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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.

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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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – A Look Back

With this Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 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 LAST CRUSADE Like any series with a spectacular start, most of the analysis …

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – A Look Back

With Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 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 TEMPLE OF DOOM Victory, the old saying goes, has many parents but failure is …

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Scoob! Review: The New Animated Adventure

The glass-is-half-empty among us have been decrying the death of cinema for many years, triggered by the increasing focus on reinventing old IP in the face of increasing apathy towards original material. The glass-is-half-full side will respond that the origination of the material matters less than what is done with it and talented individuals have …

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Raiders of the Lost Ark – A Look Back

Starting with Raiders of the Lost Ark, 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. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Make that Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, so re-christened in …

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Review of Hilary Brougher’s South Mountain

Somewhere, on the side of a mountain in the Appalachians, a family is gathering for its annual celebration. Somewhere, a family is falling apart. Somewhere, the classic reactions and responses to unconscionable betrayal are turned on their heads. Somewhere, people act out their lives in a fashion both impossible to identify with and unmistakably human. …

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Never Rarely Sometimes Always Review

For a long time complex subjects have had to be dealt with in allegory and obscurity, working around their subjects due to commercial and cultural sensitivities. There is a lot of artistic good which can come from that, requiring filmmakers to create subtle and understandable spaces for audiences to fill in rather than having everything …

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Emma Review: The New Adaptation of the Jane Austen Novel

How do we know a story is a classic? Is it by the sheer universality of the characters or dialogue to the point where they are referenced consistently in later works? Is it the insight and depth of the story and what it says about the human condition? Is it the fact that it has …

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Downhill Review: The Force Majeure Remake with Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus

Even if Downhill wasn’t based on a unique (and acclaimed) Swedish film, it would suffer in comparison to everything around it. Being borne from something as unique as Force Majeure — and the singular vision behind it — puts any adaptation as a disadvantage. But at every turn, writer-directors Rash and Faxon (The Descendants) pick the wrong …

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The Gentlemen Review: The New Guy Ritchie Action Comedy

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it? Or alter it in any way? This is generally the studio approach to creative decision making, and from a purely commercial standpoint it makes sense. So much effort is spent finding something which works the first time, why take risks with reinvention? Sure it impacts longevity, but weighed …

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Just Mercy Review: The Story of Walter McMillan

Waaaayyyy back in what we call the Golden Age of Hollywood, it wouldn’t be unusual for studios to only release 50 or 60 films and maybe only a few more than 100 worldwide. Now that number is generally surpassed by the end of the first quarter each year. With that giant upswing in content comes …

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Little Women Review: The Best Adaptation of the Book

Little Women has been both a marvel and a frustration since it was written. An immortal story of young women growing to adulthood shorn of cliché and romanticism and replacing it with simple humanism and the feel of a moment captured in time. It’s so powerful that it’s as compelling today as it was 150 …

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Cats Review: The Film Adaptation of the Stage Musical

There are good movies. There are bad movies. There are a lot of mediocre movies. And sometimes, just sometimes, there are movies which reach the Nietzschean ideal of the Übermensch, existing beyond silly ideas like good and evil. I have looked into the abyss and Cats was staring back at me. If I were less …

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