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Movies that tackle religion tend to fall on one of two camps. We either are graced with films such as Martin Scorsese‘s under-seen (and undervalued) “Silence” or forced to slog through more politicized fare such as “The Shack.” Not only a tricky subject to navigate (and better to avoid) at family get together’s, it’s also a topic that unless made by the hands of a fine craftsman, won’t get the delicate film treatment it deserves. Continue reading ‘Pilgrimage’ Is A ‘John Wick-Style, Rising-Death-Toll Action Flick During The Crusades [Review] at The Playlist.

What Happened to Monday?” evokes a rote dystopian future to concoct an intriguing premise for a psychological thriller, making one wish the filmmakers had jettisoned the half-baked social commentary and just embraced the silly concept. However, even in a future bereft of new ideas, it’s fun to watch Noomi Rapace act against herself six times over and her game performances in the midst of fast-paced action make “What Happened to Monday?” a mostly enjoyable thriller. Continue reading ‘What Happened To Monday?’ Offers The Silly Fun Of Seven Different Noomi Rapaces [Review] at The Playlist.

Allan Loeb certainly isn’t a household name, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ve might’ve seen one or two of his credited movies. Whether it’s “21,” “The Switch,” “The Dilemma,” “Just Go With It,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Rock of Ages” or last year’s regrettable “Collateral Beauty,” just to name a handful, Loeb is one of those screenwriters who’s quick to diversify his resume but never able to prove his skills. Continue reading ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ Is A Lacklustre Coming-Of-Age Dramedy [Review] at The Playlist.

For what it’s worth, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” might wind up being your dad’s favorite summer movie of 2017 — assuming he missed “Dunkirk,” of course. The fast-paced, liberally- violent, profanity-laced action-comedy starring charismatic A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson wields a loose, wacky late ’80s- early ’90s charm that, in the right moments, is very broad, goofy, and occasionally quite appealing. Often verging into explosive, cartoonish, but never overly gory or completely slapstick territory, and quick to shoot as many jokes as it busts out bullets, it’s easy to see why the newest film from director Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3“) may be catnip to an unassuming August crowd. Continue reading ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’: Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson’s Charisma Can’t Save Action Comedy [Review] at The Playlist.

For what it’s worth, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” might wind up being your dad’s favorite summer movie of 2017 — assuming he missed “Dunkirk,” of course. The fast-paced, liberally- violent, profanity-laced action-comedy starring charismatic A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson wields a loose, wacky late ’80s- early ’90s charm that, in the right moments, is very broad, goofy, and occasionally quite appealing. Often verging into explosive, cartoonish, but never overly gory or completely slapstick territory, and quick to shoot as many jokes as it busts out bullets, it’s easy to see why the newest film from director Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3“) may be catnip to an unassuming August crowd. Continue reading ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’: Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson’s Charisma Can’t Save Action Comedy [Review] at The Playlist.

What is it about Marvel TV shows and their inability to tell halfway redeemable superhero stories that pale in comparison to even the most mediocre big screen counterparts? Marvel’s ABC series are abominable (the upcoming “Inhumans” looks like it’s about to be savaged by critics), the FX shows aren’t great (sorry, I don’t love “Legion,” though it’s definitely the best of the bunch so far) and the comic book studio’s Netflix shows are largely hit-and-miss, at best. Continue reading ‘The Defenders’: Marvel’s Netflix Game Hasn’t Improved [Review] at The Playlist.

Inseparably linked with police brutality, the L.A. Riots of 1992 altered the way systemic racism is perceived in the 21st century as it continues to spark a more complicated and critical posture toward the intermingling of race, economics and brutal injustice against African Americans. When looking back at the riots 25 years later, the Korean-Americans who were affected by these events have rarely been at the front of the narrative. At the time, black and Korean communities were at odds with one another as a result of gentrification and the gradual re-segregation between wealthy white communities and impoverished minority communities. Continue reading ‘Gook’ Unravels An Unlikely Friendship Against The ‘92 L.A. Riots [Review] at The Playlist.

When a new animated film draws comparisons to the heartbreaking anime classic “Grave of the Fireflies,” you’d be forgiven for going to the cinema with high expectations and a box of Kleenex. And while Sunao Katabuchi’s “In This Corner of the World” — tackling the same historical period in World War II-era Japan as Isao Takahata’s tearjerker — may not meet the impossible bar for quality, the tissues will probably still come in handy. Continue reading ‘In This Corner Of The World’ Both Tearjerking & Troubling [Review] at The Playlist.

Filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton launched two careers in 2013 with his empathetic at-risk teen drama “Short Term 12”: his own and Brie Larson’s. Then mostly known as a comedic actor, with roles in films like “21 Jump Street” and “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” Larson convinced everyone of her dramatic chops in her “Short Term 12” performance, which paved the way to a deserving Oscar win two years later in “Room.” Considering their alchemy, it’s little wonder the duo reteamed for “The Glass Castle,” an adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir about her severe family dysfunction. Continue reading ‘The Glass Castle’: Brie Larson Cannot Save Its Cracked Façade [Review] at The Playlist.

Looking at Dario Argento’s efforts of the past ten years — “The Mother of Tears,” “Giallo” and “Dracula 3D,” each more execrable than the last — one might be led to believe the Italian maestro is doing his utmost to destroy his legacy. And yet, none of these bargain-basement genre flicks are able to tarnish the legacy of his greatest thrillers, their flamboyant style and uncompromising violence no less startling than it was in the ’70s and ‘80s. Continue reading Restored ‘Suspiria’ Is A Can’t Miss Event & Brand New Experience For Fans [Fantasia Review] at The Playlist.