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Out in Theaters: ‘JASON BOURNE’

You may know his name but the titular amnesic super spy has lost his purpose in Jason Bourne. Unnecessary sequels are the hottest trend of summer 2016 and none may be a worse offender than the latest collaboration between Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, the team responsible for the wide-adored sequels, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Nothing is more in vogue than loosing an unnecessary addition unto rabid fanbases and few have been more  unnecessary than the offerings of Jason Bourne. That’s not to say it doesn’t entertain though… Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘NERVE’

There’s an app where you one can observe fearless participants engaging in daredevil antics in order to earn money and fame. Each dare gets them one step closer to the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow while other participants – “watchers” who act as third-party cohorts to the viral sensation – help shape the course of action. No, it’s not the app feature in the new Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Paranormal Activity 3 & 4) directed film Nerve, it’s called The Runner and it actually exists outside the confines of the movie theater. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘CAFE SOCIETY’

Woody Allen can’t get the cross-contemporary relationship off his mind. He’s obsessed with it. Fascinated by it. He strokes it like Gollum does his precious. He stokes the fires of inter-generational relations year after year after year. As if he’s constantly reworking and reframing his own internal logic. Grooming his Dylan Farrow defense and justifying his Soon-Yi marriage. The latest in Woody’s old man dates young woman romantic comedies is Café Society, a venture into the lifestyles of the rich and the famous that can be as hollow and pretty as the doe-eyed starlets and pocket-squared producers littering the Hollywood Hills. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘STAR TREK BEYOND’

Beyond darkness. Beyond logic. Beyond hope. The latest Star Trek film zooms beyond at hyper speed, rarely pausing to strike a Thinker’s pose. (Though it would rather like you to think it does.) Whereas Auguste Rodin’s bronze baby heralds contemplation, Star Trek Beyond plows through any fleeting semblance of intelligence like a horde of metal space bees engaged in kamikaze. Failing to ruminate on why audiences ought to care one iota about its disposable, busied antics. Hurrying from one expense-sheet-filling green-screen scuttlebutt to the next. Over-relying on character relationships that are age old but still skin-deep. Just another blockbuster puffy with CG steroids that’s lacking a brain, passing off sentimentality as heart and blahly going where we’ve all certainly been before. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘LIGHTS OUT’

David F. Sandberg’s concept horror film Lights Out is as simple as it is curt. Clipping along at a respectable trot, the film written by Eric Heisserer (The Thing remake, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake) admirably makes use of its sparse 81 minute run time but its bare bones conceit – a malevolent photophobic entity attacks an emotionally susceptible family –  feels the creative constraints of its two-minute source material (a viral horror short, also from Sandberg.) Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘GHOSTBUSTERS’

It’s been a long road to the theater for Paul Feig and the girls of Ghostbusters. Beset by accusations of vagina-washing from a very vocal (and rather pathetic) corner of the internet, a less-than-reassuring first trailer and a borderline insufferable Fall Out Boy/Missy Elliot rendition of the iconic “Who You Gonna Call?” theme song, the remake of Harold Ramis’ much-adored 1984 supernatural-comedy had many hurdles to summit. But rather than scale the obstacles in its path, Ghostbusters dispenses a powerful proton pack of carefully constructed charisma, nostalgia-fueled callbacks and no-holds-barred performances, blasting the besmirching naysayers to smithereens like cardboard cutouts of Slimer in a Chinatown back alley. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE INFILTRATOR’

Since departing Breaking Bad, the great Bryan Cranston has been in need of a pole position worthy of his might. He’s cropped up in various big budget blockbusters, slumming it for some of those Heisenberg stacks of green. He even earned himself an Oscar nomination in last year’s somewhat-well-received Trumbo. Impressive though the performance was, the film itself was not much more than a by-the-numbers biopic told without much style or aplomb. Which brings us to The Infiltrator, another half-decent true life story led by Cranston that, while in-and-of-itself is no great wonder of filmmaking, gives the charismatic performer a role to sink his pearly whites into. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE FITS’

Anna Rose Holmer’s audacious debut, The Fits, defies expectation at pivotal turns. With a voyeuristic, almost documentarian, approach to characterization, her angle is that of a wallflower, dangling on the narrative precipice of something indefinable and otherworldly that’s also very much intimate, universal. That Holmer’s film truncates at barely an hour and ten minutes, leaving us stumbling for answers in the aftermath of its unchecked mindfucking, is a testament to her nontraditional narrative verve, even if it may leave the casual viewer yammering for proper resolution. Read More

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Talking With Taika Waititi of ‘HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE’

Taika Waititi is the second coming of the New Zealand film wave, but he would never admit it. The NZ native quickly outgrew his indie roots and has evolved massively since his debut feature Eagle vs Shark, which starred frequent collaborator and Kiwi compatriot Jemaine Clement, and has gone on to deliver a string of critical smashes in Boy, What We Do in the Shadows and, most recently, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Before Waititi switches hats completely and goes on to deliver his first certifiably blockbuster for Marvel with Thor: Ragnarok, the tongue-in-cheek actor/director got to bask in the critical and box office adoration of Wilderpeople. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE’

Taika Waititi‘s oddball Hunt for the Wilderpeople continues the Kiwi director’s aggressive expansion into the mainstream while still maintaining his goofy, grinning, soft-centered tendencies. Coming off the roaring critical success of vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, Wilderpeople is a more grounded venture (but then again, what isn’t?) that maintains Waititi’s ironic and largely innocent sense of humor while injecting a fair measure of heart into the affair. Read More