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Posted August 31, 2016in Film Review

More than a one-note film

Though lacking in a clear standout film like last year’s “Inside Out,” 2016 has seen its fair share of quality kids’ films, including “Finding Dory,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Zootopia.” But when it’s all said and done, “Kubo and the Two Strings” might be remembered as the best

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Posted August 10, 2016in Film Review

Inexplicably successful

Paul Feig sold his soul to the devil. There is no other way to explain it. Prior to ‘07, Feig had directed such critical and box office flops as “I am David” (38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and “Unaccompanied Minors” (31 percent). Then Feig released his soul to Beelzebub, and

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Posted July 27, 2016in Film Review

Not all fun and games

    All across the globe, in cities as diverse as Paris, Los Angeles, Sydney and Traverse City, Michigan, young, athletic men are being paid thousands of dollars to tickle one another on video. The people behind the videos — a shadowy organization called Jane O’Brien Media — are funding

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Posted July 20, 2016in Film Review

The man without a face

In 1985, U.S. Customs agent Bob Mazur went undercover in Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel, posing as a money-laundering savant named Bob Musella. During the next five years, Mazur and his fellow agents, Emir Ebreu and Kathy Ertz, documented hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illegal wire transfers and fraudulent

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Posted July 13, 2016in Film Review

A fresh look at the same old thing

Ultimately, the gauge by which every parent measures a kids’ movie comes down to this question: “Will this keep my children entertained for most of its run-time?” It is a fairly simple guideline to use, and, for “The Secret Life of Pets,” the answer to that question is “yes.” Perhaps

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Posted July 06, 2016in Film Review

Out of its depth

  There are times when you watch a movie and can identify the exact moment in the creative process when the writer and director officially ran out of ideas. Sometimes the idea that is pitched to a studio is really only half an idea, but if it is a really

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Posted June 29, 2016in Film Review

Rich man’s war; poor man’s fight

The two most historically accurate portrayals of the Civil War committed to film are Ronald Maxwell’s “Gods and Generals” and now Gary Ross’ “The Free State of Jones.”  Coincidentally, both films focus upon the Confederacy. Not coincidentally, both are receiving poor reviews. “Gods and Generals” was almost universally reviled for

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Posted June 22, 2016in Film Review

Lost and found

    “Finding Dory” Rated PG 97 minutes Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill “Finding Dory” is the sequel that nobody needed but everybody thought they wanted. A whopping 13 years after “Finding Nemo” hit theaters, Pixar returns to familiar waters, giving us a follow-up film that shifts the

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Posted June 15, 2016in Film Review

Poorly crafted

How much enjoyment you get out of “Warcraft” is going to depend heavily on how familiar you are with the source material. “Warcraft” is a film based upon the spectacularly successful Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) “World of Warcraft,” a game that revolutionized how online games are played,

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Posted June 08, 2016in Film Review

From the lonely island to the big screen

  School is out, and the sun is shining, which means that summer is here once again. In theaters, summer is traditionally the time when most everyone turns their brains off, and studios churn out a succession of crowd-pleasing, big-budget action blockbusters and worry-free (read: dumb) comedies. “Popstar: Never Stop

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