Category: New Releases

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Don’t Worry Darling: Down the rabbit hole

There’s a fantastic film hiding somewhere deep within Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to her surprise hit directorial debut in 2019 with “Booksmart.” In an idyllic world, Darling takes an incredible Florence Pugh performance and elevates it with exceptional cinematography and production design as well as an ensemble cast that can help create a larger world and bring an intriguing concept to life. … Read More Don’t Worry Darling: Down the rabbit hole

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Thirteen Lives: Rescue on an epic scale

Docudramas give audiences first-hand insight into intense, intimate moments of real people, disasters, and inspirational experiences.  Usually tagged with the keyline “based on a true story,” these films bring viewers on a plane bound for the Hudson with Sully himself, on the deck of an exploding oil derrick in the middle of the sea in Deepwater Horizon or on a harrowing quest to free … Read More Thirteen Lives: Rescue on an epic scale

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Bullet Train: No planes, no automobiles

Remember when summer blockbusters were fun? The plots rarely matter, the set pieces entertain, and the characters were memorable for their quirks regardless of how flimsy or one note they might seem. Bruce Willis climbs through an air vent and walks on broken glass; Arnold Schwarzenegger crashes through a window with a machine gun; Tom Cruise runs from explosions. What happens along the way … Read More Bullet Train: No planes, no automobiles

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Vengeance: Far from the Big Apple

B.J. Novak’s debut feature film opens with the former star of “The Office” on a New York rooftop in vapid, existential conversation with musician John Mayer, playing a somewhat exaggerated version of himself. The pair pontificate about having everything in life figured out and the ease of mindless dating women saved in their phones like “Random House Girl.” Then Novak’s Ben – a journalist … Read More Vengeance: Far from the Big Apple

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Nope: Terror in the California desert

Excelling at genre movies is a tricky thing to pull off consistently. When a filmmaker becomes known for creating original, inventive content in a similar space, it becomes easy or derivative to praise them unabashedly as the next Spielberg or Hitchcock; or to go too far the other way, suggesting that their work isn’t as good as prior films and dismissing it outright. Things … Read More Nope: Terror in the California desert

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The Gray Man: Action for the sake of action

No one seems to mind when every romantic comedy follows the exact same plot. Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, something outlandish happens to separate them, love brings them back together. Rinse. Dry. Repeat. Somewhere along the way, it seems that moviegoers have lost their appetite – or perhaps more aptly, critics have lost their taste – for by-the-numbers action films that focus … Read More The Gray Man: Action for the sake of action

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Thor Love and Thunder: Thunderstruck

As has been the case for several films now, Marvel Studios finds themselves at a crossroads in a post-Avengers: Endgame era of their cinematic universe. Many of their most popular characters are gone from the franchise and the massive decade-long arc came to a head several years ago now, leaving fans clamoring for the breadcrumbs of what’s to come in every single new movie, … Read More Thor Love and Thunder: Thunderstruck

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Minions The Rise of Gru: Tiny laughter

Studios often bank on the fact that younger audiences don’t really care about what they’re watching, as long as it’s entertaining in the moment. That’s probably a large part of the reason why Universal has crafted five films around yellow henchmen that ramble in an incoherent blend of languages indecipherable beyond an occasional word or generic phrase that helps kids figure out what’s happening. … Read More Minions The Rise of Gru: Tiny laughter

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Elvis: All shook up

When a film is titled after one of its characters, 99 times out of 100, that movie is almost entirely about that person. (Save for Private Ryan, of course.) This is even more true when it comes to biopics, especially when the titular character happens to be one of the most iconic musicians of all time, the King of Rock and Roll himself. But … Read More Elvis: All shook up

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Cha Cha Real Smooth: All the right moves

The best movie characters, ones audiences take to and see themselves in, aren’t always idyllic. Filmmakers find genuine beauty in flaws and imperfections in their personalities and psyches that allows viewers to naturally respond and become more fully transported into another world. Cooper Raiff’s second feature film – an audience award winner earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival – screened this past … Read More Cha Cha Real Smooth: All the right moves

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Hustle: Hoopin’ with heart

Adam Sandler’s prolific career on Saturday Night Live and a plethora of mid-1990s comedies haven’t kept the funnyman from large swings and misses during the past seven years as his Happy Madison Productions has partnered exclusively with streaming service Netflix to create content. The laughs haven’t quite landed for the comedian in quite some time, though Sandler has proven to be exceptional playing against … Read More Hustle: Hoopin’ with heart

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Fire Island: Summer nights

Nearly 30 years ago, director Amy Heckering transported audiences into the world of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma through the lens of 1990s Beverly Hills high school with Clueless.The bright, quirky satire provided a clever twist on what might be viewed as stuffy literature and made Austen more accessible for younger audiences. Comedian Joel Kim Booster found inspiration in another Austen classic, Pride and … Read More Fire Island: Summer nights