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Silver Screen

Though realistic, "Graduation" is not an easy watch

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 04/14/17 8:34pm

Cristian Mungiu is the writer and director for “Graduation,” a Romanian language film set in a Transylvanian town and focuses on a doctor and his family. The simple summary is reflective of the incredibly realistic film. The doctor, Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni), is incredibly concerned with getting his daughter, Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) to take her final exams and go to university in the United Kingdom, where she has scholarships already set up. Romeo is so concerned with this that he forces ...

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“Truman” is an intimate portrayal of friendship

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 04/14/17 1:00pm

“Truman” is a film about two old friends who are seeing each other for likely the last time. Julián (Ricardo Darín) is married with kids in Canada, and flies to meet his friend Tomás (Javier Cámara) who lives in Madrid. Tomás lives with his dog, Truman, who he loves like a second son. He recently decided to stop chemotherapy treatment for his lung cancer, and is coming to terms with dying. Julián supports his friend in his decision, and they spend the next few days enjoying each other’s ...

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“Fate of the Furious” fires on all cylinders

By Leo Versel Last updated: 04/14/17 1:00pm

For most film franchises, rarely is the sequel better than the original. But for the “Fast & Furious” franchise, which will release its eighth action-packed, thrilling and well-acted installment on April 14, the latest addition to the action series is by far one of the exceptions.During the last several films in the “Furious” franchise, the central theme underlying the action has been family and brotherhood, a real-life phenomenon for the usual suspects in the cast. In “The Fate of the ...

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"Gifted" is heartwarming despite plot holes

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 04/07/17 2:41pm

“Gifted” explores the relationship and love between an uncle and niece who live together in Florida. When the niece, Mary Adler (McKenna Grace), begins first grade, she stuns her teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) when she can complete complex math problems. The film follows the relationship between uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) and his niece in this non-traditional family during a custody battle to determine the future of the child. On one side of this case, Evelyn, mother to Frank and grandmother ...

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Romantic post-war drama “Frantz” filled with twists and turns

By Adena Maier Last updated: 04/07/17 2:01pm

Set immediately after World War I, French director François Ozon’s film examines fractured relationships between nations through the lens of a young German woman named Anna, her fiancé Frantz who dies in the war and a French man named Adrien who mysteriously shows up in town. The film flips back and forth between present day, memories of Frantz and flashbacks to the war. “Frantz” begins as a story about love lost and betrayal but slowly evolves into a film about new beginnings, forbidden ...

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“After The Storm” is realistic, but not memorable

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 03/31/17 2:00pm

The Japanese film “After the Storm” tackles the popular subject of a dysfunctional family with divorced parents and a struggling father. Director Hirokazu Koreeda follows the life of Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), who has just experienced the death of his father and is struggling with seeing his son, who is in the care of his ex-wife. Ryota wrote a famous, award-winning novel over a decade ago and has fallen on hard times, gambling away what little money he received from his private detective job or borrowing ...

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"Raw" is untamed and uncut

By Jack Reilly Last updated: 03/24/17 4:00pm

I have never been to a movie where barf bags have been supplied, but that all changed with “Raw.” This French-Belgian horror film is about an innocent girl trying to adjust to the tumultuous life of veterinarian school. Directed by French director Julia Ducournau, it has won many awards in film festivals throughout Europe.The film reels you in from the very start with someone running onto the street causing the incoming car to swerve into a tree. The girl Justine, played by Garance Marillier, ...

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“The Sense of an Ending” is a beguiling tale about selective history

By Naomi Zeigler Last updated: 03/17/17 1:00pm

It seems inevitable for us that we misremember our own histories. We are, after all, selfish and forgetful beings. And, as a character says in director Ritesh Batra’s “The Sense of an Ending,” “history is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” For Tony, the protagonist of the film, his own recollections - about himself and his past - are challenged when he is unexpectedly inherits money and a diary from his college ...

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"Beauty and the Beast" brings the nostalgia you're looking for

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 03/11/17 3:00pm

Another princess tale has been adapted from the original Disney cartoon to live action film, and in this case, done excellently. “Beauty and the Beast” was both nostalgic and offered some new context to this beloved story.The film begins with a prince being transformed into a beast by a witch when he wouldn’t show her compassion. Then we meet Belle, a young woman living in a small town who rescues her father from the capture of the Beast, but must stay at the Beast’s castle in return. The ...

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"Kong: Skull Island" nails what makes monster movies fun

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 03/10/17 2:00pm

“Kong: Skull Island” wears its influences proudly on its sleeve, while also setting a new bar for the genre in nearly every aspect of filmmaking: score, cinematography and cultivating likeable, A-list actors with genuine chemistry and charisma.Director Jordan Vogt-Robert, relatively unknown by mainstream audiences, was tasked with managing a nearly $200 million budget, a litany of mega stars and a franchise with a longstanding history with eyes on a crossover series with the “Godzilla” series. ...

