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GREEN BOOK (20198) review

January 28, 2019

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written by: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly
produced by: Jim Burke, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga
& Charles B. Wessler
directed by: Peter Farrelly
rated: PG-13 (for thematic content, language including racial epithets, smoking, some violence and suggestive material)
runtime: 130 min.
U.S. release date: November 6, 2018

 

It’s easy to understand why Green Book has found an audience. It’s the kind of crowd-pleaser that’s bombastic, feel-good, and pretends to tackle complicated subject matter in a way that doesn’t demand much of the viewer. It’s less easy to see why it’s found an audience in 2018 when the movie’s racial politics feel like they’re coming from the early 90s. Read more…

SERENITY (2019) review

January 27, 2019

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written by: Steven Knight
produced by: Guy Heeley, Steven Knight, Greg Shapiro
directed by: Steven Knight
rated: R (for language throughout, sexual content, and some bloody images)
runtime: 106 min.
U.S. release date: January 25, 2019

 

“I’m not begging you Baker Dill, I’m just telling you when life offers you an opportunity like this, you have to take it.”

 

Sorry bad movie lovers, 2019 doesn’t have its front-runner quite yet in “Serenity”, a mostly wasted opportunity to do anything interesting with a mildly intriguing neo-noir. What little faith one may put in a film starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in the year 2019 is eroded by one of the strangest plot twists in recent memory. Read more…

Interview with actor Richard Dreyfuss

January 26, 2019

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Throughout his expansive career, veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss has given cinema some indelible performances that he is certainly recognized for around the world. Chief among them are Matt Hooper and Roy Neary, the characters from 1975’s “Jaws” and 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, respectively, the two blockbusters he made with director Steven Spielberg. What if you had the chance to meet him in person? This week presents an opportunities for moviegoers to do just that as the actor embarks on a six-city event tour called Jawing with Richard Dreyfuss where he’ll discuss his expansive career and most likely one of those iconic movies during a Q&A session prior to a screening of, you guessed it, “Jaws”. Read more…

FIRST REFORMED (2018) review

January 23, 2019

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written by: Paul Schrader
produced by: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, and Christine Vachon
directed by: Paul Schrader
rated: R (for some disturbing violent images)
runtime: 113 min.
U.S. release date: May 18, 2018

 

“How easily they talk about prayer, those who have never really prayed.”

 

Thank goodness for Paul Schrader getting back into his comfort zone: religion. As both a writer and a director, Schrader seems to have lost his way in the last few years languishing in material that was far beneath his stature (The Canyons) or just lazily done to cash a check (his Nic Cage collaborations Dying of the Light and Dog Eat Dog). I mean, this is the guy who wrote the absolutely perfect film Taxi Driver, who directed the almost-perfect film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, would he ever do anything of note again? Read more…

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2019 Oscar Nominees – Surprises & Disappointments!

January 23, 2019

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Yesterday morning while you were getting ready for work and/or school, or asleep (lucky), the Oscar nominees were finally announced. Yes, I said “finally”, because this is the time of the year where we’re pretty exhausted by the buzz of various year-end awards. Academy president John Bailey were joined by Tracee Ellis Ross (“blackish”) and Oscar nominee Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”) at 5:20 a.m. (Pacific) on stage of the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, California for the presentation that was streamed online and shown on select television stations. It’s a thankless job, since viewers are paying more attention to what’s being said instead of what’s being done, but that’s why they give funny people the gig. Read more…

Top Ten Films of 2018

January 21, 2019

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When I think of the cinema of 2018 the words bold and powerful come to mind. Some incorporate both words in unexpected and unforgettable ways, while others tip the scale one way or the other. There are films that are bold in their beauty, ones that are immersive and exude a tangible authenticity and then there are those films that communicate their themes in such a powerful manner that you wind up discussing them or telling others about them long after viewing. Which is one of the reasons I inevitably put myself through the ringer to make this annual list and like every year, this was a tough list to make.  Read more…

AN ACCEPTABLE LOSS (2018) review

January 20, 2019

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written by: Joe Chappelle
produced by: Colleen Griffen
directed by: Joe Chappelle
rated: R
runtime: 102 min.
U.S. release date: October 13, 2018 (Chicago International Film Festival) and January 18, 2019 (limited theaters, YouTube, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon & VOD)

 

I didn’t get around to catching “An Acceptable Loss” during its world premiere at last fall’s Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), but it’s been on my radar since. The only image associated with the political thriller from writer/director Joe Chappelle showed us that Jamie Lee Curtis was in it. Coincidentally, it was around the same time as she was experiencing somewhat of a career resurgence with the latest “Halloween”, which possibly piqued certain viewers curiosity since the veteran actress obviously committed to and filmed “An Acceptable Loss” prior to what become a box-office success last October. Therefore, the question is what about this story attracted Curtis and, better yet, how was it deemed worthy to premiere at an international film festival? Read more…