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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Movie Review - Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe finally gets to have some semblance of a conclusion.
There is, of course, also a climactic battle royale, one that allows for plenty of characters to get their showcase scenes inspiring giddy squeals—even if some of those scenes seem particularly pandering.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Movie Reviews: The Curse of La Llorona, Penguins, Amazing Grace, High Life

Penguins, Teen Spirit, Little Woods
Amazing Grace **** It’s too bad Amazing Grace, the documentary of the recording of Aretha Franklin’s landmark 1972 gospel album of the same name, wasn’t available when I was young. I could have stuck it in the VCR, watched the Lord’s work and been redeemed.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cliffs of Freedom: The struggle to tell the story of Greeks fighting for independence

Director Van Ling on the long road from idea to theaters
Van Ling realizes that he's not the likeliest person to bring a story about the 19th century Greek War of Independence to the screen. An American of mostly Chinese descent, he says, "I'm about as removed from the Greek experience as anyone could be."

Friday, April 12, 2019

Movie Reviews: Hellboy, Little, Mary Magdalene, Missing Link

Plus 'Transit,' 'The Wind' & 'Diane'
A unique female perspective on the message of Jesus elevates the Biblical drama Mary Magdalene. Rich character study and a lovely sense of place elevate Kent Jones' Diane.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Movie Reviews: Pet Sematary, Shazam, Dragged Across Concrete, The Best of Enemies

Mapplethorpe, The Public, Storm Boy, The Hummingbird Project
It's a movie weekend full of super-heroes, horror scares, fact-based stories and even Mel Gibson in the improbable role of a guy whose career might be destroyed by someone capturing him being racist on a recording.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Disney Remakes: When You're Woke Upon a Star

Behold some socially conscious subtext for possible classic reboots.
“Might you have some suggestions for how this pop-culture juggernaut should conduct its business?” you might ask. Why yes, we do!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Movie Reviews: Dumbo, Hotel Mumbai, The Beach Bum, The Mustang, The Aftermath

Disney's big-eared elephant flies into multiplexes, along with a number of specialty offerings ranging from stoner McConaughey to the tale of a real-life terrorist tragedy. Tim Burton's remake of Dumbo fleshes out the original's thin narrative, but forgets to bring its soul.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Movie Review: Dumbo (2019)

Disney's latest remake doesn't understand the soul of its predecessor's appeal.
The principle problem with Disney’s ongoing self-cannibalization isn’t necessarily that they’re trying to make new versions of perfect films; it’s that they keep engaging in brand deposits that flounder to find a distinct reason to exist.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review: Captain Marvel

An attempt to bring humanity to a cosmic-level hero falls short
What’s left in Captain Marvel is a story that offers a powerful, resilient heroic role model, and that’s nothing to dismiss lightly.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Film Reviews: Greta, A Madea Family Funeral, Apollo 11, A Tuba to Cuba

A slow weekend at the movies offers a Sundance-favorite documentary, the return of Madea and an American jazz band's journey to another country. Apollo 11 (pictured) manages a you-are-there intensity from archival footage of a 50-year-old historical milestone.

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