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Entries in Reviews (566)

Monday
Aug142017

Review: The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle flashes back-and-forth between adult Jeanette Walls (Brie Larson), a gossip columnist ashamed of her oft-homeless parents (Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts), and her memories of her difficult nomadic childhood...

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Saturday
Aug052017

Review: "The Dark Tower"

by Chris Feil

The Stephen King resurgence continues with his epic genre mashup series The Dark Tower finally coming to the screen from director Nikolaj Arcel, and with the powerful Idris Elba in tow as the enigmatic gunslinger Roland Deschain. But this one isn’t likely to come ahead of the King-idolatry of Stranger Things or the upcoming adaptation of It, as it barely resembles his creation or any of the elements that make him one of our foremost pulse-quickeners.

The Dark Tower centers on Jake Chambers, a troubled teenager with visions of otherworldly cataclysm centered around the evil Man in Black, played with nonchalance by Matthew McConaughey. Jake flees across dimensions into Roland’s world and the two pair up to stop the Man In Black from destroying the titular Dark Tower and with it all of existence. When the film immediately forces its hero Roland Deschain to the background for its first two acts (and without building a mythos to capitalize on once he emerges), it’s the first sign that something is majorly amiss in this adaptation...

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Valerian in the shadow of The Fifth Element

by Dancin' Dan

Luc Besson's comic adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a mess. But so was his magnum opus The Fifth Element, and that Bruce Willis-starrer went on to become something of a modern-day sci-fi classic. Only time will tell if Valerian will go on to a similarly charmed afterlife, but for my money it suffers under the weight of expectations.

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Double Feature: "Atomic Blonde" and "Girl's Trip"

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a slightly extended edition.

It’s a special ‘Sister’s Are Doin’ It For Themselves’ double review with two female-driven hits.

Have you caught Girls Trip yet? I was one week late to the party after its hit opening weekend. When we looked around the theater this weekend my best friend was all “it’s 80% women of color and 20% gay men!” Truth! And perfect as target audiences go for an urban female comedy called Girls Trip. The crowd was boisterous, laughing their asses off throughout but also visibly feeling the '90s hiphop soundtrack and audibly praising the “message” moments in the movie.

The night before I saw Atomic Blonde and though I didn’t see anyone dancing in their seats, I was dancing on the inside with its killer 1980s new wave soundtrack...

 

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Monday
Jul312017

Review: The Emoji Movie

By Sean Donovan

The internet has spent the past few days savagely ripping apart The Emoji Movie, the animated film about sentient emojis and the adventures they have within your smartphone. This is a film made specifically for children of the internet, who might gaze upon this Sony vertical integration monstrosity of app references and infomercials for about a minute before heading back to their own smartphones. It’s tough to review The Emoji Movie, because it’s tough to take its lack of creativity and basic construction seriously when such cynicism and apathy burns off the screen. It singes your eyebrows. No one cared about making this movie; I can’t imagine anyone coming up with a criticism the filmmakers would even protest. The Emoji Movie is the unadulterated heart of capitalism pumping out disinterested beats, an infomercial for WeChat here, a paid ad for CandyCrush there, Sony everywhere you look...

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Tuesday
Jul252017

Doc Corner: 'An Inconvenient Sequel' and 'Chasing Coral'

Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth was a brilliantly effective work of agitprop. It pushed Al Gore’s pet climate change cause into the cultural stratosphere and won two Academy Awards for the effort. Of course, one’s mileage with it as a good film or not likely depends on whether you consider good intentions as Oscar worthy. I personally don't care for the movie, and could easily list a dozen documentaries from 2006 worthier of the Oscar. Not the mention dozens of enviro-docs that are worthier of your time.

Still, despite this, I do not necessarily begrudge Guggenheim his Oscar (remember, Gore did not get a statue – something a right-wing commentator mistakes in the opening passages of this sequel). There is something to said about a film, documentary or not, that makes an audience feel and become as impassioned about as subject like this one did. It's just particularly frustrating with Truth given the inherently fascinating subject that inspires so many critical and scientific paths and which took the easiest and most pedestrian path.

Which brings us to a rare documentary sequel...

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