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Blu-ray Review: Criterion's THE NEW WORLD Worthy of Discovery

“Come, spirit, help us sing the story of our land. You are our mother. We, your field of corn. We rise from out of the soul of you.”   The wind blows. The crickets gently chirp. The grass crunches ever...

Review: PREACHER, No More Waiting for God

Superhero comics are no longer the only material from the realm of sequential art suitable for big or small screen adaption. Terry Zwigoff shared that opinion back in the early aughts. In the latest fad, the small screen is becoming...

Review: LIGHTS OUT, When Darkness Rules

Modesty is an underappreciated virtue, especially in horror movies. Lights Out revolves around a frightening idea: turn out the lights and something sinister appears. Turn on the lights and the something disappears. A few years ago, filmmaker David F. Sandberg...

Review: ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, A Franchise Ready To Go Extinct

The formula of the Ice Age franchise is easy to identify: a group of prehistoric animals suffer Earth’s constant drastic changes, while they also face personal conflicts. In every entry the protagonists must travel from one place to another, to...

Review: GHOSTBUSTERS Ain't Afraid of No Estrogen!

The new Ghostbusters uses the same iconic logo of the original 1984 film, with a few minor differences: the new one is beveled, and shiny. Such is the essential difference between this new remake and the beloved classic of our...

Review: CAFE SOCIETY, Woody Allen's Entertaining, If Familiar, Comedy

You ever see the Woody Allen film about the older man who’s in love with a younger woman, only to have her torn between her affection for another nebbishy guy? Sure, it’s fair to say that Allen’s treading on familiar...

Review: THE INFILTRATOR, A Decent Hero in a Decent Movie

Robert Mazur seems so normal. As played by Bryan Cranston, Mazur is an all-American good guy, an exceedingly decent man who is also a top-notch U.S. Customs official, an honest and dedicated employee, a loyal and loving husband and father....

Review: THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS Has No Bite

Ever since the second or third Pixar feature film, I've rested assured in my assessment that the secret of the animation studio's success is in their wondrous telling of “the secret life of [fill in the blank].” A Bug's Life...

Review: MARAUDERS, No Better or Worse Than Your Average Crime Thriller

On the surface, Steven C. Miller's Marauders is yet another movie about a gang of crooks and the determined lawmen tracking them down. It really wants you to think otherwise, though; its loftier aim is to be the next Heat....

Review: THE BFG, Steven Spielberg's Infectious Sense of Play Returns to the Fore

Once upon a time Steven Spielberg was the fabulist of our time. Looking at Close Encounters of the Third Kind or E.T or even Jurassic Park and A.I., you could see a sense of wonder and playfulness in his filmmaking,...

Review: THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR Sharpens Its Claws

Filled with vim and vigor, The Purge: Election Year works hard to steady its focus as an anti-something thriller. The first film in the series, The Purge, played on white suburban fears by taking seriously the ridiculous concept that the...

Review: INTRUDER Is A Variant On The Home Invasion Thriller

Home invasion thrillers have become so numerous over the past few years, they're pretty much their own genre now. It's easy to see why they work; they prey on our most basic fear of not even being safe inside our...

Review: FREE STATE OF JONES Mobilizes for Equality

Outside a prominent courthouse, in a shot all its own, the Confederate flag comes down, and the United States flag goes up. There is a smattering of cheers. The scene is Jones Country, Mississippi in the 1860s. In real life,...

Review: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE Should Have Stayed Dead

The first movie I remember renting was Independence Day, and during the 48 hours I had it, I probably watched it six or seven times. For a young kid, the charisma of its leads, the iconic imagery of its set...

Review: CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, Lowbrow Comedy Hijinks

Exceedingly silly, Central Intelligence survives a rough start to achieve at least one of its evident goals, namely, to be a lowbrow comedy for audiences with low expectations. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star as an updated pair of 1980's...

Blu-ray Review: HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, A Heavenly Addition To The Criterion Collection

Part screwball comedy, part supernatural mystery, and part fable, Alexander Hall's Here Comes Mr. Jordan is one of the most enduring films of Hollywood's golden age between the Great Depression and the emergence of the new Hollywood in the '50s....

Now On Blu-ray: Nico Mastorakis' THE ZERO BOYS And HIRED TO KILL

Last year Arrow Video graced the world with a Blu-ray release of the rightly notorious piece of '70's cult madness, Island of Death. The director of that film, Greek impresario Nico Mastorakis, was little known by films fans outside of...

Review: In FINDING DORY, Family Reigns Supreme

Floating gently across the big screen, filled with kindness and generosity and nothing at all that could be construed as threatening for anyone anywhere, the latest endeavor from Pixar is a chill pill for adults. Arriving 13 years after Finding...

Review: In THE CONJURING 2, The Warrens' Second Commission Is Not As Great

The Conjuring 2 has at least two crosses to bear. Firstly, it's burdened with being based on the exploits of a well-documented real-life demonologist couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Audiences expect authenticity. Secondly, it's a summer tentpole sequel for a...

Review: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, Funnier Than The First One

Superman had it easy. He was a superpowered immigrant who came to America as an infant in the 1930s, and made his big-screen debut in animated shorts in 1941. By 1978, most people never thought about him. Comic books were...