Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal

A rundown of favorite holiday movies

(December 8, 2016) Reviews The only things kicking off at the movie house this past weekend were Incarnate and Believe, the former about a scientist inhabiting the mind of a boy possessed by...

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Golden Aged

Old Hollywood and old gags

(December 1, 2016) Reviews ALLIED. Writer/director/producer/industry titan Robert Zemeckis works ... a lot. Perhaps because he is so prolific, I've long found his catalog to be a little uneven. From the beginning of...

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Simple Magic

Fantastic Beasts and Moonlight

(November 24, 2016) Reviews FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. I suppose if I felt any sort of connection to, or even interest in, the universe of Harry Potter, I might have...

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With aliens and family

(November 17, 2016) Reviews ARRIVAL. As we watched last week's events cut through the ice floe of our national conversation about class and race — about disparity in general — and as they...

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Heal Thyself

Superheroes and war heroes

(November 10, 2016) Reviews DOCTOR STRANGE. I find it hard to get excited about a new Marvel movie and I find it equally hard to leave the theater dissatisfied. Strange's success comes...

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Puzzle Masters

Hanks and Howard's Inferno

(November 3, 2016) Reviews INFERNO. Lacking any connection to, experience with or substantive prior knowledge of the works of novelist Dan Brown, including the two prior cinematic adaptations in this series, The...

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Living Authentically

On the road and undercover

(October 27, 2016) Reviews AMERICAN HONEY. In this case it's difficult to separate my staid and cynical self from the open, curious one. The former looks at this movie as a bigger,...

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In the Red

The Accountant and Max Steel

(October 20, 2016) Reviews THE ACCOUNTANT. Director Gavin O'Connor has been grinding it out now for almost two decades. He made some waves in the burgeoning '90s indie boom without ever becoming...

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The Whole Story

Historial fiction and fuzzy memories

(October 13, 2016) Reviews THE BIRTH OF A NATION can't be experienced in a vacuum. It was never intended to be. Its marketing has effectively embraced current racial tensions, and the very...

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Deep Water

Disaster is in the details

(October 6, 2016) Reviews DEEPWATER HORIZON. It feels like yesterday when director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg collaborated on Lone Survivor (2013). This is due as much to the punishing, visceral immediacy...

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Playing Cowboy

A new gang mounts up for The Magnificent Seven

(September 29, 2016) Reviews THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. As my wife sometimes gleefully points out, I spent my early youth enchanted by the trappings of cowboy culture. Given the choice, I would almost...

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Getting Real

Faux found footage and leaks

(September 22, 2016) Reviews BLAIR WITCH. Being of a certain age, I remember the media blitz surrounding The Blair Witch Project (1999): the ambiguous print ads and teasers, the early Internet presence,...

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Hero Sum

Dissecting a crash landing and the Internet

(September 15, 2016) Reviews SULLY. Clint Eastwood has been directing movies for 45 years now, acting in them (less frequently, of late) for more than 60, and it shows. As much as...

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Cops, robbers and comics

(September 8, 2016) Reviews HELL OR HIGH WATER opens on a panorama of desolate, dusty West Texas-ness to narrow in on graffiti scrawled on cement: "3 tours in Iraq but no bailout for...

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Genre Blind

Don't Breathe and Mechanic: Resurrection

(September 1, 2016) Reviews DON'T BREATHE. Director Fede Alvarez weathered the gaze of my red, watery eye when he remade Evil Dead (2013), surpassing my low expectations with skill, imagination and reverence...

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Bros in Arms

The moral desert of War Dogs

(August 25, 2016) Reviews WAR DOGS. War, as we know, is profitable — in fact, it's a whole economy, as War Dogs makes sure to tell us right at the beginning. The film,...

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