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"A hearty debut from a master."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Sometimes a writer-director might want to make a film solely to capture one scene, one performance, even one bit of dialogue." (more)
"Moore preaching to the converted."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Has Michael Moore broken some kind of record with his new stand-up-punditry film "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"? This movie didn’t even exist three weeks ago. It was filmed on October 7 and 8, and it premiered less than two weeks later. Welcome to the wonderful world of digital, I guess." (more)
"Breaks the Godzilla mold and may become an all-time great by doing so."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It was a little bit surprising when venerable Japanese film studio Toho announced plans to make a new Godzilla movie soon after the 2014 American version; while not perfect, it was fairly well-received and expected to spawn its own sequels. What's even more surprising is that the one they wound up making feels daring and modern in unexpected ways - a thoughtful and satirical thriller that is still able to embrace that it's the latest in a series of movies built on guys in rubber suits stomping a scale model of Tokyo." (more)
"The title doesn't lie; it's a definitive creepy neighbor."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2016 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: There aren't a whole lot of filmmakers who can name their new film "Creepy" and have potential audiences nod along, saying that's probably to be expected, and be genuinely excited about what that means. Kiyoshi Kurosawa is among their number, though, and though he's spent much of the last few years falling in other genres and media, he's back at the thing he does better than anybody else here, a mystery story that gets even stranger as the solution comes into view." (more)
"4 Women"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Since making her debut with the 1994 drama “River of Grass,” director Kelly Reichardt has been quietly amassing one of the most significant bodies of work of any American independent filmmaker of her era with such films as “Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy,” the extraordinary “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Night Moves.” Her latest work, “Certain Women,” may not quite hit the dazzling heights of her finest efforts but it is still a more-than-worthy entry in her filmography." (more)
"Ethan Hawke Rides Again"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "For everyone who has been in the mood to see a real Western on the big screen but came away from the recent remake of “The Magnificent Seven” thinking that it was nothing more than a contrived rehash of familiar things that failed to offer viewers anything new and wasted a good and eclectic cast at the same time, “In a Valley of Violence” is the one that you have been waiting to see." (more)
"Scratch, scratch, scratch."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "We get it by now: Rob Zombie loves the grotesque excesses of the grindhouse flicks of his youth, and he has dedicated his filmmaking career (and a good portion of his music career) to genuflecting to the disreputable gore, T&A, and general nastiness of those films." (more)
"The strongest piece on the board right now."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I suspect that even writers and directors who most want to be known for their complex, non-mainstream works would secretly like to have something like "Queen of Katwe" on their IMDB page, because it does feel good to make others feel good and to hear that you've given someone hope, even if this sort of victorious-underdog story isn't your usual thing. There are probably hundreds of scripts along those lines floating around Hollywood at any given time, but not many attract the likes of Mira Nair and this film's talented cast and become something quite so terrific." (more)
"Pokes at horror conventions well enough to get some good blood and guts."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2016 BOSTON TERRORTHON: Half the joke with "Found Footage 3D" is that if one half of the title doesn't represent what you think is wrong with horror movies today, the other probably does, and combining them should make a film that pleases nobody. Of course, doing so indicates a self-aware spoof, which is kind of another thing horror doesn't need more of, and while this may all seem to indicate that pulling it all together is a bad, inherently doomed idea, it's also opportunity for a clever filmmaker to pull what works from all of this together into a fun project." (more)
"Insert "Just Doesn't Add Up" Quip Here"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Remember that scene in “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back” in which we get a glimpse of the production of “Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season,” an alleged sequel to the 1997 sleeper hit that saw Matt Damon and Ben Affleck reprising their respective roles of an emotionally tortured math genius and his loyal best friend while adding shotgun blasts aimed at their enemies into the mix? For most of us, that bit was nothing more than a throwaway gag in a movie that consisted almost entirely of throwaway gags but for screenwriter Bill Dubuque, the author of the deathless bit of cinema known as “The Judge,” watching it must have been like the moment when Francois Truffaut saw “Citizen Kane” for the first time for he has taken the facetious mixture of mathematics and mayhem and expanded it into the screenplay for “The Accountant,” which not only offers up the spectacle of a character who is both a brilliant mathematician and a steely-eyed assassin when need be but which has filled the lead role with none other than Affleck himself. The result is a film so utterly bizarre throughout that for a good portion of the running time, you may be convinced that it is actually an utterly deadpan goof of dopey high-concept acton extravaganzas. The end result is barking mad—you don’t want to review it as much as you want to give it a prescription of some sort—and cannot be defended on any legitimate critical grounds but at the same time, I can’t say that I was ever bored while I was watching it, which is more than I can say about most movies these days." (more)

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