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ENDGAME (2021)
"Occasionally clever despite being toothless."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I've seen "Endgame" described as a Chinese remake of a Korean film which was itself a remake of a Japanese film, and it's not so much that things have been lost in translation as the edges have been sanded off. It's got a fine, well-tested premise and the basics of the jokes are known to work, but I'd be surprised if the Chinese crew added that much to what the previous filmmakers came up with." (more)
"Mouse In Manhattan"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If I had to make a list of the films of the new millennium that inexplicably flopped when they first came out but which were most deserving of being rediscovered and properly appreciated, “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” Joe Dante’s delirious and delightful 2003 live-action/animation hybrid that worked both as a tribute to the strongest and most nuanced collection of cartoon characters produced by any one studio and as a welcome riposte to “Space Jam,” the financially successful but artistically and comedically bankrupt 1996 film that brought Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the other characters in the Warner Brothers canon back and then had them literally playing backup to Michael Jordan. I found myself thinking a lot about that film while watching “Tom and Jerry”—pretty much in the same way that a drowning man might idly think of a life raft just before going under for the third time. Hell, this attempt to bring back the hyper violent cat-and-mouse team is so dreadful that there were times when I actually found myself thinking that maybe “Space Jam” wasn’t quite that bad after all." (more)
"Sharp and gory."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Claire (Najarra Townsend) is a hair stylist, and a good one. A loner who lives with a limping little dog, her attempts at small talk with her clients are a bit awkward, but she’s trusted enough to get a wedding-hairdo gig for Olivia (Brea Grant), a hard-charging magazine editor. What Olivia doesn’t know is that Claire is lonely to the point of psychosis." (more)
"More of a Guppy"
1 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "One of Coppola's many financial follies, with this one grossing less than $3 million off a $10 million budget, though his follow-up, the outstanding "The Cotton Club," semi-redeemed him." (more)
"Another art-house horror calling card."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Every couple of years, a little oddity emerges from the indie-cinema beat and gets lionized as the next great thing to happen to horror. Generally these films are scrupulously calibrated and express the drive and obsession that a young filmmaker — in this case, Rose Glass, a British writer-director about thirty — feels about a story or a theme. What they don’t express is true fear." (more)
"A terrific conversation."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Ossie Davis famously called Malcolm X “our own Black shining prince,” and "One Night in Miami…" adds three other princes." (more)
"A noble effort, anyway."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "If you’re anything like me, you sometimes find the idea of engaging with difficult art — dry philosophical writing, discordant music, slow and artsy film — more appealing than the reality of it." (more)
"Ride, captain, ride..."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "There’s a guy, brave and smart. We’ll call him the good guy. Watch now as we point him in the direction of the bad guy. The bad guy wants to make everything die. Why? Because he’s the bad guy. The good guy, being the good guy, must stop the bad guy." (more)
"Street scenes."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "On a lot of levels, Les Daniels’ 1971 book "Comix: A History of Comic Books in America" tweaked my ideas of what comics could be. Spain Rodriguez’ anti-bourgeois underground comix hero Trashman was a particularly sharp tweak." (more)
"An American Tale"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "In the late 1960s, Fred Hampton was, in the eyes of the F.B.I., one of the most dangerous men in America. With his galvanizing combination of righteous anger and fierce rhetoric, he spoke out against racism, poverty and other social ills and preached a form of social revolution that inspired and united groups of people that would never have otherwise come together and challenged the existing power structure and those ruled over it. Hampton’s rise and the increasingly elaborate efforts by the government to bring him down by any means necessary are at the center of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Shaka King’s mesmerizing docudrama that not only expertly brings to life an almost unbelievable sliver of recent American history but makes it relevant to the turbulent times that we currently live in as well." (more)

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