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REVIEW - Last Christmas

"Just saw a 7:00pm Thursday night show in Los Angeles. As flawed/imperfect as the film is, its quite winning due in a large part to some heavy lifting by Emilia Clarke. She’s got a real Sandra Bullock/Julia Roberts star power on full display here.-HardyofHearing

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Entries in Winston Duke (7)

Thursday
Mar212019

Review: "Us"

by Chris Feil

With his Academy Award winning debut feature Get Out, Jordan Peele distilled an expansive theme into one formidable package. His follow-up Us - a film as giddy to scare us as the kind of carnival house of horrors that its young Adelaide wanders into in the film’s opening moments - does the exact opposite. Here Peele builds upon a single idea, one that doesn’t come into its clearest view until the final moments. Whether Peele is asking us to look inward or look outward, he has shown to be one of the sharpest modern storytellers when it comes to exploring an expanse of intertwined psychosocial ideas.

After her brief ominous prologue, we are reintroduced to the adult Adelaide Wilson, played by the immediately knighted scream queen Lupita Nyong’o. Adelaide is beginning a summer vacation with her husband Gabe and two children, Zora and Jason, but she is seemingly ever at ease. After returning to the beach of her unspoken trauma brings her lingering paranoia to the surface, her family is visited upon by a doppelgänger one. And each of these uninvited guests has brought a very large pair of scissors.

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Monday
Mar112019

SXSW: Jordan Peele has another winner with "Us"

Guest contributor Tony Ruggio reporting from SXSW

Between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five years-old I witnessed what they would call the 11:11 “phenomenon.” Essentially, I saw a three or four-number combination of 1 in all walks of life. I saw it on television, often the last four of a Crash Bandicoot lawyer’s telephone number. I saw it during lunch time, the split-second moment a microwave hit that magic number. Most of all, I saw it on a clock, at least once a day every day. The paranoid and pretty rad among us consider this phenomenon many things: good luck, a sign from God, a glitch in the Matrix, a pang of the end times, or even a calling to those chosen to effect change and save the world from itself. Jordan Peele must have been a “witness” himself or simply heard about it and did his research, because Us is littered with references to this numeral phenomenon and the conspiracy theories that have sprung of it. More traditional horror than Get Out, and a better film too, Us gets hung up on making a big statement, but ends up making a great horror film regardless.

This might be sacrilegious to those already devoted to Peele: Get Out is a good film, one whose merits lay more in writing than in directing. Silly folks label it a thriller, denying it “horror” status. Even if you grant that Get Out was not a horror film in concept, it's definitely a horror film in execution. Therefore, I knocked it at the time for not being scary enough. With Us, Peele is firing on all scary-movie cylinders, and doing so with a wider array of tools at his disposal, chief of all his confidence...

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Wednesday
Feb272019

''Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man'

We'd be remiss not to share photos of the men of the 91st Academy Awards. Who wins your best dressed among the men? Despite Rami's perpetually crooked tie, Christian Bale's typical black on black (we didn't include him -- you've seen it dozens of times over the years), and the weird choice of shoes that did strange things to Stephan James (making him look shorter and more childlike), most of the men really stepped it up on Sunday. Men's fashion has been ever-so-slightly more daring this season...

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Wednesday
Feb132019

PETA's "Oscat" Winners: Bradley Cooper, Black Panther, Annihilation

by Nathaniel R

Here's an award you might not have heard of. PETA, the animal rights organization, gives out "Oscats" each year honoring the most animal friendly films and stars. So, even though Bradley Cooper has PETA's senior vice president says:

PETA is thrilled to recognize the people and projects behind Hollywood’s most significant animal rights advances of the year.”

The winners and why they were chosen after the jump...

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Wednesday
Dec262018

YNMS: "Us"

by Chris Feil

Yesterday, Jordan Peele was our Santa Claus doling out cinematic gifts. First thing Christmas morning, the writer/director of the Oscar winning Get Out dropped the trailer to his follow-up to that mega-smash, the cryptically titled Us. And the internet promptly snapped - or snipped, given the film's scissor fascination.

Curiosity would naturally be at a fever pitch for what Peele has in store for us for his sophomore feature, and Us has smartly been quiet until now. The film centers around Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide, a mother taking her family (including Winston Duke as her husband) on a beachside vacation only to be visited by a menacing family of their doppelgangers, The Tethered.

The trailer, which really plays like an extended teaser, gives us hints at the themes Peele is working with - family, trauma, self-reflection. And if Peele's promises that this film would be more firmly planted in horror elements hadn't convinced you, hold onto your butts...

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