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“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a Pretty Good, If Improbable, Sequel

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By Joe Shelton Sicario” (2015) was something very like a masterpiece, an ambitious tale of crime on the borderlands that sometimes felt like the progeny of a bloody-minded Western and an ethical inquiry disguised as…

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It’s Time for a Hard Truth: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is Really Bad

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by Joseph Shelton In these fraught times of fake news and other humbug, in which the truth seems to be losing its currency verisimilitude no longer equates verity, there are certain things that must be…

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“Damsel” is a Gorgeously Shot Anti-Western With A Few Surprises

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By Joe Shelton “Damsel”, the new Western oddity from writer/director team the Zellner brothers, is a love it or hate it proposition.  You’ll love it if you appreciate its unorthodox take on the American western…

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The “Ash vs. The Evil Dead” Saga Comes to a Gory, Almost Moving End

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By Joe Shelton Thirty-seven years ago a cheap, nasty little horror film called “The Evil Dead” splattered onto theater and drive-in screens across the country.  Cheap (or is it thrifty?), exploitative, and bizarre, “The Evil…

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You Were Never Really Here” Turns the Vigilante Thriller Inside Out

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By Joe Shelton The great literary critic Leslie Fiedler (who once taught at MSU) wrote that American literature “as a whole seems a chamber of horrors disguised as an amusement park ‘fun house'”.  And if…

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The almost fun Justice League is a lullaby for bombasts

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by Joe Shelton                 Justice League resembles nothing so much as a less scary, more confusing Frankenstein’s monster. Only rather than an arm here and a leg there, it is put together out of bits…

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New doc discusses Hitchcock’s most shocking scene

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by Joseph Shelton                 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene is one of those film documentaries, like Room 237 or philosopher Slavov Zizek’s Pervert’s Guide to Cinema movies, that takes an wide view of a relatively narrow subject.…

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Baskets finds comedy & tragedy in the story of a sad rodeo clown

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by Joseph Shelton                 The best comedy on tv, which places it fairly high in the running for best show of any kind, is about a sad man who lives in Bakersfield, California, though he’d…

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Low-budget shocker Mohawk tells a tale of historical horror

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by Joseph Shelton                  Thank God for little blessings, like the laughter of children, the smell of rain, and independent sci-fi and horror films. Let everyone else have their The Greatest Showman (out now on…

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