Reviews

Review: The Martian

As a lifelong science-fiction fan, I must admit that the most recent spate of “hard” sci-fi films has been a pleasant respite from overblown space operas and epic superhero confrontations. Films like Gravity and Interstellar have shown that filmmakers can still use real-life scientific concepts to tell compelling stories. The new film The Martian extends that idea into (…) Read More

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Review: Sleeping With Other People

The 1989 comedy classic When Harry Met Sally asked the question, “Can men and women be friends without sexual tension?” A quarter-century later, the new comedy Sleeping With Other People poses the same question, but changes the setting to the 21st Century culture of hookups, dot-com ventures and sexting. While Sleeping maintains some of the same charms as (…) Read More

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Review: Fantastic Four (2015)

Comic book fans know that the “modern” Marvel Universe started with Fantastic Four #1. Published in November 1961, the first issue appearance of “Marvel’s First Family” shows the relationship tensions that would drive the series for more than half a century. Unfortunately, the story also shows its age more with each passing year. Americans no (…) Read More

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Review: The Gunman

Picking up from the theme of last week’s review for the Danish Western The Salvation, French director Pierre Morel’s new film The Gunman follows a theme seen in many classic Westerns. Dozens of Westerns used theme of the reformed gunslinger: a former killer who turns his efforts toward helping his community, only to be drawn back (…) Read More

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Review: The Salvation

The recent high-profile sci-fi flops of  Jupiter Ascending and Chappie may have moviegoers craving a return to the simpler times and simpler heroes found in classic Westerns. Directors ranging from the Coen Brothers (True Grit) to Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) to Gore Verbinski (Rango, The Lone Ranger) have tried to resurrect the genre for a 21st-Century audience, (…) Read More

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Review: Everly

For moviegoers suffering from “superhero fatigue”, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that a new trend of smaller movies, with more focused stories and intense characters, has recently surfaced. The bad news is that these movies replace the capes, cowls, and crime-fighting with bodies, bullets, and buckets of blood. The (…) Read More

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Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

In the new film Kingsman: The Secret Service, one of the most pivotal scenes does not involve the high-flying action seen in the trailers, but a quiet conversation between undercover “gentleman spy” Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and billionaire tech genius Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). The conversation revolves around their love of 1960′s spy films, (…) Read More

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Review: Believe Me

If the new film Believe Me had come out during the 1980s, it would have come across as both a hilarious comedy and an indictment of the televangelist industry. The fallout from the various scandals involving Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Oral Roberts would have provided a comedy goldmine. Unfortunately, in the era of “prosperity gospel” (…) Read More

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Review: Fed Up

Documentary filmmakers have had a difficult road in recent years. These talented directors, producers and writers attempt to cobble together fascinating stories from true events without resorting to the computer-generated pyrotechnics to which audiences have become accustomed at their local multiplexes. The most successful recent crop of documentarians use either a forceful personality (Michael Moore), (…) Read More

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