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Silver Screen


“Colette” is a period drama with more to say about women of today than meets the eye

By Kelly McDonnell Last updated: 09/28/18 6:45pm

In the late 19th century, the last thing France seemed to want was an intellectual, romantic and self-assured woman authoring the most popular novel of the time.“Colette,” directed by Wash Westmoreland, illustrates the life of renowned French author and actress Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. At 20 years old, Colette married literary publisher Henry Gauthier-Villars, or Willy, and began writing, sometimes only because Willy locked her in a room and forced her to write, the multiple novels in the ...

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Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” reminds us of the importance of documentaries

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 09/24/18 3:49pm

What is the role of the documentarian? Should they maintain a certain distance in their filmmaking or is it their duty to insert themselves in their art and take a stand? Should they let the facts speak for themselves or tell us what to make of the bits and pieces presented? Is documentary filmmaking a form of journalism or simply a glorified Op-ed?The documentary form has come into question as debates regarding the merits of what makes a successful film rage on. For years, the liberal firebrand ...

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Which movie subscription service is best for college students?

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 08/30/18 2:30pm

The movie theater subscription service MoviePass has been in the news quite a bit recently -- for all the wrong reasons. Amid mounting skepticism as a result of the myriad changes to its business model, CEO Mitch Lowe sent an email to subscribers saying, “MoviePass members will be able to see up to three standard movies a month for $9.95, and be given up to a $5.00 discount to any additional movie tickets purchased.” While still a great deal, this is a far cry from their previous too-good-to-be-true ...

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“Support the Girls”: Regina Hall gets by with a little help from her girls

By Rebecca Evans Last updated: 08/24/18 7:47pm

“Support the Girls” is a fun, earnest comedy that takes an honest look at a day-in-the-life of the staff of a small-time Texas “breastaurant” and its long-suffering general manager Lisa, played with attention-grabbing sincerity by Regina Hall (“Girls Trip,” the “Scary Movie” series). Over the course of one stressful day, Lisa tries to span the gap between the waitresses she has vowed to take care of and the demands of an unsympathetic business; all while dealing with her own personal ...

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“Love, Cecil” a deep dive into artist who attempted to sculpt extravagance

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 07/27/18 2:00pm

Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, “Love, Cecil” is a dive into famous British photographer and designer Cecil Beaton’s diaries. The diaries are incredibly personal, and reveal to us the artist’s suppressed emotions, reflections of his life, the mistakes he’s made, how his childhood formed him and his inspirations for the work that he did. But what makes this documentary more interesting is seeing Cecil’s constant attempts to become part of the elite, and rub shoulders with the most ...

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‘Mission: Impossible - Fallout’ makes perfect use of emotional weight, white-knuckle action

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 07/26/18 9:10pm

“Mission: Impossible” is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering Hollywood blockbuster franchises, but maybe it should be.Major film consumption has turned a new page in the past decade. Superheroes and ‘cinematic universes’ dominate the zeitgeist. Great action films and franchises still exist - see “John Wick” - and still make an obscene amount of money - see “Fast and Furious.” However, they are secondhand entertainment to most film fans. The “Mission: Impossible” ...

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“Eighth Grade” makes nervous 13-year-olds of us all

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 07/20/18 7:35pm

We often correlate high school to uneasiness and anxiety. Bo Burnham relates it to the frightened thirteen-year-old in us all in “Eighth Grade,” a film about the final week of eighth grade for Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher). She records YouTube videos speaking words of motivation and advice for her next-to-invisible audience but struggles with shyness in day-to-day life and worries about her impending high school social life. Kayla’s father (Josh Hamilton) tries his best to make her feel okay about ...

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‘Eighth Grade’ Director Bo Burnham and cast on social media and generational difference

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 07/16/18 8:24pm

“I immediately started crying.” Elsie Fisher describes her first experience seeing “Eighth Grade” in its entirety at The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Fisher stars in the film as Kayla Day, a 13-year-old who spends her free time scrolling through Instagram and making YouTube videos preaching self-confidence. Unfortunately, Kayla doesn’t take to her own advice and is struck by constant shyness and social anxiety. “Eighth Grade” is the feature debut for 27-year-old writer/director ...

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“Sorry to Bother You” Is a Creative, Wild, and Zany Movie That Must Be Seen to Believe

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 07/07/18 9:36pm

The season of the summer blockbuster is upon us. That overcrowded action-film-packed time of the year where most movies feel distinctly similar and clichés run amok at cinemas across the country. Gear up for the latest superhero flick, or get ready for another heart throbbing rom-com. Then, there stands “Sorry to Bother You,” a movie that is so crazy and wild, so fresh and new, that it could perhaps provide a cure (if only temporary) to that blockbuster fatigue.I can guarantee you this: “Sorry ...

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In attempting to portray how the West was really won, ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ loses

By Last updated: 07/07/18 9:34pm

The United States’ treatment of indigenous peoples is one of its paramount national sins. The release of “Woman Walks Ahead,” a film that attempts to grapple with this scar on American history, seems deftly placed two days after the country’s symbolic birthday.What ensues however is a haphazardly executed film loosely based on true events that fails in gracing the viewers with any message deeper than “how we treated the Natives was bad.”Jessica Chastain plays artist Catherine Weldon, ...

