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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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  • Gangster Squad is a lot of things, but the one I didn’t expect? Good. As in, really good. The film’s grounding in noir style and a gritty thriller approach make it an odd, campy fun, with plenty of decorated veterans and a surprising amount of humor. It’s an enjoyable, blood-filled gem that doesn’t deserve its… Read more »

  • There are movies that are so bad they’re good, there are movies that are so bad they’re painful, and there are movies that are so bad they are Texas Chainsaw 3D. It’s a movie of such incompetence on all horror fronts, destroying the main character of Leatherface and making the film feel like a travesty…. 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. This is a big step down from Levine’s great 2011 effort, 50/50, for this film doesn’t hold the former’s sweetness and honesty…. Read more »

  • Promised Land is a rather great film, one that has received backlash for not taking a strong enough stance. Yet Damon’s central performance is the moral and emotional heart of the film, carrying it through the occasionally far-fetched plot twists. They work, though, as does the whole film; it’s an endearing, strong, subtle effort from… Read more »

  • The Best Films of 2012, #1-10

    Note: I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty and Amour, both of which could’ve shown up on the top 20 list. I apologize in advance for the possible exclusions, but take that into consideration when I post those reviews in the coming weeks. Most end-of-year lists include ten films. I like that idea, the… Read more »

  • The Best Films of 2012, #11-20

    Note: I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty and Amour, both of which could’ve shown up on the top 20 list. I apologize in advance for the possible exclusions, but take that into consideration when I post those reviews in the coming weeks. Most end-of-year lists include ten films. I like that idea, the… Read more »

  • The Best Male Leads of 2012

    Note: I have yet to see Amour, for which Jean-Louis Trintignant could possibly have shown up on this list. I apologize for the exclusion, but I will be seeing the film in early January. There are always outstanding performances each year, but I can’t think of one in recent memory that has held a stronger… Read more »

  • The Best Female Leads of 2012

    Note: due to release times in my area, I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty and Amour, from which Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva would undoubtedly show up on this list. I apologize in advance for the exclusions, but I will have reviews for those films when I see them in early January. Actresses… Read more »

  • The Best Supporting Actors of 2012

    Note: I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty, which supposedly holds a strong performance from Jason Clarke. Pardon the exclusion, for I will not be seeing the film until January 11th. Actors often find their footing in supporting roles, showcasing their acting potential while essentially auditioning for larger, more front-and-center roles. Most of the… Read more »

  • The Best Supporting Actresses of 2012

    Supporting actresses are often the lifeblood of ensemble films, making or breaking the material depending on just how rich the roles are. This year, there weren’t as many ensembles prominent that dictated these performances, but rather smaller, compact films that focused on a few main characters. It just so happened that some of these women… Read more »