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Film Review

New films: McFarland USA, The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2

A moviebrief roundup of this week’s new films. Two of this week’s new films are surprising in that they work despite being extremely formulaic and delivering absolutely no surprises. The third is awful. “McFarland, USA” is based on the true story of Jim White’s coaching career at McFarland High...

Film Review

New films: Kingsman and Fifty Shades of Grey

Two major releases that open this week suggest that the best approach to relationship security, for some couples, this Valentine’s Day weekend might be to go to the theater together but then see separate movies. Kingsman: The Secret Service Directed by Matthew Vaughn “Kingsman: The Secret Service”...

jupiter ascending
Film Review

New films: Jupiter Ascending vs. Seventh Son

“Jupiter Ascending” and “Seventh Son” Picking between these films is a little like staring at the muffin and the bowl of cereal at a motel breakfast bar when you’re both gluten and lactose intolerant. Neither is substantial to begin with and both are inherently flawed options. Having watched both...

Film Review

New films: Project Almanac, Black Sea, Black or White

Project Almanac Directed by Dean Israelite I’ve complained about “found footage” films before – the kind where what you’re watching has supposedly been shot by characters within the film. In many, of the “Blair Witch Project” variety, the idea is that, but for this supposedly real and found...

Film Review

New Film: The Spectacularly Awful “Mortdecai”

Mortdecai Directed by David Koepp “Mortdecai” is the kind of film that producers of films like “Taken 3” and “Blackhat” dream about. Because, at the end of the year, their own mediocre films will be largely forgotten and people will still be talking about the spectacular awfulness of “Mortdecai.”...

Film Review

New films: Two good and two…not so good

American Sniper Directed by Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood is still going strong and has another winner with “American Sniper,” a character study of Chris Kyle, hailed as America’s deadliest sniper. During four tours in Iraq, Kyle was credited with 160 kills and Eastwood is more interested in...

Film Review

New films: Selma, Taken 3 and Inherent Vice

Selma Directed by Ava DuVernay Fifty years have passed since the events depicted in “Selma” and it’s both inspiring and disappointing to watch the film in a time when some of the same struggle continues. Despite the passage of 1964’s Civil Rights Act and a general agreement that the Constitution...

Film Review

8 New films: The best (“The Imitation Game”) and the rest

The Imitation Game Directed by Morten Tyldum Probably the single most important factor in the outcome, or the length, of Word War II was the ability of the Allies to decode and read many German transmissions. This was accomplished through the work of a (truly) top secret team of code breakers...

top five
Arts Film Review

New Films: Top Five & Exodus: Gods and Kings

Top Five Written & Directed by Chris Rock “Top Five” is a good but not great movie. It could have been a better movie if Chris Rock the writer and director had cast somebody other than Chris Rock the actor. Or if perhaps he had cast himself in something other than the lead role which is too...

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