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Alive and Kicking (2016) 5
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Beauty and the Beast (2017) 3.11
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Belko Experiment, The 1.89
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Devotion of Suspect X, The (2017) 4.22
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Free Fire 5
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Ghost in the Shell (2017) 1.64
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Kong: Skull Island 4.08
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Life (2017) 3.63
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Raw 4
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Their Finest 4.86
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Zookeeper's Wife, The 2
"Consumerism as found-footage horror."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: I am reasonably certain that “Fraud” is not a documentary, despite several film festivals labeling it as such and the lack of credits identifying the cast and crew at the end; it simply commits to its found-footage conceit more completely than is typical. It’s convincing even for those who know otherwise, and that may be an issue for some; it’s convincingly amateurish enough to not be a smooth watch and for the “subjects’” bad acts to come off as repellent rather than generic. Get past that, though, and it’s on point." (more)
"All Revved Up With No Place To Go"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The trouble with making a film franchise that is predicated almost entirely on over-the-top action sequences featuring wildly elaborate stunts and special effects is that in attempting to top themselves with each subsequent entry, the filmmakers run the risk of going too far and crossing the line from cheerful lunacy into outright and borderline intolerable foolishness. Remember how the increasingly gaudy James Bond movies with Roger Moore in the Seventies got bigger and wilder until the producers were forced to send him into space in “Moonraker” (1979), generally regarded as one of the low points in the history of that series? Then there was the case of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas reinventing the action genre with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) and then attempting to do that classic one better by devising a follow-up that was literally nothing but a string of show-stopping set-pieces—the result, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) was fun for about ten minutes or so but it tried so hard to knock viewers out with every single frame that the sheer effort of it all became wearying after a while." (more)
"Too much freedom's not good for the head."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: I like where writer/director Sarah Adina Smith’s head is at with "Buster’s Mal Heart", and I think I’d like the actual movie more if she’d played it something closer to straight, rather than getting cute with narrative gimmicks, black comedy, and other diversions. The central driver of what’s going on with its main character is something that merits a lot of thought and consideration, and making a puzzle out of it tends to deny it that." (more)
"Watch carefully, because this is the good stuff."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: “Look closely” can be an empty or obligatory thing to say when explaining why a film is particularly good, especially when, on the surface, it seems like just another crime story that makes its mark with heightened cruelty and violence. Trite as those words may seem, they apply to "Hounds of Love", and not just because they let you admire the precise work that filmmaker Ben Young and the cast and crew put in, but because looking closely can become a means of survival." (more)

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