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December, 2017

  • 15 December

    Review: ‘The Darkest Hour’ Is Gary Oldman’s Brightest Performance

    the darkest hour.

    You do have to look twice at Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour to believe that is Gary Oldman. Director Joe Wright gives us plenty of time to examine Oldman’s performance, drawing the camera so close to his face we can see the glint in his eyes. Though the film doesn’t feature anything else of such stellar qualities, it doesn’t …

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  • 12 December

    Review: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Slowly Satisfies with Busy Space Opera

    the last jedi movie spoon

    There’s a lot to unload from The Last Jedi, the intensely-awaited continuance of the new Star Wars trilogy. I went in with the intent of making a list of the film’s primary plot points to avoid writing any crucial spoilers in my review. That list turned out to be longer than I thought, occupying two pages of my reporter’s notebook. …

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  • 7 December

    Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’ is a Genius and Silly Story of Bad Filmmaking

    the-disaster-artist-james-franco-dave-franco

    If the midnight screenings at the local arthouse theaters are anything to go by, The Room is the 21st century’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. A week before the press screening for The Disaster Artist, there was a special theatrical showing of The Room that came with the note “Party Atmosphere.” If you’ve ever been to the screening of a cult …

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November, 2017

  • 19 November

    Movie Review: ‘Justice League’ Plays Its Superheroes Silly and Safe

    justice leage

    The coming of the Justice League isn’t quite the grand superhero ensemble event of the year, but it didn’t come with the same dreadful disappointment of Batman v. Superman. This is more like a Thanksgiving dinner of an awkward family struggling to make the gathering work. They quip, quibble, babble in cliches and never entirely gel as well as they …

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  • 15 November

    Movie Review: ‘Coco’ is a Sweet Mix of Music, Family, and Fantasy

    coco feature

    There was talk amongst the parents at the screening about that other animated film about the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead. It took them a moment to remember, but it was 2014’s The Book of Life. For approaching this mythology once more in animated form, Pixar’s Coco already has a comparison for that old argument amongst animated movies …

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  • 15 November

    Movie Review: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Runs Slow and Dull

    Murder on the Orient Express

    Kenneth Branagh can do Shakespeare, but he certainly can’t do Agatha Christie. In his treatment of a theatrical production of her classic Poirot novel, he seems to favor more of the text than the characters, under the impression that the plot is stirring enough to hold a film of overly shady characters and a dry atmosphere. Branagh’s approach makes the …

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  • 2 November

    Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok is a Trippy, Neon Delight of Fantasy

    thor_ragnarok_natalie_portman

    “The only thing that makes sense here is that nothing makes sense.” So sayeth a rock monster to Thor on a planet of gladiator combat. And, yet, there is some sense to the technicolor wonder of Thor: Ragnarok in how it manages to soar with flying colors past its lesser predecessors. I always liked the character of Thor, thanks mostly …

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October, 2017

  • 29 October

    Movie Review: The Foreigner Fits Jackie Chan into a Messy Political Thriller

    The-Foreigner-Movie-Review-2017-Jackie-Chan

    The Foreigner presents Jackie Chan in his most surprising of roles. We’ve become so used to him being the chipper and plucky martial artists, but now he’s a dour and cold-hearted man out for revenge. We’ve seen him use his extraordinary martial arts skills to subdue his attackers, but rarely to brutally murder them. Chan was always the hero, not …

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  • 29 October

    Movie Review: A Charming and Mushy Tale of ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’

    Goodbye feature

    The story behind the conception of Winnie the Pooh, one of the most beloved icons of childhood literature, runs the risk of coming off as a sappy Lifetime movie. Director Simon Curtis tackles the film almost as a dare, walking so close to the massive waves of melodrama and dipping his toes in it just when want him not to. …

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  • 20 October

    Movie Review: ‘Only The Brave’ Brings Tension and Tears

    Only The Brave

    Director Joseph Kosinski takes the heartbreaking tale of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in his late that fought to contain wildfires and gives it the most appropriate of tellings. He never favors heavily on the melodrama, technicalities or patriotism that could ooze from such a story. This could have easily been a soft drama for families and an appropriate tribute to …

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