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Today:  02/23/2018

Review: 'The Florida Project' is a magical little film

Posted February 19,2018 - 04:50 PM

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Every awards season, one film seems to pop up to garner all of the acclaim and notoriety. This year, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is that film. The sad fact is that other smaller films tend to be forgotten if they don't receive as many Oscar nominations as their indie peers. Do not forget about The Florida Project as it may end up being the best film of 2017.

The film is told through the eyes of an innocent six-year-old girl and her friends who spend one magical summer at a budget motel in the shadow of Walt Disney World. Their youthful innocence is contrasted with the harsh realities of life as a young single mother struggling to make ends meet and provide her daughter with an exceptional childhood.



Any discussion of The Florida Project needs to start with ...

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Review: The world will not end if you skip 'Doomsday Device'

Posted February 19,2018 - 02:44 PM

Doomsday

Based on the description and box art, I was sold one thing with Doomsday Device but got something completely different when I watched it. A perfect analogy would be reading the synopsis and seeing the poster for Jaws and then the film turns out to be Sharknado.

Actually, the Sharknado reference might be more on the nose the more that I think about it. Doomsday Device attempts to mix humor into an apocalyptic world is ending film only to have it mostly fall flat. Instead, the audience is laughing at the ridiculous special effects wondering if they had accidentally activated a time machine when they started the film.

The story seems interesting enough. Two FBI agents are dispatched to stop an ancient Japanese artifact from falling into the hands of a criminal overlord who intends to...

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Review: 'Hell or High Water' raises the level on 4K UHD

Posted February 13,2018 - 04:42 PM

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When it comes to hot screenwriters these days, it doesn't get any hotter than Taylor Sheridan. His debut script was the impressive Sicario and he followed it up with his modern take on a Western Hell or High Water. Finally, the studio allowed him to direct one of his scripts and it resulted in last year's sleeper hit Wind River.

All three of these films have helped to establish Taylor as a bright young voice, but it was Hell or High Water that really demonstrated his potential. The film also garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film also received three other nominations last year, including Best Picture.

Hell or High Water is one of those films that lingers with you long after the credits have finished. Set in West Texas, the film centers on two brothers...

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Review: This film is a 'Wonder'-ful good time

Posted February 13,2018 - 02:28 PM

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Let's face it, there is a bullying epidemic in this country and it doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. This is of paramount concern to me because I have two children (4 and 6) who are just starting school and are on the precipice of this very real and dangerous period in life.

The cynic out there will say that bullying has always existed throughout the ages and we all turned out just fine. This is true, but with the proliferation of social media and the cruel acceptance and societal apathy out there, bullying has never been more threatening to the youth of this country.

It is in this world that Wonder chooses to tell its tale and, perhaps, provide some hope for the future. It is really easy for a film like this to become overly heavy-handed or preachy, but the top-notch...

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Review: Sidekick 'Lefty Brown' shines in the spotlight

Posted February 13,2018 - 12:12 PM

Lefty

We have sung the praises of A24 in the past, but with The Ballad of Lefty Brown they surprise us yet again and prove that they have their fingers squarely on the pulse film aficionados everywhere. Known more for their thrillers and genre films, A24 proves that good storytelling can transcend no matter the genre.

Western films have always proved to be great performers on home entertainment, but it seems that there is always a dearth of new films in this genre. A24 primarily specializes in distribution which is a lot less risky a proposition than production and they proved their skills when they plucked this film up after its debut at last year's South by Southwest film festival.

The Ballad of Lefty Brown is an interesting film that takes tried and true Western trope, the trusty...

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Review: 'Hellraiser: Judgment' resurrects a franchise left for dead

Posted February 13,2018 - 11:03 AM

Hellraiser

In 1987, Clive Barker introduced the world to Pinhead and the horror landscape has never been the same. During the height of Freddy and Jason's popularity as horror icons, suddenly there was a third pillar of the horror community that brings his own terrible story to the genre.

At 13-years-old, I probably wasn't old enough back then to appreciate the subtlety of the mix of pain and pleasure that forms the basis of the film, I simply enjoyed horrific villains and bloody carnage. OK, I was a teenager going through puberty, so the sex didn't hurt either.

There is no question that Clive Barker is a horror film icon and after writing several films, he got his first chance to direct one of his stories with Hellraiser. I was hooked. I would follow him to the Candyman franchise and countless...

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Review: Kids love 'Hedgehogs'

Posted February 12,2018 - 04:33 PM

Hedgehogs

It might be the funny name. Hedgehogs. When my son first heard, he had an uncontrollable laughing fit. A week later, he still chuckles and says Hedgehogs from time to time. Ah, to be so young and carefree that a simple word can elicit such humor and enjoyment.

Thankfully, for the rest of us, Hedgehogs is another in a long line of quality animated family fare that helps to keep parents' sanity. In much the same way that my kids took a shine to Americano last year, they immediately fell in love with Hedgehogs and the repeat viewings are still ongoing.

Bobby is a hedgehog who befriends a portly pigeon and they must band together to save their habitat from the encroachment of humans. So, basically, just about every animated animal film ever created.



While the story might not be...

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Review: 'Hazlo Como Hombre' laughs off stereotypes

Posted February 12,2018 - 03:49 PM

Hazlo

I'll be completely honest, I haven't watched as many Mexican films as I should have over the years. I love foreign films, but I tend to watch ones from across the pond as opposed to those closer to home.

Hazlo Como Hombre (loosely translated to "Do it Like A Man") might just change that.

The film plays loose and fast with topics such as gay panic and Mexican machismo that might feel a decade out of place, but it presents a fresh reminder that these are still real fears and concerns today. You only have to look out your window or on Twitter to realize that we haven't come as far as we should in abolishing intolerance.

Until we reach that point, films such as Hazlo Como Hombre will always be needed. The film follows a man who comes to realize that he's gay and his best friend has a...

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Review: Ethan Hawke is no John Wick in '24 Hours to Live'

Posted February 06,2018 - 04:50 PM

24hours

I remember the first time that I watched John Wick. I was blown away and couldn't wait to watch it again. A few days later, I did watch it again with my wife this time, and she confirmed the film's awesomeness.

When I threw in 24 Hours to Live to review it this past weekend, I was secretly hoping that this film would move me in much the same way that John Wick did.

Spoiler alert: 24 Hours to Live is no John Wick.

The storyline is promising. A former marine is recruited by a shadowy company to be a mercenary and is killed after he returns from retirement for "one last job." The only problem is that his company needs some information from its recently deceased asset, so it employs a new technology that resuscitates the recently deceased for exactly (you guessed it) 24 hours - complete...

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Review: 'House of Demons' is a weird trip on the crazy train

Posted February 06,2018 - 02:58 PM

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There are some films that are better after you reach a certain level of consciousness that is most easily attained with certain chemicals if you get my drift. While I did not partake in such shenanigans before watching House of Demons, I am sure that the film will be infinitely more enjoyable with a little buzz.

I mean the fact that the film's plot is heavily centered on mind-enhancing pharmaceuticals to reach higher levels of consciousness makes you wonder what the filmmakers were smoking when they were making this film. And yet, House of Demons is a film that strikes out on its own path to create a truly unique film that hits as many high notes as it misses.

The film follows a group of estranged friends who reunite to attend a wedding. It turns out that they share a life-defining...

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