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Out in Theaters: ‘THOR: RAGNAROK’

Candy-colored Thor: Ragnarok is a retro, dimension-hopping hoot. Rambunctious, joyous and just plain fun to watch, Ragnarok is shellacked with vintage Taika Waititi style, the critical darling director behind such rollicking Rotten Tomatoes-adored comedy-adventures as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows and Boy retaining his idiomatic filmmaking tactics even under the watchful eye of notoriously handsy Marvel producers. The best of the Thor films (and this coming from someone who actually admits to enjoying the previous two), Ragnarok employs Taika’s signature witty, irreverent approach to comedy and his knack for building genuine camaraderie among squirelly outcasts to craft the funniest blockbuster of the year, one that doubles as a hell of an odd-couple intergalactic road trip, even if it still barely breaks the lather-rinse-repeat nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe mold.  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

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Sundance ’16 Review: ‘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

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Out in Theaters: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

From 1984 to 2006, Christopher Guest lampooned perplexing cultural phenomenons from dog shows to community theater. Guest was quick to caricature and mock but never did so in lieu of creating earnest characters. Rather, his work paired the easy-to-poke-fun-at ludicrousness of small town obsessions with the genuine earnestness of their salt-of-the-earth makeup. For every Meg and Hamilton Swan and their posh Weimaraner, there was a Harlan Pepper and his basset hound. Were Guest still making movies today, one might expect his signature mockumentary stylings to take on child beauty pageants or vocal protest groups. Or vampire flatmates.   Read More