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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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    Bear Reviews: Ant-Man

    Is Ant-Man a triumphant anthem about the necessity for bear-human relationships to stay at their current level in order to avoid a third World War? No. Is it a meditation on how the current prison system often leaves those who have served their time with little choice but to return to the life they want… Read more »

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    Bear Reviews: Iron Man 2

    I believe I may be beginning to notice a pattern here, but Iron Man 2 also contains zero bears. What bias does Kevin Feige have against bears? The world may never know. If I wanted to stretch my authority, I could say that Tony Stark’s insistence that the Iron Man suit stay with him and… Read more »

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    Ant-Man – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Ant-Man has the smallest world-building of any of Marvel’s films, which is both fitting for its character and decidedly different from the tone set by their previous effort, May’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Maybe that’s a good thing. After hearing for the past year and a… Read more »

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    Mr. Holmes – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on Luminary Daily.  Ian McKellen provides a more subtle, less stately Sherlock Holmes in the low-key, quite enjoyable Mr. Holmes. Director Bill Condon’s film navigates the world of the aged detective as if Watson was the catalyst for Holmes’ later years, in that Watson was the primary novelist who told of… Read more »

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    An Interview with Amy Schumer, the Writer and Star of ‘Trainwreck’

    Note: this interview is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily. I had the opportunity to sit down with comedian Amy Schumer, best known for her work on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, which just wrapped its third and final season. Her new film, Trainwreck, is hilarious and announces to the world that she’s… Read more »

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    Trainwreck – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. Trainwreck is an emphatic statement to the world that Amy Schumer’s comedic voice needs to be heard. She’s advancing her form as she dives into romantic comedy fare, hellbent on subverting every standard. The film easily establishes both her and Bill Hader as some of the… Read more »

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    Self/less – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Self/less tells a frustratingly familiar story with an intriguing premise. When the overly wealthy individuals in the world feel that their lives are coming to an end, they can posthumously extend their mortality by transferring themselves into a test-tube created vessel. They resemble humans and… Read more »

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    Amy – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  If I asked the majority of the public who Amy Winehouse was, they’d say she was that British artist who had that song about rehab and died of a drug overdose. Yet that only scratches the surface of the deeply troubled artist. Asif Kapadia’s Amy is the year’s… Read more »

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    Bear Reviews: The Incredible Hulk

    This July, Bear Reviews is looking back at Phase One Marvel movies. This week, we remember the one everyone forgets… While there are a few dogs in The Incredible Hulk, there are no bears. However, take a moment to consider the alternate universe where instead of being a play on the Jekyll and Hyde story,… Read more »

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    Bear Reviews: Iron Man

    This July, in preparation for the end of Marvel’s Phase Two, Bear Reviews is looking back at the Phase One films.   There are again no bears to be found in Iron Man, but watching the movie through a bear lens one cannot help but think of the Iron Man armor and Iorek Byrinson, the… Read more »