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Silver Screen


Movie Review: "I, Daniel Blake"

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 06/03/17 1:53pm

“I, Daniel Blake” is a moving look at the quagmire that is the welfare system, breaking through the callousness of glib terms like “welfare queen.” There is no crown or glory in battling an amorphic bureaucracy for something as basic as one’s right to exist and live. British comedian Dave Johns stars as Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter from Newcastle, UK, who is seeking public assistance while recovering from a major heart attack. He must navigate a byzantine system of two hour ...

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"Wonder Woman" shines as one of the best superhero films to date

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 06/03/17 10:58am

After a series of poorly reviewed movies for the DC Extended Universe, largely helmed by director Zach Snyder, actress and soon-to-be mega-star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins pick up the slack with “Wonder Woman.”Although Gadot’s Wonder Woman appeared in Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and is set to appear in this fall’s “Justice League” film, this is the first stand-alone film for the beloved comic character. The film tells the origin story of the Amazonian ...

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“The Dinner” is too long and complicated to enjoy

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 05/05/17 10:00am

“The Dinner” tells the tale of two couples who meet over dinner to discuss what to do about their sons who are cousins and commit a serious crime. The conversation deepens and more information is shown and discussed as each new dinner course arrives. While the plot is an interesting idea, “The Dinner” ultimately loses the viewer and fails to entertain. This mystery/drama is shown through the perspective of Paul Lohman (played by Steve Coogan), who is a mentally-ill retired history teacher. ...

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“Citizen Jane” examines the past, present and future of American cities

By Jack Reilly Last updated: 05/05/17 10:00am

Matt Tyrnauer’s new documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” is a story about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. Jacobs's focus on organic growth clashes with Moses's goal of redeveloping New York City from the ground up during the 1950s and 60s. The film delves into these two contrasting visions of the city's future.Moses, a developer with authority from city government, is seen as someone who has become corrupted over time and is solely focused on making money. His focus on rebuilding ...

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“Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia” struggles with storytelling

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 05/05/17 9:17am

“Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia,” is a documentary focusing on the Cambodian genocide led by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and its effect on present day Cambodia. The documentary focuses on the loss of culture and the Cambodian people coming to terms with their own history. Director Robert H. Lieberman portrays how the Khmer Rouge continues to affect everyday life in Cambodia.The issues I have with “Angkor Awakens” mostly surrounds my dislike of documentaries. The directors did not create ...

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"Obit" shines a spotlight on the New York Times' obituary staff

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 05/05/17 9:04am

Journalism’s worst kept secret is the fact that print newspapers are a dying business. Something that has been somewhat of a secret is the directly-correlated dying obituary section.Vanessa Gould’s “Obit” dives into this world of obituary writing; what many would, undoubtedly, perceive as a dour subject. Gould’s documentary, however, never feels sad or down; instead, it is lively and celebratory of obit writing as a whole.This documentary focuses in on the team of obit writers at The New ...

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“Free Fire” shoots blanks

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 04/21/17 9:30am

Director Ben Wheatley’s attempt at a B-movie shoot ‘em up comedy is almost a complete, for lack of a better phrase, misfire, that is is as unoriginal as it is repetitive. Set in Boston in 1978, “Free Fire” is comprised of essentially one long scene at a warehouse where an illegal gun deal unsurprisingly goes awry. Despite an interesting cast that includes the always excellent Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy and the charming and funny Armie Hammer, occasionally artful cinematography, and a ...

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With confused plot, "The Lost City of Z" falls flat

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 04/21/17 9:10am

“The Lost City of Z,” director James Gray’s latest film, based on the 2009 non-fiction bestseller of the same name by author David Grann, follows British explorer Percy Fawcett at the dawn of the 20th century as he manages family, duty to country and his wanderlust for a mysterious Amazonian city. As a soldier in the British Army, Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is unexpectedly whisked away by the Royal Geographic Society to Bolivia in order to chart a new map to prevent a war with neighboring Brazil. ...

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"In Search of Israeli Cuisine" provides captivating take on Israeli culture

By Arielle Weg Last updated: 04/21/17 9:00am

Take one of the most up and coming culinary hubs in the world with bright, ethnic flavors and colors and put it in front of the backdrop of a major political hot topic, and you get “In Search of Israeli Cuisine.” This modern food documentary follows James Beard award winning chef Michael Solomonov to answer the one question he has always pondered; what is Israeli cuisine? But what the audience really walks away with is a new perspective on the infamous Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the possibility ...

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In “2017,” Louis C.K. delivers on his comedic promises

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 04/15/17 12:00pm

Louis C.K. has always been a maestro of humor, and Netflix decided to capitalize on this opportunity by enlisting him to perform his seventh hour-long special for them. Seven is a staggering number for the amount of taped stand-up specials a comedian can have. That said, Louis C.K. delivers just as he has throughout his career.Of course, he is primarily known for his stand-up and comedic chops but Louis C.K. is a reputable writer, once writing for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Since that gig, ...

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