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Today:  06/18/2019

Review: 'Under the Silver Lake' is a trippy cinematic treasure

Posted June 18,2019 - 05:04 PM

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It's sad, but most films that you see today are what I like to call single-serving entertainment options. It's probably something that I borrowed from my favorite author Chuck Palahniuk and the film adaptation of his work Fight Club, but most movies these days are only good for one viewing and then you immediately forget about it.

Perhaps it's a byproduct of our instant on-demand world where a host of entertainment options are available to us with the push of a single button 24 hours a day, but it's rare these days for me to go back and re-watch a movie. Remember the good old days when we would rewatch our favorite films over and over again? I literally can not tell you how many times I have seen Clerks.

Under the Silver Lake is the exception to this rule. While it has been over a...

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Review: 'Crypto' fails to deliver the goods

Posted June 18,2019 - 12:20 PM

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Quick, name the Hemsworth brothers.

Well, you've got Thor naturally. And there's the one that is married to Miley Cyrus and was in those Hunger Games movies. And then, there's Fat Thor. Oh wait, on second glance, that's Luke Hemsworth.

To be fair, when your brothers have chiseled out such impressive resumes, they can be a hard act to follow. The eldest of the Hemsworth brothers, Luke has actually seen his fair share of accolades lately for his performances in Westworld and Hickok.

Unfortunately, Crypto is one of those movies that he'll most likely want to forget.

Crypto follows a hotshot Wall Street banker/cybersecurity expert who ruffles the wrong feathers and is sent to the pasture to look in the transactions of a bank branch in upstate New York. The branch happens to be close to...

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Review: 'Captain Marvel' is the hero we need anytime

Posted June 11,2019 - 05:03 PM

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I really never understood the whole backlash on Captain Marvel. Of course, it sounded a lot like the same fanboys airing their own insecurities about the last few Star Wars films. Guess what guys, women can kick ass too and that's precisely what Brie Larson does as Captain Marvel.

I really don't want to get my soapbox out, but if there was one criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it was its reliance upon male superheroes to carry the load, especially in the early films. This is something that Marvel has acknowledged and I think they have really done a spectacular job in bringing more balance to the storytelling in the last few years.

Still, Captain Marvel was the first film in the MCU to prominently feature a female superhero and there had to be some trepidation leading...

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Review: 'Ghostbusters' 35th Anniversary 4K Steelbook is spooky good

Posted June 11,2019 - 03:49 PM

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How is it possible that it has been 35 years since Ghostbusters. It doesn't seem possible, but yet here we are. Exactly 35 years ago this week, the iconic film hit theaters and quickly took the world by storm.

The Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis vehicle dominated a strong summer that included other blockbuster hits such as Gremlins (opened on the same day), The Karate Kid and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom en route to $229 million at the box office. That might sound like a lot in Marvel dollars, but it was good enough to finish in second place for the entire year, a measly five million dollars behind 1984 box office champ Beverly Hills Cop.

Yes, Ghostbusters was a cultural phenomenon and its impact continues to be felt to this day. Heck, I went to Target today at lunch...

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Review: Third time not a charm for 'Norm of the North'

Posted June 11,2019 - 02:36 PM

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I'm beginning to wonder if Lionsgate got a deal too good to pass up. You know, like buy one Norm of the North, get two free. You have to think that something's up because Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure is the third film in a franchise that debuted in 2016 and the second sequel to be released this year.

And it's only June.

At this rate, we will have at least two more Norm of the North before the end of the year. Brrr. I'm calling a holiday-themed Norm of the North film where Norm helps out Santa and saves Christmas right now. It will most assuredly come out in early December.

In this installment, Norm meets an archaeologist and agrees to help him secure a priceless Chinese artifact that was stolen by his old partner Dexter. Now, Norm and his lemming friends must track Dexter...

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Review: 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate' misses its mark

Posted June 04,2019 - 04:54 PM

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The summer of 1969 was one of the most iconic and influential periods in American history. Over the course of a few weeks, you had Woodstock, the Apollo 11 landing on the moon and the infamous Manson Family murders. Given that this year is the 50th anniversary of those events, you don't have to be Sharon Tate to have a premonition that we will most likely be inundated with films to celebrate their anniversary.

I don't mean to be glib about the tragic murder of one of Hollywood's brightest up and coming stars 50 years ago, but that's pretty much how The Haunting of Sharon Tate treats it. The Manson Family murders are one of those era-defining events that resonate with all of us all of these years later. Growing up, I was afraid of Charles Manson because of the stories that I heard and...

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Review: 'The Natural' is a home run on 4K UHD

Posted June 04,2019 - 12:37 PM

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As a child that grew up in the 1980s, HBO is probably the most responsible for me becoming the film fanatic that I am today. This decade was ripe for home entertainment innovation as cable television and the VCR allowed Hollywood unprecedented affordable access to our living rooms.

For better or worse, I grew up with a litany of movies that always played in heavy rotation on HBO. That's why I continue to hold such high esteem for films such as Midnight Madness, Real Genius and The Neverending Story. So, when The Natural debuted on HBO on June 21, 1985, I knew that it would become a touchstone sports film for me.

The underdog story that rails against avarice, The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a young baseball phenom destined for greatness in the sport. Along the way, his...

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Review: 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' is brilliantly mad

Posted May 31,2019 - 04:32 PM

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Terry Gilliam is a genius. Even if you take away his Monty Python catalog of work, he still has an impressive resume including Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Of course, many of you reading this probably haven't seen half of those films or know what Monty Python is. Do yourself a favor and go back to these pillars of modern comedy and take notes.

Terry Gilliam certainly has a unique visual style and his films usually require the audience to become active participants on the journey. He just has a knack for storytelling and that couldn't be any more evident than in his latest film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

The movie follows a commercial director that is reaching back to his roots and a student film about Don...

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Review: 'The Kid' is a fresh take on an Old West legend

Posted May 30,2019 - 04:36 PM

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They say, "Never meet your idols." They say, "Those that can't do, teach." It's a good thing that "they" are almost always wrong.

Vincent D'Onofrio is an accomplished actor that isn't afraid to take the path least chosen in his roles. Taking routine roles on paper and turning them into iconic characters is sort of what he does. So, how would handle treating one of the single-most iconic characters of the Old West?

Naturally, the pupil-turned-teacher D'Onofrio returns to the director's chair for only the second time to give us not only a refreshing new take on the whole Billy the Kid mythology but perhaps the best one yet. It would be easy to think that the titular character of The Kid refers to William Bonney, but it's just as likely to refer to another character who finds...

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Review: Julianne Moore is radiant in 'Gloria Bell'

Posted May 29,2019 - 03:20 PM

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Sadly, the old Hollywood tenet is true. There just doesn't seem to be any good roles for middle-aged women. While this fact is tragic on its own, it's increasingly sad when we realize that all of the fantastic actresses that we grew up with find themselves in this acting limbo zone.

I'm not going to turn this review into a criticism of Hollywood patriarchy, because that has been done time and again recently. Instead, I will sing highly my praises of Gloria Bell and argue until I'm out of breath that it is precisely the film rebuttal to all of this patriarchy and should be the rule and not the exception in Hollywood going forward.

Julianne Moore stars as the titular character who is about a decade removed from a divorce and is still finding it difficult to move on with her life. Her...

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