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Dramatically Inert ‘BOY ERASED’ Afraid to Get Angry

Conversion therapy is torture. If you disagree, frankly, you can go fuck yourself. The archaic practice attempts to force heterosexuality (under the assumption that homosexuality is either a mental disorder, a disease, or a sin) via group counseling, spiritual intervention, and behavior modification. Past techniques for conversion therapy have included shock therapy, chemical castration, and partial lobotomies. For minors, the practice is outlawed in many progressive states and yet, despite a total lack of evidence that sexual orientation change efforts “work”, large swathes of the American South and Midwest continue this inhumane practice to this day. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘LOVING’

There is much to respect and admire about what Jeff Nichols has done with Loving. However its incredibly restrained tactics and slow as molasses narrative kept it at a bit of an arms length for me emotionally. But Nicols’ methodology is no mistake. Loving purposefully emulates its subjects – Richard and Mildred Loving, both of whom are played to quiet perfection by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga – an interracial couple who accidentally change the course of post-Jim Crow American history when they become embroiled in a critical constitutional law case. Read More

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘JANE’S GOT A GUN’

Synopsis: “Natalie Portman is Jane Hammond, a frontierwoman who enlists the aid of a disgruntled former flame (Joel Edgerton) when a rowdy gang led by a ruthless but charismatic killer named John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) plots to axe her outlaw husband (Noah Emmerich). Using a combination of her feminine guile and a sudden disposition for weapons and explosives, Jane must fight off the clan of invading Bishop Boys while also coming to terms with the losses in her past that have made her the woman she is today.” Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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SXSW ’16 Review: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘BLACK MASS’

Black Mass is a stage upon which Johnny Depp has revived his career, and little more. As the film’s malevolent heavy and famed criminal overlord “Whitey” Bulger, Deep is borderline excellent, brooding and prowling around the screen like a silverback gorilla. On the streets, he’s equally guerrilla, taking down his enemies as well as former-confidantes-turned-rat in maelstroms of cold-shelled slugs. And though Deeps is admirable as the callous and cold Jimmy Bulger, the film itself overwhelmingly replicates its star’s unenviable personality traits in its cinematic aura, resulting in a film that’s even more callous and cold than the iconic gangster at its center. Read More

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Out In Theaters: THE GIFT

Joel Edgerton‘s edgy horror/psychological thriller unravels the commitment-phobic fears of modern living, turning the clear divisions between protagonist/antagonist on its head in the process.

Have you ever run into an old school chum, perhaps while visiting your hometown? This old friend seems way more invested, eager to “catch up” and pick up where you left off, oblivious of the fact that you may have a wife, kids, a job, commitments a-plenty, and just don’t have time to kick back and spark one up on the couch, reflecting on old times? But what if your old friend is going through a rough patch and just needs a friendly face and a sympathetic ear? Here’s your chance to do the right thing and be a true friend, but too often, we falter, succumbing to the fear of wasting our precious, precious time. Read More

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Out in Theaters: THE ROVER

With Animal Kingdom, David Michôd proved that Australia had a place at the table when discussing great new cinematic voices globally (and all but introduced the world to Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton and Jackie Weaver). With The Rover, he’s taken the next step towards auteurship in a stripped-down, sand-blasted, shaggily-moraled, post-apocalyptic Western saga. In it, Robert Pattinson‘s star shines bright, offering the best performance of the year so far and one certainly worth of chatter come Oscar season. It’s magical enough that Michôd has culled a truly jaw-dropping performance from the oft reviled Twilight icon (who was also strong in Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis) but his minimalist take on what remains after society crumbles is a rawhide-tough slice of devastation pie. Read More