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Boots Riley is ‘Sorry To Bother You’ : On his latest movie, the role of the individual and how we’re all just performing

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 07/06/18 7:46pm

The summer, while usually reserved for the blockbuster smashes of superhero action flicks, has found a darling in Boots Riley’s first feature film, “Sorry To Bother You.” The film centers on Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) as he descends into the seedy underworld of telemarketing while discovering his “white voice.” The film is out now and has been a project of Riley’s for some time: the original script was finished in 2012 and published as its own paperback in 2014. Starting his career ...

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“Recovery Boys” stabs at the hearts of viewers and the opioid epidemic

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 07/05/18 8:57pm

The United States’ battle with opioids has been well documented at this point. From frequent news coverage, the Trump Administration’s decision to enact the death penalty on drug dealers and even other documentaries, it has become a cornerstone in our nation’s political discourse.Something that gets overlooked, however, are those who suffer directly as a result of these opioid addictions. We often hear about the casualties in this epidemic; families who have lost sons, daughters or parents ...

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Elvis as a symbol of Americana in “The King”

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 06/27/18 9:06pm

“The King,” directed by Eugene Jarecki and produced by Errol Morris, presents the current state of America through the prism of Elvis Presley, the king of rock n’ roll. It also rationalizes the American definition of success as analogous to the massive rise and tragic fall of Elvis, thus exploring the unhealthy relationship Americans might have with the “American dream”. The documentary follows Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce across state lines during the 2016 election, inviting people to ...

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'Tully' is a point blank exploration of the blessings and trials of motherhood

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 05/04/18 4:27am

Motherhood has always been an integral plot element in storytelling. Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is a woman who has to resort to extreme measures to feed her daughter in  “Les Misérables,” and Ellen Page plays a girl who has to reckon with how her life will be different after her teen pregnancy in “Juno.” But often overlooked is the simplicity of the relationship between a mother and her family and how it is in itself is a compelling story story. This is the route taken by “Juno” ...

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'Ghost Stories' is more affecting than scary

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 04/27/18 4:48am

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson direct “Ghost Stories,” a British anthology film starring Nyman as Professor Goodman, a man who dedicates his life to debunking the psychic and the supernatural. The film is an homage to great British anthologies released in the 1960s and 70s by Amicus Productions. Low-budget films like Asylum, From Beyond the Grave and Tales from the Crypt are some of the studio’s notable releases that tell different stories linked by an overarching narrator. This film updates ...

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'Avengers: Infinity War' dives into the darker side of heroism and humanity, succeeding all the same

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 04/27/18 4:29am

It has all led up to this. Ten years of entertaining films, character development and world-building have culminated in Marvel’s latest addition to their cinematic universe, “Avengers: Infinity War.” Avoiding potential spoilers, the film takes place roughly two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” “Infinity War” involves a disjointed Avengers team, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy and others, who must band together to stop their most formidable foe yet, ...

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'The Rider' stuns with an honest look into life after injury

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 04/20/18 5:50am

Filmmakers have always glorified men who live life in pursuit of a single goal. From Charles Kane’s final utterance of “Rosebud” in “Citizen Kane” to more recent films like “Whiplash” where the protagonist is dead-set on becoming the greatest drummer to ever live, suffering through endless abuse from his instructor along the way. Chloé Zhao’s most recent film “The Rider” continues this tradition in a heartfelt manner. Suffering a debilitating injury at a rodeo, Brady Blackburn ...

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‘I Feel Pretty’ teaches us to love (and laugh at) ourselves

By Grace George Last updated: 04/20/18 5:45am

Despite the fact she was not involved in the direction, writing or production of this movie, the role of Renee in “ I Feel Pretty” was made for Amy Schumer. “I Feel Pretty” relays a positive message about self-love in a funny and relatable way. It is not particularly inspiring or empowering, but Schumer’s character shows that confidence is everything. Renee is a New Yorker in her mid-30s who struggles with confidence, constantly wishing that she were undeniably beautiful. The day after ...

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'Rampage' can’t decide what type of movie it wants to be

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 04/13/18 11:11pm

Based on the popular arcade game of the same name, “Rampage” tells the story of a primatologist named Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), who notices his friend George, who happens to be an albino gorilla, is growing exponentially and getting angrier and angrier because of a mystery serum. The film then sets off with Okoye and Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), who previously worked with the company that created this serum and weapon, attempting to save the world and stop a series of different animals ...

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'Truth or Dare' is fun at times, but fails to live up to its promising premise

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 04/13/18 4:13pm

“Truth or Dare” tells the story of five college students who are partying in an abandoned church in Mexico when they decide to play truth or dare. As soon as they get back home they realize they can’t escape the game, they are forced to either play, or die. Jeff Wadlow, who previously directed “Kick-Ass 2,” assembles a strong cast including Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey and Violett Beane. They have great on-screen chemistry and elicit some sympathy for their characters and what they’re going ...

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