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Movie Reviews Archives for 2017-09

Regional Media Movie Re-Review Logan

When I first saw Logan, the latest spin-off of the X-Men franchise, I was not impressed. There was so much hype, so much discussion about how the R-Rating would finally allow Wolverine to be Wolverine. Then I saw the film and found it to be as conventional as any of the other X-Men movies with a little bit of gore tacked on for fan service. So what’s changed for me since March of this year? Why was watching Logan at home on a DVD screener from the studio so different from watching the film in theaters earlier this year?

Click the picture for the full review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review American Made

American Made stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a real life character who was at the center of the drug, guns, and South American contras controversies of the late 70s and 80s. Barry was just an airline pilot for TWA until the CIA caught wind of his trafficking in Cuban cigars. Sensing that Barry has just the kind of moral flexibility that the CIA needs, Agent Shaffer (Domnhall Gleeson) recruits him to run reconnaissance missions in South America, spying on supposed communist outposts.

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Click the poster for the full length written review. 

 

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Regional Media Move Review Stronger

Stronger stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, a man who lost his legs to the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Before the marathon, Jeff was just an anonymous Costco employee who loved the Red Sox and wanted to reconcile with his girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany) who dumped him because he rarely showed up when he was supposed to. On April 15, 2013, Jeff finally showed up at the Boston Marathon in the hope that his homemade sign cheering Erin on to the finish line might win her back.

Click the poster for the full length written review.... 

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Regional Media Movie Review The Lego Ninjago Movie

Lego Ninjago has not one single laugh. It has amusing moments but not a single instance of induced laughter. And I am not just speaking for myself here. The audience I watched Lego Ninjago with was really ready to laugh and you could hear some forced attempts at trying to laugh but as the movie went on even those that kept smiling and trying to find what was happening in Lego Ninjago funny weren’t laughing. It was strange; there was no outward disdain for Lego Ninjago but there weren’t any laughs.

Click the poster for the full length written review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Friend Request

Friend Request is yet another failed attempt to combine social media and horror. It really shouldn’t be that hard to combine the two when you consider the daily horrors that social media enacts upon us when we simply pick up our phones, but filmmakers have thus far made the combination look impossible. Social media has numerous innate existential horrors that could be exploited by a smart filmmaker but the question seems to come back to how you can exploit that for a body count and so far no one has been able to pull that off.

Click the poster for the full length written review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Kingsman The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a not particularly inventive rehash of Mark Millar’s previously adapted work, Kick-Ass. The derivative spy take on the same tropes of the super-hero send-up bored me endlessly with its nihilistic approach to James Bond minus the strange wit of Kick-Ass, which shared not just creator Millar but also director Matthew Vaughn, who couldn’t help but seem to rip off his own work in a lazy rehash.

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Click the picture below for the full length written review. 

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Classic Movie Review The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of the most rewatchable movies in history. This rich, robust, and homey comedy never ages and never falters. Rob Reiner’s direction, aside from a truly terrible film score, is unassailable in every comedy beat. Then there is the absolutely perfect casting. Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, and each of the supporting players, from Chris Sarandon as the evil Prince, Christopher Guest as the evil six-fingered henchman, and Billy Crystal’s cameo as Miracle Max, could not be better.

Click the picture below for the full length written review of The Princess Bride. 

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Regional Media Movie Review American Assassin

American Assassin stars Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp, a normal college age kid who we meet while he is vacationing in Ibiza with his beautiful girlfriend. Just after she has accepted his marriage proposal, terrorists sweep over the beach, killing dozens of people in an all too plausible scenario that calls to mind the Paris nightclub attack. Among the dead is Mitch’s new fiancée while he is wounded in the leg and shoulder but narrowly survives.

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Regional Media Movie Review Mother!

