a bit if someone punched him in the face. To say he lacks ambition is to say Freddy Krueger lacks menace. Oh, by the way, there’s a running theme in Buzzard where Marty (Joshua Burge) not […]

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Feb
28

Sundance Shorts: Hotel 22

Hotel 22 documents the long nights of the many homeless people in Silicon Valley who use the 22 bus line between Palo Alto and San Jose for shelter. I sat down with director Elizabeth Lo, a graduate of NYU Tisch and current MFA student at Stanford University, to talk about documentaries and the parts of […]

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Feb
27

Review: Focus

It’s one thing to encounter a film with an imaginatively playful screenplay that takes occasional liberties with common sense. It’s quite another to have your intelligence insulted in a manner as blatant and as numbing as the new Will Smith movie, Focus. Just when we are asked to fall for one outrageous scenario, another one […]

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The Last 5 Years Movie
Feb
27

Review: The Last Five Years

The intermittently uplifting yet just as often pompous The Last Five Years contains hardly any spoken dialogue. Pleasantly containing several songs of depth and wit, the film struggles with the thinnest of storylines and its too-pleased-with-itself structure. Anna Kendrick, who is very good, presents her character Cathy’s story backwards from the film’s end, while Jeremy […]

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Feb
23

Review: Timbuktu

A woman vehemently refuses to put on gloves (recently required) while selling fish in an outdoor market. A group of young men play fake soccer (recently banned) as they run around with an imaginary soccer ball. A coed group of friends risk playing live music (also recently banned) despite a potentially stringent penalty. The scene? […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015