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Out in Theaters: ‘THE POST’ 

The Post, a Steven Spielberg-directed drama about the Washington Post’s critical role in discriminating the notorious Pentagon Papers, has Very Important Movie Streep written all over it. A newspaper procedural starring awards giants Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, lit to resemble an Oscar winner by Janusz Kaminski and following a script from first-timer Liz Hannah and Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate, Spotlight) that touts the importance of its subject at every turn (sometimes in painfully obvious soliloquy), The Post is part important meditation on the unimpeachable import of the First Amendment, part desperate plea for Award’s attention and part Spielberg doing his Dramatic Spielberg thing.  Read More

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SIFF ’16 Capsule Review: ‘CARNAGE PARK’

Mickey Keating‘s Carnage Park starts in admirably economic fashion, rending down its slim cast to even slimmer form with a dead-eyed, high-pitched, Bible-thumping Pat Healy tagging human targets with his handy sniper rifle beset with all the rage and judgement of the Old Testament guy upstairs. Ashley Bell plays opposite as the desert-set horror’s shrieky final girl – the victim of a kidnapping who then finds herself in even more hostile territory – and while Keating’s film goes through fits and starts of amassing and losing steam, the final product feels like an over-saturated amalgam of grindhouse slasher flick tropes forked together and raked over a somewhat barren “based on a true story” conceit. Imagine Wolf Creek stripped of its anarchic edge and plunked down in an equally sun-scorched Jesus-lovin’, American nowheresville and you’ll get the picture. (C)
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SXSW ’16 Review: ‘TEENAGE COCKTAIL’

When high school student Annie heads to a new school, she finds herself surrounded by hostile faces. And needle-in-the-haystack Jules. The two attractive outsiders immediately strike up a kinship and a secret flame broils, leading them down forbidden passageways of mutual lust and peddled cajolery. Read More