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Joshua Starnes

Joshua Starnes has been writing about film and the entertainment industry since 2004 and served as the President of the Houston Film Critics Society from 2012 to 2019. In 2015 he became a co-owner/publisher of Red 5 Comics and in 2018 wrote the series "Kulipari: Dreamwalker" for Netflix. In between he continues his lifelong quest to find THE perfect tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich combination.

Cruella Review: The Emmas Deliver the Fireworks

Stylish, calculating and beautiful with a pair of perfectly-pitched performances from its two leads, Cruella is an apt reflection of the life its heroine (Emma Stone) wants to lead but may be a decade too late in getting there. A prequel humanizing a villain from a 50-year-old film who literally has ‘devil’ as part of …

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Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse Review

As Hollywood has been slowly overrun with more and more superhero films, many pages of digital ink have been spilled about how and why that has been so. A lot of those think pieces take the stance that the superhero film is childish, homogenous and risk averse as opposed to the adult-oriented entertainment studios used …

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This Is Not a War Story Review: The Talia Lugacy Drama

This Is Not a War Story is lying right from the title card, and that’s okay. It is most definitely a war story, even if all of its stories of war take place off screen and in the past through occasional remanences. But if This Is Not a War Story is low on pyrotechnics, it’s …

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Nobody Review: The Bob Odenkirk Action Thriller

If ten years ago I had made a list of sentences I would never write in a review, surely ”enjoying a Bob Odenkirk action movie” would have to have been one of them. And yet that reality has come to pass and mostly successfully if somehow both broad and shallow. Odenkirk’s reinvention as a solid …

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Raya and the Last Dragon Review

Raya and the last Dragon is a gorgeous piece of modern animation from the studio that still does it better than anyone. And it’s also finely tuned family entertainment from the studio that does that better than anyone. Putting those two things together, however, frequently results in surface-oriented fun with little beneath that surface because …

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Land Review: Robin Wright’s Directorial Debut

Beautiful, sad and distant, Land is like the mountainous horizon would-be woodswoman Edee (Robin Wright) spends much of her time gazing at: a picture-perfect artifice which may be full of significance but is just as likely a mere empty view. On the surface it is an elegantly-paced tone poem of reflection, juxtaposing the uncaring beauty …

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The Marksman Review: The New Liam Neeson Action Thriller

It would be very easy to write The Marksman off as an empty action thriller playing around with evil émigré tropes like a child with a hand grenade, because that’s mostly what it is. A low-key chase film built on the personal salvation of a child in trouble, it plays with stereotypes in a way …

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Promising Young Woman Review: Carey Mulligan Takes Revenge

Promising Young Woman is a dive into the deep end of cynicism. That is not a pejorative or a negative. It is simply a statement of the reality viewed by its writer/director and the scores of individuals she is speaking for. A world where painful, life-changing events are passed off as ‘youthful indiscretions’ that a …

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Greenland Review: The Disaster Film Starring Butler and Baccarin

If Hollywood be our guide, great natural disasters have no greater purpose than to focus a long-standing interpersonal conflict (usually a married couple) and give the participants one big chance to clear it up. Mother Nature isn’t just the personification of our system of physical laws making sure the world works the way it needs …

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Review

For a character and a comedian whose brands were both built on smashing expectations of not just the permissible but the expected, it’s strange that the second Borat film is exactly what you’d think it would be. Again, taking easy potshots at the conservative America it skewered 15 years ago, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm attempts some …

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Honest Thief Review: The New Liam Neeson Action Thriller

Honest Thief is not honest at all. It sells itself as the latest in the modern line of post-Taken Liam Neeson action vehicles. The ones that trade on his gravitas and high octane set pieces in lieu of coherent plots or strong dialogue. Honest Thief only has half of that, with a budget and production …

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Rebecca Review: The Thriller Starring Lily James and Armie Hammer

Adapting a classic, with a classic reputation, is always tricky. Almost as tricky as a director with a settled style stretching himself into new directions. Both are treacherous, filled with pitfalls and observers eager to point out how the earlier stuff was better. And there’s a lot of risk, too, because there’s a lot of …

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 Review

Aaron Sorkin is a writer’s writer. That doesn’t mean he routinely writes excellent dialogue (though he often does) or complexly crafted characters (though he sometimes does) or even that his work is accoladed or influential to other writers (though some of it is). It means he does what all writer’s do, only more so. Sorkin …

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Unhinged Review: Russell Crowe Can Happen to Anyone

Unhinged is unapologetic trash. That’s not a bad thing. Good trash can be great. But there’s not much worse than bad trash. Unhinged is not good trash. Its story is rote, and its characters are one-dimensional given the briefest of lip service to their inner motivations in order to get them in place for its …

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Hidden Treasures: Night People (1954)

In this series, I look back at some fantastic hidden gems which have been lost over the years and deserve to be rediscovered. We’ll kick things off with Night People, which opened in theaters in March of 1954. Night People If you ask a hundred different people what Gregory Peck‘s best role was, probably ninety …

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – A Look Back

With this Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull feature, we’re taking a look back at Lucasfilm’s other giant franchise and the ways it shaped the modern blockbuster. Stay tuned for all the latest Indiana Jones 5 news here. INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL The first decade of Indiana …

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Irresistible Review: Jon Stewart’s New Political Comedy

Sketch comedy is hard. Really all comedy is hard, but sketch comedy is really hard – getting long in and out in a (hopefully) short period without losing any part of build or punchline. And while there is no reason old sketch comedy writers shouldn’t also be good comedy film writers, the reality is it’s …

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