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Gemini Man Review: Two Will Smiths Face Off in Ang Lee Film

For all the questions about the nature of humanity inherent in the premise, no one has yet made a good movie about cloning. From The 6th Day to Never Let Me Go to even Parts: The Clonus Horror or Duncan Jones’ superior Moon, everyone who comes into contact with the subject seems to prefer it …

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Parasite Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Conflict is the basis of drama, and there are few dramatic conflicts as powerful as the exploration of class. Everyone alive feels that conflict – the societal obligations for those who are not well off to rise above their status, while those who are already well off strive to keep their positions while, consciously or …

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Knives Out Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is an engine of perfect entertainment. From the opening moments, we are swept into the story and characters, and it feels completely confident and effortless. It’s old fashioned in all the best ways, but also has modern sensibilities and themes that give the film weight and substance. The murder mystery, as a …

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The Lighthouse Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Robert Eggers’ The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer) is a polarizing film. Now that we have a little distance from it, and now that we’ve seen something of the trends happening in the horror genre since then, that film is a moment in independent film – that there are stories to be told in …

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Dolemite Is My Name Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Eddie Murphy is back. The best Eddie Murphy movies are those where it feels like he has something to prove. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a completely engaged Eddie. His strongest films have always been those when Eddie has a little glint in his eye, right before he lays his cards on …

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Memory: The Origins of Alien Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

I have been obsessed with Alien since I was nine years old, and my parents refused to take me to a movie theater to see it. For Christmas that year, they bought me a book full of shots from the film, and I closely examined every single frame I could, from the facehugger sequence to the …

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Color Out of Space Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

H. P. Lovecraft is a notoriously difficult author to adapt to film. There have been a thousand riffs off his work over the years, with varying degrees of success, but to directly bring his work to the screen can be problematic at best. Back when authors were paid for every word, during the era of …

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Jojo Rabbit Review – Fantastic Fest 2019

Young Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a good little Nazi. He worships Adolf Hitler – so much so that he imagines Adolf (Taika Waititi) giving him advice during times of difficulty. In Germany, during the waning days of World War II, Jojo and his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) try to manage an existence together, …

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Ad Astra Review: Startlingly Beautiful with One of Pitt’s Best Performances

Man is a solitary creature. If there is anything to take from James Gray’s loving, and lovingly strange, 2001: A Space Odyssey hat tap, it’s the aching hole inside individuals which no amount exploration or discovery can fill. That may not be particularly comforting to fans of human scientific advancement, but its combination of cynicism …

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Downton Abbey Review: Continuation, Repetition, Encapsulation

Continuation. Repetition. Encapsulation. In the realm of the TV translation to film, these are the three potential options for what the audience will receive. A continuation of the story from its last episode, potentially with greater stakes and changes to the status quo on offer. A repetition of the most loved story lines in order …

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Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix Astounds in Todd Phillips Film

It’s a rare occurrence when you watch a film and realize that you’ve spoken out loud about it before it’s over. I apologize to the person sitting next to me, but I think he totally understood. There was a moment while watching Joker when the screen went black and a breathless “wow” came out of my …

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review

Surely the most dreaded words in all of feature film development must be “it needs a new direction.” [Followed closely by “I have a few notes”]. Not that searching for a new direction is bad, some fantastic films have come from creatives throwing out what came before and in the process re-discovering an original truth. …

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review: A Proper Introduction to Horror for Kids

I still remember the illustrations. Drawn originally by Stephen Gammell, I remember the feeling of my breath seizing as I stared at the screaming scarecrow on the cover of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and thinking to myself, “Nope.” It would be a couple more years until I would actually conquer my fear and …

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Ready or Not Review: Samara Weaving Shines in This Horror Comedy

The image is compelling; a bride in her wedding dress with a gun in her hands, ammo strapped around her body. You know exactly what you’re in for… or do you? I tried to stay as far away from the original trailer as I could before I watched Ready or Not starring Samara Weaving, Adam …

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Review

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is exactly what you think it is – a film with a ridiculously convoluted title. It’s also big, dumb, loud and frequently great fun. It’s the kind of movie Michael Bay thinks he’s making, but isn’t. It’s also frequently not the film it thinks it is. Mainly because …

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The Lion King Review: Should You Check Out This Disney Remake?

Before I start this The Lion King review, I want to address something so you know where I stand. There has been some discussion online lately about whether or not people are fans of Disney live-action remakes. Though I’ve enjoyed reading both sides, I have loved some and not others. I’m also okay with changes, …

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