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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 »

Latest
  • Safe Haven is the best Nicholas Sparks film since 2004’s The Notebook, which reminds me that, yes, romances can be engaging, and yes, they can still surprise us. This one’s being billed as a romance and a thriller, and while the latter element is much weaker than the former, it holds resonance when the film… Read more »

  • Bullet to the Head is dumb, bloody, mindless fun, exactly what one would expect from a Sylvester Stallone-led film. His presence here is undeniably the focal point of the film, for he provides comedic relief, remarkable dexterity for a 60+ year old action star, and just all-around enjoyability for what he’s doing. The supporting cast… Read more »

  • Steven Soderbergh is one of the finest talents working today, so it’s a shame that his final film, Side Effects, is such a profound mess. We’re given a truly talented cast, mixed with an intriguing premise, and a first half that really builds up something big, but the constant twists in the film’s closing act… Read more »

  • Warm Bodies starts promising, offering an interesting world with some properly defined rules. But it all goes downhill once the romance hits, turning something slightly charming into a world that is increasingly grating. Zombie romance sounds like a tricky genre, and while it does work for quite a bit of the film’s duration, it ultimately… Read more »

  • Note: the film is released theatrically on February 8th, but it’s currently available for renting and Video On Demand. A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is a strange feature, a short mind trip that becomes surprisingly focused near the film’s optimistic conclusion. This is an endearing film with an outstanding cast, and… Read more »

  • Mama is an odd little film, a movie that seemingly wants to be a fairy tale, old-fashioned horror, a psychological thriller, and…a mess, I suppose. The creative energy is quite remarkable, for they have crafted a compelling tale that also feels stretched; this premise is intriguing, but it feels like a 30-minute tale made into… Read more »

  • Amour is a slow, deliberate, intense, and emotional affair, but it’s also one of the most challenging films I’ve ever come across. It bombards our emotions with remarkable subtlety, while at the same time providing some of the most profoundly moving and connecting scenes I’ve seen in a film in years. These are two great… Read more »

  • Not Fade Away is a music drama set during 1960s emergence of rock-n-roll, and with that delivers a solid character study that navigates conventions fluidly. Its mastering of music is quite remarkable, for it handles hit singles in a context that provides us with social commentary, character observations, and stark contrasts to modern day. Yet… Read more »

  • Predicting the Oscar Nominations

    Tomorrow morning is just another Thursday for some people, but for us film lovers, it’s the second coming of Christmas. Alright, that was too far. But it is the announcement of Oscar nominations, almost six weeks before the actual ceremony, and we’ll get an idea of just which films will dominate the box office and… Read more »

  • Zero Dark Thirty is meticulous, methodical, boldly directed, and above all a brilliant piece of filmmaking by Kathryn Bigelow. The film will earn attention on many fronts, whether that be its overhyped take on torture or its possibly politicized take, but this is a deliberate movie that delivers a bare-bones story. It also holds an… Read more »