Of Ectoplasm and Narcs

Of Ectoplasm and Narcs

Ghostbusters, Infiltrators cross streams

(July 21, 2016) Reviews Ghostbusters. I would love to write an impassioned defense of the new Ghostbusters. I would find it deeply satisfying, both as a fan of the original and as...

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Dating Secrets

Mike and Dave bring the laughs, Pets falls flat

(July 14, 2016) Reviews Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. As I've said time and time again, R-rated comedy is a risky genre. Banking on the strength or audacity of the material, it...

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The Buddy System

For self help and survival

(July 7, 2016) Reviews SWISS ARMY MAN. If we're being honest, Humboldt County doesn't really have the best track record when it comes to recent movie production. Sure, we get a little thrill...

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Hate Couture

And blood in the water

(June 30, 2016) THE NEON DEMON. Following Drive (2011) — which I found revelatory and some dismissed as over-reaching genre trash — director Nicholas Winding Refn re-teamed with Ryan Gosling for a crimson...

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Most Likely to Succeed

Duane Johnson and Kevin Hart on their grind

(June 23, 2016) Reviews Here begins the section describing the rationale (rationalization?) behind skipping Finding Dory. The exigencies of a weekend entertaining family-in-law, which included the oyster festival, a Crabs game and...

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Second Stories

Hauntings and cheap tricks

(June 16, 2016) Reviews THE CONJURING 2. A sequel is a prickly, contentious proposition. Most, at least in this era, are conceived of a transparent greed and opportunism that throws whatever art...

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Only the Lonely

Pairing up and coming down

(June 9, 2016) Reviews THE LOBSTER. David (Colin Farrell), a man living either in the near future or an alternate reality, has recently been left by his wife of 11 years. But...

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Time Was

Alice and X-Men

(June 2, 2016) Reviews ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS A sequel, especially when it's meant to cash in the success of the original and is cut loose from a director with a defined...

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Bad Girls

And nice guys

(May 26, 2016) Reviews NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING. Maybe it's the inevitable softening of my brain or the fact that I've spent enough time around 20-somethings (Millenials!) in recent years to feel...

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The strength of small stories

(May 19, 2016) Reviews A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING. The Tom Hanks of bygone days, of The Money Pit (1986) and Dragnet (1987) and The 'Burbs (1989), the long-suffering everyman with impeccable comic...

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O Captain! My Captain!

Civil War's superpower politics

(May 12, 2016) Reviews CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. I've made no secret of my base-level disinterest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe nor my growing concern that said universe, in its ever-widening, sun-blotting expansion,...

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Nine Lives

Key and Peele go to the movies

(May 5, 2016) Reviews KEANU. Right off, there is something conceptually funny about grown men going to great, life-threatening lengths just to find — and fight violently over — a cat. And for...

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Let It Go

Sister drama and hoarding in Huntsman and Doris

(April 28, 2016) Reviews THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR. To say one movie represents everything that is wrong with Hollywood in 2016 is both facile and unfair; there are, after all, so, so...

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Welcome to the Jungle

Jungle Book brings back wonder

(April 21, 2016) Reviews THE JUNGLE BOOK. The last few years have made me almost as wary of children's movies as I am of remakes. Both seem increasingly crass: uninspired excuses to cash...

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On Task

The Boss and Hardcore Henry come back swinging

(April 14, 2016) Reviews THE BOSS. That a sailor-tongued, female-centric comedy not fronted by Amazons should win the weekend over (I'm told) yet another not so super-hero tent-pole attempt is perhaps good news...

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Far from Home

Mojave and Anomalisa

(April 7, 2016) Reviews I am not, nor have I ever been, a person of faith. Since childhood, I self-identified as an agnostic, but this was based more in my conciliatory nature and...

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