Browsing: Reviews

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.01.08 AM
7.5
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It might be slightly hyperbolic, but horror works best in tight, claustrophobic quarters, say, for example, a multi-level home in the middle of a desolate abandoned Detroit neighborhood, with one way in and no way out, with a blind man, as the anything-but-helpless antagonist, and three desperate …

Reviews Hands of Stone
6.5
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Ostensibly a boxing biopic of prizefighter Roberto Duran – at one time considered the best “pound for pound” fighter in the world – Hands of Stone opens not with Duran’s voice literally or figuratively, but with the voiceover narration of Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), a retired boxing trainer who comes out of forced retirement to mentor a…

Home Entertainment Screen-Shot-2016-05-22-at-4.58.01-PM-698x350
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The Spiders (Kino Lorber) is the 1919 silent film that established Fritz Lang as a master of epic storytelling, which would be on view eight years later in Metropolis. The Spiders reflects Lang’s fascination with Asian culture. International adventurer Kay Hoog (Carl de Vogt) finds a message in a bottle floating in San Francisco Bay that tells of …

Reviews Kubo and the Two Strings
8.0
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A young, reedy voice gently admonishes us, “If you must blink, do it now,” a clear signal or signpost that the story we’re about to see and hear will not just entertain us, but entrance and quite possibly enlighten us as well. That’s a big promise to offer seconds into a film, regardless of the age of the speaker, a born…

Reviews Ben-Hur
7.0
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On the ever-expanding, near endless list of unwanted, unneeded, unanticipated sequels, prequels, and remakes, we can add the Timur Bekmambetov-directed (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Wanted, Night Watch) adaptation of General Lee Wallace’s 1880 epic novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Before reaching the silver…

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.23.47 PM
7.0
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The prospects of a new film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are always so exciting because of just how crazily inventive they permit themselves to be. These guys don’t play anything safe – and I’m not just referring to their propensity for comic vulgarity. It’s the go-for-broke conceptual lunacy that …

Reviews Petes Dragon
8.5
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A remake of a lightly regarded, little remembered live action/animation family-oriented film seems like an unlikely path for a major Hollywood studio to pursue, but the economics of big-budget filmmaking dictate otherwise. Remakes, reboots, and sequels, not to mention prequels and spinoffs, remain the norm, not the…

Reviews Sausage Party
7.0
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Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Hell is other people.” In Sausage Party, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s raunchy, R-rated animated comedy (Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon co-directed from a screenplay credited to Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir), hell isn’t other people. Hell is people, full stop. Humans are the…

Reviews The Lost Arcade
7.8
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Geared primarily toward an audience pre-sold on the premise, The Lost Arcade, the latest documentary from writer Irene Chin and director Kurt Vincent, seems unable, maybe unwilling, to explain much of anything about the gaming scene it holds so dear. With its singular focus on New York City’s last proper video game arcade, the…

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