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SIFF ’18 Capsule Review: ‘BOUNDARIES’

Shana Feste’s pot-slinging cross-country road-trip dramedy deals in paternal disappointment and familial reconciliation but remains a bit high on its own supply. Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer stand out as a neurotic, animal-rescuing single mother and her laid-back, ne’er-do-well father, an 85-year old who enlists grandson Henry (Lewis MacDougall) to help sell marijuana under her nose. A well-meaning bong-rip of family drama, if a bit meandering and overcooked, Boundaries is definitely not your average stoner film, and works best as an earnest two-hander between the always reliable Plummer and Farmiga. (C) Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE COMMUTER’

Danny Glover’s Murtaugh famously opined in Richard Donner’s classic American buddy cop flick Lethal Weapon, “I’m too old for this shit.” He was 41 at the time. Liam Neeson, age 65 (full benefit retirement age for US citizens), is way too old for this shit. And in a humdrum action-thriller like The Commuter, it shows. Had this Taken on a Train redux a good shake more intelligence and a portion less generic action hero fisticuffs, casting Neeson as down-on-his-luck ex-cop turned insurance-hawking family man Michael MacCauley would make perfect sense. As it stands, The Commuter is just another forgettable notch in Neeson’s geriatric action movie phase defined by jarring editing and risible action that can’t strike a passable balance between taking itself seriously and being utterly ridiculous. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE CONJURING 2’

Horror sequels have an unfortunate tendency to exude contempt for their audience. More often than not, the same formula is conscripted, wrangling selfsame plot lines (often in a new location or with new characters) that encompass similar beats and familiar frights. 9 Nightmare on Elm Street movies, 10 Halloween films and 12 Friday the 13th flicks can speak to the process. Rinse, repeat, rank in the cash. And while there’s nothing distinctively different to James Wan’s approach this second time around the Conjuring fairgrounds (save for a somewhat unnecessary additional 20 minutes pumped into the runtime), The Conjuring 2 remains a massively effective instrument for scaring the living shit out of oneself. Read More