AFI Top 100: Titanic

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my general thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #83 on…

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HELD

“Isn’t that heaven on earth. It’s the way a marriage should be, before feminism and political-correctness muddied the waters. Simpler. Better times.“ Directed by the duo behind Blumhouse’s The Gallows, Chris Lofing and Travis Cliff, Frightfest official selection HELD sees a departure from the supernatural horror aspect. With some #MeToo movement subtext, HELD bolsters more…

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Best Picture #70: Titanic

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League

After all these years, it’s finally here. I will admit that I spent way too much time thinking about the Snyder Cut before it was even an idea that existed beyond the beginning days of the fan campaign, and how couldn’t I? The theatrical cut of Justice League is probably one of the most highly…

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Running Time

Director: Josh Becker (Thou Shall Not Kill…Except, Lunatics: a Love Story, as well as episodes of Xena) Starring: Bruce Campbell, Jeremy Roberts, Anita Barone Runtime: 70 minutes / B&W Release Date: March 16, 2021 Language: DTS-HD MA English 2.0 Original Stereo Aspect Ratio: High-definition 1080p (1.37:1) presentation of the original full-frame theatrical aspect ratio Format:…

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Best Picture #68: Braveheart

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Staff Selects: Los Angeles

Cole has made the move to the City of Angels so we’re celebrating by writing about a few of our favorite Los Angeles set movies. Sunset Boulevard There might be no other film in history that so intimately understands the heart and soul of Los Angeles than the one named in honor of one of…

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Best Picture #67: Forrest Gump

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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The Mauritanian

The thing about the standard Hollywood biopic is that they generally stick to a tried and true formula: opening with title cards, neat and orderly chronological story with dates punctuated with cue cards, and closing title cards that explain what happened to the characters in the story once the script ends. The Mauritanian is no…

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Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry might be Hanna-Barbera’s most enduring and beloved creations. With 164 short films and seven Oscars to their names, the cat and mouse duo have been making audiences laugh for more than eighty years now, but they haven’t had much success in the world of feature length films. Before this latest live-action/animation mashup,…

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AFI Top 100: Toy Story

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my general thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #99 on…

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Passing (2021)

Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga two-hander Passing is one of the showier pictures of Sundance in 2021. Adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1920s story, it’s a film about two women who’ve found themselves down radically different paths. Irene (Ruth Negga) approaches Clare (Tessa Thompson) as they dine. Clare hardly recognises her from when they grew up…

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Best Picture #65: Unforgiven

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Music

Sia’s film, Music, found itself ensnared in controversy months before it debuted thanks to a snappy remark from its creator: “Maybe you’re just a bad actor”. She lashed out at autistic viewers who were begging her to explain why she cast her dancer/protege/stand-in Maddie Ziegler in the role of Music, a character on the spectrum.…

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Staff Selects: NYC

Our editor, Henry, moved to New York City recently so we’re taking a look back at some of the films that best capture the Big Apple. Moonstruck “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” croons Dean Martin over the opening credits of Moonstruck, one of the quintessential pieces of…

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Bliss

When I clicked on Amazon’s latest original movie, I thought I was tuning into an odd romantic comedy that also somehow involved parallel dimensions. The cast certainly looked promising, as did the titillating first trailer. This grey-toned, deadpan dystopian drama is quite the unexpected surprise. Not necessarily in quality, but in the amount of thought…

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How it Ends

Sundance Film Festival has long been known for its notorious quirkiness. Often programming American indie films from a wealthy, nepotistic scene, filmmakers like Miranda July got started at American indie’s largest festival. Past the 2000s Golden Era of twee, it lives on through a millennial BuzzFeed style humor, much to the chagrin of many. This…

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Malcolm & Marie

[written by Ryan N.] Rolled out as a dramatic love story in its first trailer many people, myself included, gave little attention to the fact that Sam Levinson was the mind behind the film. It would be absurd to think the guy who made Assassination Nation, an ultraviolent Japanese-style girl boss movie tackling social media hysteria,…

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In Conversation: Sundance

Sarah: So to start, we’ve already had quite a few high profile acquisitions, with Netflix and Misha and the Wolves, Apple and Coda, Hulu and Summer of Soul, Neon and Flee, and Sony Pictures Classics and Jockey. Any of these surprise anyone? Any deals you’re still expecting? Lee: I have a list I made a…

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In Conversation: MCU

Jen: We’re talking about Marvel today. As somebody whose formative years as a critic was when the MCU was at its height of universal acclaim, it’s been interesting to see the trajectory. At least in my circles there are people that either love them or are tired of the samey feel, and while I understand…

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Saint Maud

If nothing else, Saint Maud is notable on this site for being layered and compelling enough that I had the drive to actually get this review submitted in a timely manner. Maybe it’s because I want to strike while the iron is hot, while the final moments of the film have branded themselves onto my…

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Judas and the Black Messiah

What I have had to relearn about the 1960s as a decade in American politics has been infinite. I was taught the usual schtick in elementary school – Dr. King good, violence bad. In high school I remember reading Malcolm X’s essay “Learning to Read.” Thinking about it all these years later I should have…

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The Little Things

Pitched in 1993 by writer/director John Lee Hancock only to be met with apprehension for being too dark, The Little Things is now upon us. The 1990’s setting has gone from contemporary to a period piece, and the dynamic of the lead trio is just different enough from that of Se7en to set itself apart.…

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AFI Top 100: Vertigo

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my general thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #9 on…

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Spontaneous

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m sitting here, watching and writing about Spontaneous, the only 2020 movie I currently have in my collection (until morning, when my mother opens the copy of Bill & Ted Face the Music I got her). And I didn’t even buy this copy. It was signed and sent to me by…

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Locked Down

In less than a year, the Zoom ring sound takes me out of a movie more than a Wilhelm scream does. My adverse reaction to this isn’t Locked Down’s fault, as the wave of movies directly inspired by 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have already begun to creep onto our screens with titles like Host,…

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Staff Selects: Mumblecore

Today we’re talking about some of our favorites of the short lived microgenre of mumblecore. Some of us opted for a loose definition of the term. Creep I could never do something as trivial as following the rules, so my mumblecore pick is more of a mumblegore film. Creep certainly has all of the trademarks…

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