Review: Ben Stiller In Brad’s Status

Ben Stiller is more than capable of putting on a serious face and stop acting like a goofball, in order to show us all how he can cope under the pressures of being a serious actor. We have seen Stiller act seriously in films like Greenberg (2010) and While We’re Young (2014). Although he performed better in Greenberg […]

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Review: Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water uses the unlikely, surreal story of a romance between a mute woman (the excellent, poised Sally Hawkins) and a captive, sentient sea-creature played by del Toro stalwart, Doug Jones, to explore the emotions of loneliness, isolation and discrimination. Bringing a gritty reality to something magical is a del Toro trademark. The fairytale element in this case, feels […]

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Might Be Too Big

The release of a new Star Wars film has always been a huge event. It has become something that is hyped about up to a year before it’s release usually around Christmas time. So Santa can make sure to bring all the good little Jedi boys and girls the latest action figures and cute stuffed […]

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Indiana Jones and His Greatest Hits

I came across the exploits of Indiana Jones in 2008 in the form of the fourth installment of the series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I was 18 at the time, and decided that I could pay $7.50 for a movie ticket, another 15 dollars on a medium-size popcorn and soda cup, […]

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Indiana Jones and the Return to Form

I’ll be honest: after Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I was wary about watching the third outing, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I wasn’t sure how this seemly final chapter of the legend of Dr. Jones would end, nor did I think I would care. Imagine my surprise to learn that the third outing […]

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Indiana Jones and the Nasty, Mean-Spirited Sequel

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I really did not enjoy sitting through Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why the big follow-up to Raiders of the Lost Ark has its share of defenders, but cry in outrage how 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the […]

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Raiders of the Lost Ark: Spielberg’s Fury Road

By the time I was born in 1990, Steven Spielberg, through triumphs like Jaws, Close Encounters, and E.T., had already cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s most beloved filmmakers; in addition, with smaller, off the beaten path projects like The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun, he was also announcing to the world that he could […]

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Let’s Talk About Catch Me If You Can

Whenever people talk about the historical prestige films that Steven Spielberg has made over the years, they talk about films like Schindler’s List, The Color Purple, and Lincoln. But sadly, it seems that nobody really talks about Catch Me If You Can. Even though it was nominated for two Oscars, Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken and Original Score for John Williams, and […]

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Review: Justice League

We’ve been waiting for this film ever since Tim Burton’s Batman appeared on our screens back in 1989 (my birth year), and it’s taken nearly 28 years to see the Justice League on the big screen. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Justice League can live up to the hype. Well, may […]

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Review: Dee Rees’ Essential Mudbound

Mudbound is many things at once: A demonstration of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a portrait of racial tensions in rural America, and a universal telling of everyday people trying to live through the trials of today to build a better tomorrow. Yet the film is one thing as well: Poetic. Despite its heavy subject matter, it […]

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Review: Kristen Stewart’s Directorial Debut Short ‘Come Swim’

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. — Norman Cousins Many of us have a fear of the water, there is something unnerving about what lurks beneath us and the threat of being pulled under. Kristen Stewart’s (yes, that Kristen Stewart from Twilight) […]

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Review: The Florida Project

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.” Kailash Satyarthi In Sean Baker’s excellent The Florida Project we see the glorious, almost technicolor world through the eyes of six year old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), who is living below the poverty line in post-election America. However, she doesn’t see […]

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Review: Call Me By Your Name

A review by Bianca Garner “Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot.” These words are profound and they sum up the power of love, it makes us weak in ways we never thought possible, but this same weakness can make an individual stronger. Call Me By Your Name addresses the complexities of a […]

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Rat Film Is Perhaps The Most Arresting Documentary Of The Century

At last, it’s what we’ve been asking for: a documentary about Baltimore’s storied rat infestation. What if a documentary compared the lives of rats to the lives of human beings? It is the prompt for a problematic, think-piece-generating film sure to divide viewers on the socio-political spectrum. And that’s what director Theo Anthony gets at in […]

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Warehoused: The Documentary Film Takes Us To The Refugee Camps Of Kenya

With the candid, provoking feature-length documentary Warehoused, from Life Is My Movie Entertainment, I was not only reminded of the power of the non-fiction genre, but once again lucky enough to gain further insight into parts of the world we still somehow take for granted. Directed by Vincent Vittorio and Asher Emmanuel, Warehoused gets straight […]

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Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! Proves To Polarize With Its Ambiguity

So many things to say about Darren Aronofsky’s new film, Mother!. First, I want to express that I really liked it. It’s scary, intense, emotional, frenetic, and ambiguous, which I think might be its greatest strength. For most of the film, it has rising and falling tension, but never becomes more than what the average […]

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‘I’m Not Ashamed’ Review: Pandering For Jesus (And Columbine)

On April 20, 1999, two high school seniors, Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold, opened fire on the grounds of Columbine High School, killing twelve students and one teacher, in addition to injuring twenty-one students as a few tried to escape the chaos happening in real-time, before they turned the gun on themselves. The attack is […]

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Maren Ade’s Latest Film Toni Erdmann Is Both Long And Alluring

When the movie Toni Erdmann entered our lives last May we assumed without agenda this was about a father’s relationship with his (grown-up) daughter. Which it kind of is, but more than that it turns out to be about a daughter, and her relationship with her (juvenile) father. This is not exactly a devastating plot […]

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Watch: Saranne Bensusan’s 12 Minute Short Film Mano a Mono

Roughly twenty years is probably enough time for most audience members, if not this particular critic, to forget one of the most famous twists in movie history, especially when they only have to forget it for roughly ten minutes of a new film’s 12-minute running time. It is also true that Saranne Bensusan’s short film […]

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NZIFF Review: The Square

After a satisfyingly diverse NZIFF for 2017, all eyes were on the Closing Night film, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winning satire The Square. Not only is the film wholly deserving of its Cannes win, it was also a perfect finale for the Film Festival. The Square takes a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at a modern art gallery […]

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NZIFF Review: The Lost City of Z

The Christchurch leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival is creeping ever closer to the final few days; but there are still magnificent films on offer until the curtain falls this coming weekend. While my chosen films have ranged from the cerebral (Stalker, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) to the heart-warming (Spookers), there […]

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