I can’t decide if Mother(!) is Darren Aronofsky’s way of pleasuring himself on screen or if it is a legitimate work of art simply out of the grasp of my pea brain. The film has some seemingly obvious metaphors but they are metaphors that are so blatant that your brain fights the idea that they could be so simple to untangle. At least we can all agree that Mother(!) is a pretentious as all get out work of an egotist artist who’s either far too oblique for his own good or a complete troll.

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Click the picture below for the full length written review. 

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Classic Movie Review Fatal Attraction Turns 30 Years Old

Fatal Attraction stars Michael Douglas as a seemingly happy husband to Ann Archer and father to an adorable 6-year-old daughter. So why, if he’s so happy, does he decide to cheat on his wife? This questions comes to consume the mind of Alex (Glenn Close), the woman Douglas’ Dan decides to sleep with one night while his wife and daughter are away visiting family in the suburbs. Alex can’t understand why Dan would choose to sleep with her and then retreat back to his marriage.

Click the picture below for the full length review. 

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Classic Movie Review The Pick Up Artist Starring Robert Downey Jr.

The Pick Up Artist is a bizarrely bad movie of the kind only James Toback seems capable of. This mess of a romantic comedy and a gangster movie attempts to be both conventional and unconventional. Toback’s thing has always been arthouse style talky existentialism with a healthy dose of New York. Watching him try to cram that unusual sensibility into a mainstream movie would be unwatchable were it not for Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald who, at the very least, remain likable even as they struggle against a director lost in his attempt to serve the commercial and the arty.

Click the poster for the full length written review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review The Wilde Wedding

The Wilde Wedding has the chance to be a pretty great movie but lacks the courage to pull it off. The film brings together the talents of Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Patrick Stewart for a wedding comedy and the charm factor would be off the charts except that writer-director Damian Harris can’t resist mucking up the works by having the younger cast too often crowd out the more interesting veterans. Click the picture for my full lenghth written review of The Wilde Wedding and watch for the movie on all streaming services this weekend if you're interested in seeing. It's also in some theaters nation wide. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Home Again

Home Again is a vacuous and inane movie that is otherwise an inoffensive and forgettable romantic comedy about characters who have no problems. It’s the kind of vacuousness that you would think even Hollywood would be tired of by now and yet there still seems to be an appetite for it. I think it’s called lifestyle porn, wherein the poor watch movies like Home Again and fantasize about the architecture and accoutrements without a care for whether or not the characters’ lives are worth enduring. Click the poster below for the complete review of Home Again. 

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Regional Media Movie Review IT

To say that the 2017 take on Stephen King’s Magnum Clown Opus IT is better than the 1990 mini-series is an understatement. The mini-series was a punishing nearly four-hour mix of a pretty good kids’ story and a nearly impossible to watch adult story. Jettisoning the adult story in favor of focusing on the far superior kids’ story from King’s novel, the 2017 IT crafts a tightly wound, creepy horror flick that plays on some serious issues about grief and abuse while delivering the kind of machine tooled jump scares that modern audiences go to the movies for.

Click Here for the radio review. 

Click the picture below for the full length written review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Rememory

Rememory wants desperately to be a deep meditation on memory, grief and loss, and a sci-fi mystery movie. It achieves some of that goal thanks to the performances from the stellar cast headed by Peter Dinklage and Julia Ormond. That said, the deep meditation part skims the surface and the sci-fi mystery movie is achieved only through the use of a magic memory machine.

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Regional Media Movie Review A Boy Called Po

I must be getting soft as I get older because movies like A Boy Called Po never used to get passed my ironic armor. As a younger critic, a movie like A Boy Called Po with a premise that reads like a Lifetime Movie and a cast lacking star power would have been one I would dismiss without a glance. Admittedly, I used to be kind of arrogant and quite snobbish. It could be I have become more evolved and mature or it could be that director John Asher’s inspired by true events movie is actually so good that I had no need for my emotional armor. Click below for the radio review and click the poster for the full length written review of A Boy Called Po. 

Click here for radio review. 

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