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Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Movie Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a pleasant comedy propelled almost exclusively by dry, character-driven humor. That’s a refreshing characteristic in a summer landscape bloated with contrived, action-heavy blockbusters and gross-out comedies led by men and women alike. Writer-director Taika Waititi is a creative force that will be increasingly nitpicked, considering his next film is Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok; independent filmmaking… Read more »

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The Witch – Movie Review

After seeing The Witch for a second time, I’m certain it’ll be talked about for decades to come as a horror classic. It had been 13 months since I initially saw the film at its widely hyped premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (my initial thoughts can be found here), where I was left with an indelible… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 19, Bear Reviews Edition: Ringu

Note: The following contains spoilers. Imagine the scene. You’ve just returned home after vandalizing a woman’s resting place and climbing wells and thinking about ghosts and curses for many-a-nights and you sit down and the television turns out. Standing there is a bear on a unicycle and it slowly, menacingly unicycles towards the camera. You… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 18: Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood

Note: The following contains spoilers. In some ways I appreciate The New Blood more than most Friday the 13th movies. It at times manages to hit the “fun” tone that Jason Lives wanted to hit with better results, but the decision to have Jason face a telepath is probably an interesting one that was just… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 17: The Cabin in the Woods

Note: The following contains spoilers. Early on in The Cabin in the Woods, our group of college kids visits an old gas station and gets warned about their doom from the station owner. The crotchety old fella is a cliché in every sense of the word, but while watching the scene I couldn’t help but… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 16: Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

Note: The following contains spoilers. I thought that I may have hit the nadir of the Friday the 13th franchise with A New Beginning, in which, just to remind everybody, a faux-Jason spends the movie slaughtering kids at a halfway house. But then I watched Jason Lives and found something even worse than the killing… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 15: Scream 2

Note: The following contains spoilers. I have conflicted feelings on Scream 2. While I really like the way they played with the villains’ motivations being responses to the common reasons people gave for violent behavior around the time the movie was released, the villains themselves didn’t quite come together for me, and they felt more… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 14: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

Note: The following contains spoilers. Much of the bad word-of-mouth around A New Beginning stems from the fact that it doesn’t have Jason in it. Despite what people may say, this isn’t an inherent problem (the original film didn’t have Jason as the killer either, and we don’t even hear Jason’s name until the film… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 13: REC 2

Note: The following contains spoilers. REC 2 starts out very much as the Aliens to REC’s Alien. Meaning that the original was a group of ordinary people shoved into extraordinary circumstances that they have no real hope of overcoming and they get picked off one-by-one, while the sequel starts with an armed, highly-trained group (in… Read more »

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Halloween-A-Thon Day 12: The Descent

Note: The following contains spoilers. One of the cave-dwelling monsters in The Descent attacks and scares the main group 56 minutes into a 96-minute movie. It’s a long time for the “villains” of the movie to not be active in terrorizing the main characters, but Neil Marshall masterfully builds tension throughout the first hour, and… Read more »

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  • Epic is a fine enough film for young children, but its lack of engagement with adults leads to a menial, simple adventure that lacks the power of recent Disney and Pixar efforts. I know, this is a children’s animated film, and I’m technically not the core audience of such a feature. Yet the occasionally original bits… Read more »

  • ‘The Office’ Series Finale: A Satisfying, Heartfelt Conclusion

    The Office concluded its nine-year run on Thursday night, fulfilling many promises that the show brought forth in its final season. The show, through many changes including its writers and even its main star (with Steve Carell, playing Michael Scott, leaving after the seventh season), always remained the same, deriving its humor from its wonderfully realized… Read more »

  • Shot in beautiful black-and-white, Frances Ha is a wonderful character study from Noah Baumbach that utilizes Great Gerwig’s talents to the fullest. Her Frances is determined, sure, struggling, but optimistic about this world she inhabits, and her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) is essentially the same person, as Frances describes her to people. Sumner is quite strong… Read more »

  • Star Trek Into Darkness is a terrible title for a rather excellent film, using a simplistic tale of morality and infusing it with enough bright characterizations to fulfill its duty as a sci-fi feature. J.J. Abrams’ sequel to his solid reboot in 2009 follows Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the… Read more »

  • Antiviral is a legitimate horror film: it manifests scares from its dystopic world, its characters are compellingly creepy and beguiling, and Cronenberg’s direction demonstrates a talent for creating claustrophobic, bloody scenes. The film centers on a man working for the Lucas Clinic, which effectively fills people’s desires to become closer with celebrities that they obsess over…. Read more »

  • Ramin Bahrani’s At Any Price is a rare film. It holds one of the most perfect endings I’ve seen in the history of my moviegoing, yet remains surrounded by a compelling, if sometimes consistently mediocre tale. This is a story of the decay of American farming life, but also one of family legacy, and generational influence that… Read more »

  • Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby looks and feels like an artistic vision, even if the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic misses a lot of the subtleties of the novel. The acting all around is superb, and holding much of the novel’s original prose lends plenty to the dramatic heft of the film; it’s also one of… Read more »

  • An experience like Upstream Color is the most rewarding one I hope for when going to the theater. It’s engaging due to its complexity, it’s thought-provoking, it’s so abstract that metaphors are pervasive and symbolism evident, and it leaves on a note that asks a simple question: “When can I see that again?” Very rarely do I… Read more »

  • Iron Man 3 is a safe film, a simple piece of popcorn entertainment that delivers exactly what you’d expect. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Robert Downey Jr. is still charming and the characters engaging, for the most part. The movie falls into the trap that Iron Man 2 set, though, in the sense that there… Read more »

  • Disconnect is a revelation from five years ago, in the sense that these ideas have been present in many works since technology began to take over our lives. That doesn’t make the film any less compelling, though, for the idea of these disconnected individuals who hope to find some type of human connection speaks wonders about… Read more »