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How the Oscars have really changed over the past 20 years

By Zach Vallese Last updated: 03/09/17 2:00pm

The 89th Academy Awards aired on the last Sunday in February and it was a night filled with great speeches, stunning performances and an unforgettable “Steve Harvey-esque” flub. The event has evolved over the last 20 years, keeping pace with natural evolution but also as a result of serious criticism and complaints. While the changes have been welcomed by many of the participants and their fans, inequities seem to persist and the Oscars will likely continue to evolve. It was comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s ...

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"My Life as a Zucchini" makes you want to cry tears of joy and hope

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 03/06/17 12:56am

“My Life as a Zucchini” is a well appreciated break in this oversaturated market of animated children’s movies. The only Oscar-nominated animated film with a PG-13 rating, Claude Barras does not veil the awkward yet dire situation of these children in his first feature length film. This is not a children’s movie at all. “My Life as a Zucchini” follows the life of Icare, a 9-year-old nicknamed Courgette (the French word for zucchini).The film opens with his drunk mother climbing the stairs ...

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Though engaging, "Logan" stumbles without an interesting villain

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 03/03/17 2:00pm

“Logan” is the culmination of the Wolverine spinoff trilogy, and most likely Hugh Jackman’s last time playing the beloved comic book mutant, a role he became synonymous with over his 17-year stint. A marketing campaign featuring a trailer with the Johnny Cash cover of “Hurt” aptly set the tone for what would be Marvel Studio’s second R-rated superhero movie in a little over a year, following on the heels of the uber successful “Deadpool.” By starting off with an f-bomb, severed limbs ...

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The Young Pope, episodes 6-10: Lenny becomes likeable

By Matt Holt Last updated: 03/02/17 2:00pm

So, when we were at the midway point of The Young Pope, there were a handful of ways the show could have ended. Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law), also known as Lenny Belardo, asserted himself as an infallible figure isolated in the Vatican. This all changes in the last five episodes. At the halfway point, it’s clear that his plan for the Catholic Church is not working. In his speech to the College of Cardinals, he calls for fanaticism and isolationism. He believes his absence from the public spotlight ...

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"Get Out" goes beyond standard horror tropes with thrilling results

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 02/26/17 9:20pm

Jordan Peele has made a name for himself working on and starring in the famous sketch show Key and Peele. Now, he has officially made his directorial debut with 2017’s horror-comedy “Get Out.”Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a black man, is skeptical of meeting Rose’s (Allison Williams) white family. Rose comforts him and tells him how her dad wishes he could have voted for Obama a third time. Chris agrees to visit, but soon after arriving he and Rose begin to sense a strangeness from her family.As ...

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"Kedi" captures intimate relationships between cats and humans

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 02/24/17 2:00pm

"Kedi" follows the relationships of seven stray cats living in Istanbul and the relationships those cats have with the people living around them. Much of the film is shot at the same height as the cats, showing the beauty of Istanbul from a cat’s perspective. There are close up shots of the cats’ eyes and ears, and just as those who live with these animals on a daily basis claim, viewers begin to see each cat’s individual personalities throughout the movie. For a few of these cats, it ...

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"Fist Fight," though comedic, highlights important issues in public schools

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 02/17/17 3:34pm

"Fist Fight" is a comedy about a fight between two male teachers on the last day at a public high school. Charlie Day, known for his role as Charlie in "It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia," plays pushover English teacher Andy Campbell. He is challenged by the aggressive history teacher Ron Strickland, played by Ice Cube. The film follows Andy Campbell’s day leading up to the feared fight. He tries to figure out a way to get out of fighting Ron Strickland, go to a teacher’s meeting where his ...

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"The Great Wall" has great visuals, but not a great plot

By Jack Reilly Last updated: 02/17/17 2:00pm

Epic battles, grotesque monsters and stunning visuals define “The Great Wall,” starring Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing, Andy Lau and Willem Dafoe. The story features two European mercenaries, William (Damon) and Tovar (Pascal), who travel to China’s Great Wall with the goal of acquiring the famed Black Powder, a legendary powder said to be extraordinarily powerful. Little do they know that there is much more to the Great Wall than meets the eye. It is the Chinese main line of defense ...

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Why I can’t buy into the "La La Land" craze

By Haley Samsel Last updated: 02/16/17 8:53pm

The hype around "La La Land" over the past few months has been palpable. Critics have raved about the film’s rejuvenation of the movie musical. FiveThirtyEight is using some type of statistical magic to predict that the movie will win “Best Picture” at the Oscars on Feb. 26. Even one of our own writers, Dilpreet Raju, called "La La Land" a “sprawling success” in a review posted earlier this month. Friends from all walks of life have spoken to me about how the film profoundly affected them. ...

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"The Lego Batman Movie" teaches valuable lessons in a fun way

By Michael Blickstein Last updated: 02/12/17 11:18pm

The Lego Batman Movie stars Will Arnett and Michael Cera as Lego Batman and Robin respectively, and is the follow-up to the well-received and highly rated The Lego Movie from 2014. This film follows Lego Batman (Will Arnett) on his journey to overcome his fear of having a family and opening up to other people, as well as his duty to defeat all of the movie villains locked in the Phantom Zone.Similar to The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is a film made up of what you’d expect a child’s Lego ...

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