Too Chatty Ad Astra Still Worth the Trip (Movie Review)

Quiet, contemplative sci-fi ranks as some of the best in the genre. For many, the entry point began with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and has continued up to releases seen this decade. Gravity, The Martian and Arrival are stellar cinematic spectacles (Interstellar is pretty good too) concerned with the inner as well as the outer feelings of space and beyond. Director James Gray’s bid to the stars, Ad Astra, can’t quite reach their level, but this is still a must-see for anyone in love with the big-screen experience. It’s just too bad voice-over track can’t be toggled off.

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Hustlers is Engaging, Funny, and Has All The Right Moves (Movie Review)

Tales of con artists have always been a better fit for my taste in the crime genre, over mobsters. My preference for Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money over his beloved Goodfellas will surprise no one who knows me. To my delight, Lorene Scafaria’s new film, Hustlers, about Manhattan strippers taking as much as they can from Wall Street clients, is one of the most entertaining films of the year.

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The Goldfinch Can’t Quite Soar (Movie Review)

I’ve only read fifty-one pages of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch, yet I can tell from such a small sample (the book is nearly 800 pages) that a 140-minute feature adaptation would be a tricky endeavor. Nevertheless, John Crowley, who directed 2015’s Brooklyn, one of the best films of the decade, has given it a go. The results are the mixed bag I expected, though certainly not the dumpster fire the pre-release buzz from recent films festivals seemed to suggest.

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It Chapter Two: Big Horror Cheap Thrills (Movie Review)

What do we make of It Chapter TwoFilms rarely fit neatly into one genre anymore, and the notion of what is or is not horror is often debated among film fans as well as casual moviegoers. Are horror films always about something supernatural like The Conjuring? What about the slasher sub-genre? It’s easier just to accept most as hybrids, like Edgar Wright’s best film, Shaun of the Dead.

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Ready or Not… Here Come The One Percenters!

Most of the guests have left. The ceremony was fitting for a family with mucho dinero. They “Spared no expense,” and all that. It’s time for newlyweds Grace and Alex to settle in for the night, for their honeymoon to begin. But before Grace can take off her stunning white gown, her husband of a few hours tells her there’s just one more thing: she needs to play a game with him and his immediate family – including that weird aunt that kept staring at her during the nuptials. The game chosen is random. It can be checkers, chess, who knows? Grace pulls a card from an ancient wooden box. It reads Hide & Seek. The rules are simple: she can hide anywhere on the grounds of the magnificent estate of the Le Domas family. She must survive until dawn. Unbeknownst to Grace, survival is meant literally as all of her in-laws will be out to maim and possibly kill her. Ready or Not, let the games begin.

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’47 Meters Down’ Sequel Is Shallow, Not Shallows (Movie Review)

What exactly do we expect from a sequel nowadays? Heck, what should we expect from merely a title of a series? In the old days (the 80s) there’d be straightforward ones like Star Wars that audiences could easily latch onto as George Lucas expanded his saga. These days Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise might play fast and loose with its original intentions but the spirit of it all: the cars, the bros, and the schemes still pretty much fit the name.

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