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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: Toy Story

    This June, Bear Reviews is looking back at some of the classic movies that Pixar has released over the years. And what better place to start than at the very beginning? Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell your local zoo! Bear Reviews is reviewing classic Pixar movies, just for you!   Toy Story asks… Read more »

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    Bear Reviews: Spy

      Spy more or less answers the question: “What if there was a Bond movie where Bond was actually a drunken buffoon who didn’t actually get anything done, but instead an unconventional Bond girl did all the real work?” Despite its excellence, Spy cares more about spying than it does about bears, an animal species… Read more »

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    Hot Girls Wanted – Movie Review

    Note: this film is currently available on Netflix Instant streaming.  Porn stars are people, too. While that may sound obvious and quite superficial, it cuts to the heart of Hot Girls Wanted. The Netflix acquired documentary that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival demonstrates the objectification and abuse of women in the porn industry, most… Read more »

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    Aloha – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. It’s difficult to process that Aloha is a Cameron Crowe film considering the film’s monotonous tone and overwhelmingly expository dialogue. It feels like the project of a first-time writer-director attempting to find his identity. It’s surprising, then, that this is a film from an acclaimed storyteller… Read more »

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    Barely Lethal – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. The high school genre has increasingly worn its welcome in film, with many modern entries attempting to both subvert and pay respect to the tropes of the genre. Unfortunately, Barely Lethal does much of the same, aiming to take down the familiarity of the genre by… Read more »

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    Bear Reviews: The Broadway Melody (1929)

    This May, Bear Reviews is reviewing Oscar Winners of the 1920s. Which is easy because there are only two of them!   The Broadway Melody is about three assholes, two of whom conspire to not allow one of the assholes to date a sleaze, but instead to date one of them, who is also a… Read more »

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    David Letterman: A Late Night Legend

    Note: this article is featured on Luminary Daily. My generation, full of twenty-somethings in a digital age, often connect most with late-night hosts whose names start with Jimmy or Conan. Jimmy Fallon’s segments always seem to go viral, Jimmy Kimmel always has major celebrities come onto his show after sporting events or awards shows, and… Read more »

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    Tomorrowland – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. Tomorrowland is admittedly ambitious and told with a sense of visual splendor in its first half, but the second half fails to fulfill the promises of its convoluted storyline. Director Brad Bird has moved his career away from animation (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille)… Read more »

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    I’ll See You in My Dreams – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. Tenderness and compassion are rare elements in the modern film industry. Yet I’ll See You in My Dreams prides itself on its old-fashioned emotions and of-a-certain-age lead characters. That could have led to a refreshing if contrived narrative, but Brett Haley’s film emerges as a strong example… Read more »

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    Good Kill – Movie Review

    Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Good Kill is one of the first films to tackle the heated social issue of drone strikes, and it treats the subject with strong morality and biting criticism. The film stars Ethan Hawke as an embattled military pilot that has been subjected to indirectly flying… Read more »