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The Overnight – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. Few films have surprised me as much as The Overnight. It’s clearly an inventive film with a simple premise: a family “playdate” turns decidedly dirty and confusing as the insecurities of married couples come to the surface. Writer-director Patrick Brice understands his story and lets it… Read more »

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Terminator Genisys – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  The more I think about Terminator Genisys, the less of a film it becomes. The Terminator franchise has entered its fifth entry with decidedly little fanfare after the third and fourth entries proved underwhelming: Terminator: Rise of the Machines was a bridge film without a strong conflict and Terminator Salvation was… Read more »

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Magic Mike XXL – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily. Magic Mike XXL is an entirely different experience than Steven Soderbergh’s 2012 original. While both are sun-soaked and laden with oiled, chiseled men, their tones are polar opposite. Director Gregory Jacobs (whose work as an assistant director on many Soderbergh films lends… Read more »

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Ted 2 – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily.  Ted 2 is a creatively absurdist rebound for Seth MacFarlane, who brings his cartoonish antics to the big screen in a sequel that proves stronger and less offensive than its predecessor. While MacFarlane still has a knack for poorly conceived jokes regarding… Read more »

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A Deadly Adoption – TV Movie Review

Lifetime’s A Deadly Adoption feels like a minor exaggeration of the Lifetime standard, which makes the project both slightly amusing and familiarly tiresome. Centering on a married couple who continues to reel after a miscarriage threatens the fabric of the family, the film uses Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig without much consideration for their comedic talents. Instead, the film walks… Read more »

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Inside Out – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily.  Exploring the mind of an 11-year old girl through animation sounds admittedly thin on premise and flimsy in its potential execution. Sure enough, Pixar’s 15th film is perhaps their most brilliant creation to date, thanks in large part to director Pete Docter’s… Read more »

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is that special breed of teenage film that strikes an emotional cord with every fundamental age group. It’s a film marked by deeply rooted compassion from writer Jesse Andrews and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, both making their emphatic debuts on… Read more »

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Jurassic World – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Jurassic Park was an exhilarating adventure from start to finish, driven by strong characters, a Spielbergian family core, and thematic resonance that lingered in practically every frame. Its two follow-ups, particularly the third installment, never regained the sense of wonder and spectacle that the first… Read more »

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Insidious: Chapter 3 – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Insidious: Chapter 3 shows remarkable signs of life for a series now entering its third film in five years. After a significant drop in quality from the delightfully terrifying first film to the mediocre, repetitive second film, the latest entry tells a story that takes… Read more »

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Spy – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily.  Melissa McCarthy continues to prove that, when given ripe comedic material, she is one of the funniest actresses on the planet. After some misfires like Identity Thief and the thoroughly unpleasant Tammy, she re-teams with Paul Feig for Spy, their third collaboration following their previous endeavors Bridesmaids and The Heat…. Read more »