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Out in Theaters: ‘LOGAN LUCKY’

Following a four year stint in “retirement”, American auteur Steven Soderbergh returns to the multiplexes with the kind of snappy, crowd-pleasing, whizzbang fare that throttled him from indie delight to box office superstar. Assembling a sublimely cast trio of Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Bond, James Bond (Daniel Craig) in a delightful supporting role, Logan Lucky, much like the film that rocketed Soderbergh to success (Ocean’s Eleven), rides on the back of its stars’ natural well of charisma as well as a pithy screenplay (courtesy of maybe pseudonym Rebecca Blunt) that constantly waffles between sly, chuckle-inducing commentary and witty narrative sleight of hand.   Read More

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The Best and Worst Aspects of ‘STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS’

There has been an awakening. With a $238 million opening weekend, the box office roared to live, stoked by the Mustafar-sized conflagration of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, quickly making this seventh Star Wars film the biggest opening of all time and putting it on track to dethrone the highest grossing films ever. But all money aside, the real question on everyone’s lips were, is it good? Thankfully, the answer was a resounding yes. With a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes, critics and fans alike have rallied around the J.J. Abrams product like Ewoks on a post-Empire Endor. But that doesn’t mean that the film didn’t have its share of lows amongst the highs. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘SPECTRE’

Before 2006, it might have seemed unreasonable to list a slew of gripes and grievances over the convenient scripting and utter ridiculousness of a Bond movie. This is a character who’s faced invisible cars, bagpipe flamethrowers, underwater jet-packs, cigarette rocket darts, deadly hats, and nigh unkillable nemeses. He once even fought a giant on the moon. Historically, Bond is an over-the-top super agent less grounded in reality than the WWE (emphasis on the word ‘historically’). But upon taking up the mantle in 2006, Daniel Craig has ushered in a new era of Bond; a super-serious, no-BS generation of the beloved super spy, 007. Craig’s a Bond more comfortable with a kill than a quip; an alcoholic outsider with rage issues, and yet someone who legitimately grapples with his license to kill. His Bond has been called gritty and callous, and for good reason. He’s been equal parts savior and butcher, still reeling years after the death of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and regularly drinking himself into moody reticence. This modern Bond is more character than caricature; a believable emblem of super-spy badass whose cloth more closely resembles Bourne than Batman. It should come as a major disappointment then that Spectre, the 24th onscreen iteration of the infamous British agent, is a monumental slip backwards into a 00-Stone-Age of yesteryear’s lackluster Bond. Read More

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Bond Returns in Style for SPECTRE Trailer

Sam Mendes turned heads with 2012’s Skyfall, crafting a new fan favorite while resetting the clock on some of 007’s most iconic characters. After experiencing some production drama under the auspices of  Sony’s indelicate hand – reportedly going over-budget and taking a cut from the Mexican film commission to shoot the film’s iconic opening set piece – Spectre looks to take the man in the tux back to his roots, pitting him against the shadow organization SPECTRE. This is the first time since 1971’s Diamonds are Forever that SPECTRE has played a part in the film’s plotting. Read More