Stylish Monsters

Stylish Monsters

A Simple Favor and The Predator

(September 20, 2018) Reviews A SIMPLE FAVOR. The thing here is style: a modern noir about a missing person, a psycho-sexual thriller soaked in gin and dressed in devastating clothes, played out in...

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Peppermint's Not So Fresh

Juliet is warm and sweet

(September 13, 2018) PEPPERMINT. Due to the recent and ongoing action movie renaissance, there is in every new shoot 'em up the hopeful possibility of transcendence, or at least a couple of entertaining...

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Flesh and Fury

A Prayer Before Dawn

(September 6, 2018) A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN. I left A Prayer Before Dawn feeling like I'd been beaten to a pulp in a Thai prison, but I mean that as a compliment.  Jean-Stéphane...

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Puppets in L.A.

And hip-hop opera in Oakland

(August 30, 2018) THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS. So they've got this this LA detective noir filled with violence and drugs and sex, enacted by puppets — Henson puppets, no less! — and Melissa McCarthy?...

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Crazy Good

Crazy Rich Asians earns the love

(August 23, 2018) CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Director Jon M. Chu's adaptation of Kevin Kwan's bestseller is already a big deal in that it's the first all-Asian cast from a major Hollywood studio since...

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Monsters Back from the Past

BlacKkKlansman and The Meg

(August 16, 2018) Reviews BLACKKKLANSMAN. I've never subscribed to the notion that hatred is borne of fear. There's truth to it, I suppose, but it has always seemed to me an attempted defense...

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Long Lost

Triplets, adolescence and undercover exes

(August 9, 2018) THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. There are stories, obscured by the complacency and subterfuge of modern life, that retain the power to surprise and amaze. Some, through exploration, become chilling reminders of...

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Nothing's Impossible

Fallout stunts, Don't Worry shows empathy

(August 2, 2018) Reviews MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT. Whether or not we need more missions impossible remains the subject of debate. Despite the retention of stars Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames, and the...

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Journeys with Boots Riley and ABBA

(July 26, 2018) Reviews SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. I woke up thinking about this movie, which proves hard to forget. It leaves tracers behind the eyes, like staring at a too-bright neon light in...

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Skyscraper Bites

The Rock's latest closely resembles a classic, while Ideal Home charms

(July 19, 2018) Reviews Skyscraper A show of hands then, for anyone in attendance who hasn't seen Die Hard (1988). I'd be inclined to ask you all to leave, as it would seem we...

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Comic Book Movies Can Be Fun

Ant-Man and the Wasp and The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

(July 12, 2018) Reviews Ant-Man and the Wasp. Based on my many overlong, one-note lamentations about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its unchecked consumption of cinema, one might reasonably expect that: 1) I...

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Mr. Nice Guy

Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Won't You Be My Neighbor?

(July 5, 2018) Reviews SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO. It might make sense to preface this, if only to lend some additional context. Sicario (2015) is for me a deeply soothing, satisfying experience,...

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From Another Time

Jurassic fun and Schrader's intensity

(June 28, 2018) Reviews JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. Color me ... skeptical but I had reservations. I know, I know, I'm not leading with my customary font of optimism but rest easy, there's...

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A super sequel and a super flop

(June 21, 2018) Reviews THE INCREDIBLES 2. Sequels, remakes, reboots and "remaginings" of movies happen faster than any good soul can keep up. That's what makes the arrival of The Incredibles 2 so...

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A Girl's Best Friend

Ocean's 8 pulls it off, Hereditary and mommy issues

(June 14, 2018) Reviews OCEAN'S 8. Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's 11 (2001), itself a remake of a Rat Pack vehicle, and a franchise that's been uneven at best, isn't old enough for an...

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The Young and the Feckless

Comedy from Michelle Wolf, Tig Notaro and Ali Wong

(June 7, 2018) Reviews In back-to-back news cycles swirling with tenuous international political relationships, a reported death toll of nearly 5,000 Americans in the wake of Hurricane Maria and an investigation into whether...

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