Throwaway Throwbacks

Throwaway Throwbacks

Snatched and King Arthur

(May 18, 2017) Reviews SNATCHED. When Amy Schumer, building on the success both of her stand-up comedy and subversive, hilarious TV show Inside Amy Schumer, made her first foray into the Hollywood mainstream,...

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Family Messes

The Dinner and Guardians of the Galaxy

(May 11, 2017) Reviews THE DINNER. Elliptical awkwardness isn't everybody's thing and that's understandable. In real life, it's almost nobody's thing, and those who enjoy it are challenging to be around, to say...

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Big Girls, Big Brothers

The Circle and Colossal

(May 4, 2017) THE CIRCLE. Where have all the techno-thrillers gone? I began to wonder this after my disappointing afternoon with The Circle. I claim to be no expert in the subgenre, but...

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Running for Cover

The Promise and Free Fire

(April 27, 2017) Reviews THE PROMISE. And so we revisit the conundrum of the historical drama, tangled with as recently as last week regarding The Zookeeper's Wife. Again, a movie takes as its...

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Escape/Escapism

The Zookeeper's Wife and The Fate of the Furious

(April 20, 2017) REVIEWS THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE. Period drama can, and in this case does, provide a respite from the breakneck editing and handheld camerawork that have subsumed the modern cinematic lexicon. It...

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Cringeworthy

Toni Erdmann's dad jokes

(April 13, 2017) TONI ERDMANN. I pride myself on an appreciation of bizarre cinema, from camp to cult to psychedelic to oddball. It's not that I'm steely — plenty of genre films leave...

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The Old You

Donald Cried and Ghost in the Shell

(April 6, 2017) Reviews DONALD CRIED. For a small group of us who began refining — or at least establishing, as refinement may or may not have anything to do with it —...

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Motivation

Life and CHiPs

(March 30, 2017) Reviews LIFE. Offered a movie combining a screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, of Deadpool (2016) and Zombieland (2009), and the direction of Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, 2012), one...

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A Big, Hairy Deal

Beauty and the Beast

(March 23, 2017) Reviews BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The centralization of American popular cinema continues, with Disney squarely in the rich middle of it: Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel Studios all live within the...

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Creatures Great and Small

Kedi and Kong: Skull Island

(March 16, 2017) Reviews KEDI. As I age, I see the argument of "cat people" versus "dog people" as an ever more specious one. People will continue to use it to lever their...

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Battle Scars

Logan and Table 19

(March 9, 2017) Reviews LOGAN. I'll keep the preamble brief because, if memory serves, I wind up saying essentially the same thing every time a new Marvel movie comes out. As time wears...

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Sinister Elements

Brainy horror and mindless car chases

(March 2, 2017) Reviews GET OUT. My (relatively) recent enthusiasm for modern independent horror movies seemed to be on a precipitous slide toward its nadir of late. It was a startling thing to...

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Lightning Round

Animated shorts and schoolyard fisticuffs

(February 23, 2017) Reviews OSCAR ANIMATED SHORTS. Aliens, seabirds, alcoholics and the headless can be seen among the eight animated short films nominated for this year's Oscars, films that range from delightful...

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Bad, Bad Men

Wick and Grey suit up again

(February 16, 2017) Reviews JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2. Sequels, by their very nature, tend to place the audience at an impasse of anticipation and expectation. We want more of the same, provided we...

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Ringing Hollow

The strange obsolescence of Rings and Neruda

(February 9, 2017) Reviews RINGS. Much has been made of Rings being the sequel no one asked for. I'm not opposed to sequels and I fondly remember The Ring (itself a remake of...

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It Ain't all Gold

The last of a dry January

(February 2, 2017) Reviews RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER. As anyone who knows me — or has been unfortunate enough to have fallen within the sound of my voice — can attest,...

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