Archives

The Top 10 Films of 2015

I’m never one to do my end of year top 10 lists on time (who can see all the most buzzed about movies by Dec. 31???), but 13 months, yea, that’s a little late even for me. Nevertheless, I’ve gone on a tear to not only catch up on what I missed in 2016, but […]

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Roman Holiday Review

With so much garbage being dished out these days by Hollywood under the label of “romantic comedy,” films like “Roman Holiday” never grow old. The timeless fairytale elements like a princess trying to disguise herself as a commoner and the classic routine of two people being dishonest with each other while falling in love only gets better when played against the live backdrop of Rome.

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Across the Universe Review

Julie Taymor’s Beatles movie musical “Across the Universe” has multiple personalities. At one point you’re watching a drama–then a music video–then an art piece–then an actual stage musical–then a raging acid trip–and back to a drama again. The good news is the film leaves you with its strongest form: drama musical, and it leaves you feeling good.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Review

The big question heading into “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” was whether The Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer could make their brand of pop music humor work in a format that lasts longer than three minutes. Not surprisingly, it’s in different three-minute clips that “Popstar” works best.

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Manchester by the Sea Review

“Manchester by the Sea” takes place in the dead of winter in the small Massachusetts coastal town of the title. This bleak setting and the stark, grim imagery that accompany it set the tone for Kenneth Lonergan’s third feature film, which explores grief and our darkest demons in a way so authentic it can get […]

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A Monster Calls Review

Grief was a prominent theme at the movies in 2016, but no movie has tackled that anger and helplessness quite like “A Monster Calls,” this year, or ever. Using magical realism in familiar but effective ways, “A Monster Calls” breaks down the pain and guilt of loss and suffering in a way that’s accessible for […]

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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

After “Days of Future Past” bridged together the two generations of big screen X-Men into an epic time-travel blockbuster, it didn’t leave a whole lot of ceiling for future “X- Men” movies. Nevertheless, 20th Century Fox, director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg were quick to deliver “X-Men: Apocalypse,” bringing the X-Men’s biggest villain to […]

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Oscar Noms 2017: 7 Facts and Takeaways that Aren’t Complaints

Every year on Oscar nomination day the focus always turns to the snubs (this year it’s Amy Adams, though I think she’ll find her way back to the Oscars soon enough), so here are seven facts I find relevant and interesting pertaining to this year’s Oscars, set for Feb. 26.

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Moonlight Review

Belonging, love, identity – not everyone grows up a gay black man with a drug addict mother and no father like Chiron, the main character in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” but his struggle to find and be himself resonates across all lines of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

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St. Vincent Review

“St. Vincent” sticks to the script. You know, the story about the cantankerous grouch who forms an unlikely bond with a younger, usually troubled child with his opposite temperament. A tried and true formula. Despite lacking in originality, however, this classic storyline plays out in enjoyable fashion in “St. Vincent” thanks in large part to […]

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Review

The premise of “Neighbors,” a comedy about a couple with a baby getting into a prank war with a bunch of fraternity guys, seems unlikely to yield one good film, let alone two. Well, although “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” is made mostly of recycled materials, it’s shockingly one of the better comedy sequels in recent […]

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Oscar Watch: ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ set to square off for Best Picture

Last year at this time, Movie Muse was broken down and the insight into awards season you were surely waiting for wasn’t there. Hopefully you enjoyed the journey of “Spotlight” sneaking up from behind to nab Best Picture at the Oscars, though at this time last year, it seemed like the front-runner until “The Revenant” grabbed […]

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Winter Movie Preview 2017

January and February give us a mix of the new year’s worst and last year’s best, with the occasional new year gem. Many 2016 award-contender films will opt not to compete during the holiday season and instead release to a wide audience in January so they only have to compete with lesser quality wide releases, […]

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Hell or High Water Review

In a year when the quality of life in middle America small towns has come back into focus, “Hell or High Water” feels like an important film, perhaps more important than it might have been had it been released prior to 2016. But it’s not just timeliness that makes this a good movie. There are […]

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La La Land Review

Classical cinema sensibilities collide with 21st century realities in Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.” The “Whiplash” filmmaker follows up that highly acclaimed effort with its tonal opposite, a breezy, colorful romance wrapped in original songs and musical numbers.

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