Archives

Tower Review

At the onset, it might seem insensitive to tell the story of a deadly mass shooting using rotoscope animation, but after you settle into the style of filmmaker Keith Maitland’s “Tower,” you realize how useful (and even powerful) a tool animation can be to tell a story that largely exists in fragments of witnesses’ memories.

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Logan Review

Hugh Jackman’s 17-year ride as beloved “X-Men” hero Wolverine has been full of ups (“X2”) and downs (“X-Men Origins”), but his commitment to the character has never wavered, and that’s undoubtedly a factor in what makes “Logan” a special superhero film.

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Suicide Squad Review

DC Entertainment has this superhero movie business all backwards. They’ve jumped straight to the orgy without taking time to acquaint us more intimately with the individuals. It didn’t work all that well in “Batman vs. Superman,” but we held out hope that a team- up of lesser-known supervillains under the direction of David Ayer (“End of Watch,” “Fury”) could get the DC universe on track. Instead, “Suicide Squad” is a mess.

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Lion Review

You know that helplessly choked up feeling you get watching a TV news feature or documentary special about parents and children reuniting after years or decades apart? That’s the fuel that powers “Lion,” a classically emotional story accentuated by astute craftsmanship.

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Oscars 2017 Predictions

I will be incommunicado this year for the Oscars, so I thought I’d get some predictions up there since I won’t have an opportunity to recap this year’s telecast.  Below are my predictions in all categories for which I feel I can offer a prediction. I also like to give percentages of what I think […]

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Hidden Figures Review

There are some classic Hollywood storytelling molds out there — frameworks that with the right story and the right talents applied, result in a feel-good, crowd-pleasing movie — the popcorn and Coca-Cola of cinema. “Hidden Figures” perfectly encapsulates that type of film. It balances upon a combination of a witty script both humorous and dramatic, […]

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High Fidelity Review

There’s always been an inexplicable connection between music, love and the movies. Certain songs always seem to set the tone for various kinds of love and romance in film, whether the light-hearted or the dramatic. “High Fidelity” not only uses the power of that emotional mixture, but also focuses on it and attempts to understand it.

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The Top 10 Films of 2016

Although I’ve still missed out on some big films this year (“Hidden Figures,” “Lion,” freaking “Moana” somehow …) it’s almost the Academy Awards, and that’s my cutoff for completing my top 10 list of any given year (except last year, which if you didn’t notice, I just posted days ago)

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Star Trek Beyond Review

The third mission of the U.S.S Enterprise in the rebooted alternative timeline version of the original “Star Trek” goes a little less boldly than its two predecessors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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The Notebook Review

There is no brighter gem in movies than a love story told right. That is “The Notebook.” Romance is central to hundreds of thousands of films, but few are told as well as this film tells it. Between Nicholas Sparks’ heart-wrenching story, director Nick Cassevetes’ attention to setting and mood and the acting brilliance and universally good looks of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, a bigger emotional punch is hard to come by.

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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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