Men on the Rebound

The Way Back, Greed, Spenser Confidential

(March 12, 2020) Reviews THE WAY BACK. A friend asked, after initially mistaking it for The Way Way Back (2013), if this is "that remake of Hoosiers." It's neither but fair enough for...

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Modern Monsters

The Invisible Man

(March 5, 2020) Reviews THE INVISIBLE MAN. When news filtered down that Universal Pictures had big plans to reach back into its rich history and recast itself as the home of the monsters,...

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The Power to Disappoint

The Last Thing He Wanted and Call of the Wild

(February 27, 2020) Reviews The inverse of the formidable power of movies to surprise, vex, confound, titillate and excite us lies in their capacity to disappoint. We know enough about the tricks, the...

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Love and Disaster

The Photograph and Downhill

(February 20, 2020) Reviews THE PHOTOGRAPH. The story is based on love and romance, as its Feb. 14 release date might suggest, but The Photograph, written and directed by Stella Meghie, takes a...

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Squad Goals

Birds of Prey flies high

(February 13, 2020) Reviews HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY. Gratitude is ... a good thing, right? Of course it is. And we should probably count ourselves grateful. Because even as the facade of...

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Babes in the Wood

Gretel and Hansel's empty feast

(February 6, 2020) Reviews GRETEL AND HANSEL. There is much to be mined in Western fairy tales but few are as adaptable to horror as Hansel and Gretel as set down by the...

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Tough Guy Act

The Gentlemen

(January 30, 2020) Reviews THE GENTLEMEN. In case anybody was wondering, Guy Ritchie — when not occupied with middling, sometimes incomprehensibly conceived blockbusters (Sherlock Holmes and its sequel A Game of Shadows, 2009...

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Virgin River's Washed-out Humboldt

(January 23, 2020) Reviews VIRGIN RIVER. Last week I treated myself to a deep dive into the roiling drama of the Romance Writers of America, a professional organization undergoing a page-turner of...

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The Virtues of Just Mercy

(January 16, 2020) Reviews JUST MERCY. While Just Mercy, the latest from director and co-writer Destin Daniel Crettin (Short Term 12, 2013; The Glass Castle, 2017), adapting Bryan Stevenson's memoir with Andrew Lanham,...

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The Grudge isn't Worth Holding Onto

(January 9, 2020) Reviews THE GRUDGE. Having emerged from what has disconcertingly become a New Year's tradition of spending the holiday and the week bracketing it, sick abed, I recoiled, mole-like, from an...

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Diamonds in the Rough

Uncut Gems and Little Women

(January 2, 2020) Reviews UNCUT GEMS. New York City represents much of what is fascinating, romantic and terrible about the American experiment. At least to a soft, rural-raised Left Coast boy, the...

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End of Empire

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Bombshell and Cats

(December 26, 2019) Reviews STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. A friend recently referred to me as the Star Wars Grinch — for the sake of full transparency, he said it in a...

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No Good Deed

6 Underground and Richard Jewell

(December 19, 2019) Reviews 6UNDERGROUND. More than six years ago, I reviewed Pain & Gain (2013) and, in so doing, established that I will not, whether out of actual enjoyment or simple contrarianism,...

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Long Goodbyes

The Irishman and Marriage Story

(December 12, 2019) Reviews THE IRISHMAN. This is not exactly a new release. But as art and entertainment now live deathlessly — like identity, real or manufactured, and all of our malfeasance...

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Knives Out is Razor Sharp

(December 5, 2019) Reviews KNIVES OUT. Classic mystery fans are an odd lot. We gleefully watch fancy people in drafty estates stab, shoot, garotte, bash, poison and shove one another down ornate staircases....

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