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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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  • If you’ve ever wondered how a film can have a beautiful, often breathtaking idea and squander it almost immediately, look no further than Upside Down. It’s a film that maybe could’ve been a masterpiece under other pretenses: a much larger budget, a bigger cast, a more focused story, or simply more engaging characters. This is a… Read more »

  • Ginger & Rosa is a mesmerizing, seemingly poetic film about two young girls discovering who they are at very different points in their lives. They live vicariously through one another: Ginger is more graceful and easy-going, but plays along with Rosa as she wants to make out with boys and smoke cigarettes. They’re rebellious children in… Read more »

  • The Host is a terrible film for a variety of reasons, but the most apparent is that it has no sense of characters, plot movement, conflict, or really any type of struggle. Except, maybe the one endured by the audience as they seemingly question what the point of such a bland, lifeless film is. This is… Read more »

  • Admission isn’t really a good comedy, or a good drama, but merely a mediocre film that wastes the enormous comedic talents of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton who realizes she may have found her son she gave up for adoption, something she certainly wasn’t looking for. While that central… Read more »

  • Evil Dead is a gruesome spectacle that lacks the charm of the original, but it holds up as a sufficient horror film that wants to be gross rather than scare. Its plot and characters are remarkably weaker than the original, losing a lot of the bite that a character like Ashley had (granted, Bruce Campbell did… Read more »

  • The Place Beyond the Pines is Derek Cianfrance’s remarkably ambitious follow-up to 2010’s Blue Valentine, a sprawling epic focusing on two generations of fathers and sons, separated into three distinct acts that each contain their own climaxes and themes. Ryan Gosling plays the doomed bank robber who wants to provide for his son, and his path crosses Bradley… Read more »

  • Stoker is one of the most visually arresting films I’ve seen in years, so it’s only fitting that I wish it was accompanied by that strong of a narrative. The movie’s wonderfully stylized and competent for its short running time, yet it never picks up any type of thematic consistency. I’m not going to insist that… Read more »

  • Enlightened is a show that so few people actually watch, yet I feel like it should be one of the most universally beloved on television. While most mainstream dramas and comedies are filled with pessimism, sarcasm, or elements of regret, doom, loss of faith, or simply sadness, here’s a television show that contains such blind optimism… Read more »

  • Spring Breakers indulges in excess, showing us scene after scene of disgusting partying and moral depravity: women covering their bodies with alcohol as if it’s water, men snorting cocaine off their stomachs, smoking so much weed that it makes a chain tobacco smoker look like a novice, and people having sex with whatever moves around them…. Read more »

  • The Croods has a lot going on visually and creatively, but it’s also entirely pointless in its presentation and narrative drive. The movie feels like a weird combination of The Simpsons and The Flintstones, in that it uses elements from both and doesn’t seem to understand that it’s stealing the character types and not doing anything new with the… Read more »