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Blade Runner: 2049 captures the complicated legacy of the original

By Joe Shelton      The original Blade Runner is at once a fascinating failure and an accomplishment.  In its original theatrical release it was a consummate mess, an LA noir as filtered through German expressionism — part nostalgia for a hellish future (in the impossibly distant year of 2019, no less), part meditation on…

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The Foreigner provides old fashioned thrills

by Joseph Shelton                 Remember when they still made action movies that weren’t all so high concept (and budget)? That is to say, remember the action thrillers they made before the only bankable genre in Hollywood was superhero schlock? Before the endless clash of giant robots, aliens and superhumans drowned out all of the subtler, slightly…

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Brigsby Bear

BRIGSBY BEAR TELLS A MUDDLED STORY OF FANDOM, KIDNAPPING, AND MUSH. By Joseph Shelton 11/15/17 If you’re as nerdy as me, and I pray you are, then you already know how your favorite TV show or movie can become sort of, well, more real than real.   For me it was Star Wars, the specifics of which…

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By Joseph Shelton 10/27/17 The zombie movie arena is a busy one, bustling with titles that all jockey for position in an oversaturated market. According to our scientific estimation, aided by a cursory googling and by our almost-too-acute knowledge of the filmic zeitgeist, there were over 1 trillion zombie films produced in 2017 alone. In…

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The Dark Tower

By Joe Shelton 10/27/17 In a Year of Stephen King adaptations, “The Dark Tower” Disappoints As the many-headed serpent that is Hollywood casts around in the shallows for something to make us buy, it will more often than not present us with something we’ve already seen before, something familiar.  And nowadays there’s nothing so comfortably…

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20th Century Women

4 out of 4 stars By Bayard Lewis Published 4/10/17 The lives of three generations of women are explored in 1979, amid a changing social landscape in Southern California.  Dorothea (Annette Bening) is raising her son without a father in the picture and also becomes a mother figure to Abbie (Greta Gerwig) a young adult…

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Patriot’s Day

Patriot’s Day 3,5 out of 4 stars By Bayard Lewis Published 4/10/17 The bombing during the 2013 Boston Marathon was an event that shook the city to its core, but also created a collective sense of community around the survivors and first responders who experienced the aftermath. “Patriot’s Day” builds up vignettes of lives that…

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Fences 3 out of 4 stars By Bayard Lewis Published 3/26/17 Pittsburgh in the 1950s becomes a potent secondary character in Denzel Washington’s latest acting and directing venture in “Fences”.  Playwright August Wilson places his characters within a world where racial tension is palpable and there’s anger about injustice in employment and national sports. Viola…

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Jackie 3 out of 4 stars By Bayard Lewis Published 3/12/17 In the days following JFK’s assassination in 1963, America looked to their surrogate mother for guidance on how to process the shock and grief of losing their leader.  “Jackie” tells a different kind of narrative that jumps back and forth in time between Jackie’s…

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Moonlight 4 out of 4 stars By Bayard Lewis Far removed from cozy neighborhoods and suburbs are the the lives of young blacks and minorities whose daily life is one of survival.  Young Chiron is bullied at a young age and actor Alex R. Hibbert expresses more than words in the gaze of a boy…

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