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Entries in Reviews (743)

Sunday
Aug182019

Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

by Murtada Elfadl

What if that one thing that you cared about and that you built your life’s work around was gutted away from you violently? Can you recover? How do you cope in the days and years that follow? These are some of the questions that Richard Linklater is trying to answer with his adaptation of the Maria Semple novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) is a harried mom (to Emma Nelson’s 15 year old Bee) and wife (to Billy Crudup’s Elgie) in Seattle. She spends her days in her big semi-rundown house trying to manage the small details of her family’s life, but mostly running away from facing the minutiae and drudgery of those tasks by composing long email and text messages to her virtual assistant Manjula. But Bernadette’s life wasn’t always so banal and she wasn’t in perpetual war with everyone she meets (Kristin Wiig plays her nemesis and next door neighbor). She used to be a genius architect with lots of promise until she suffered a major career setback that she couldn’t recover from. 

If you are a fan of the novel you might not recognize what you liked about it from this adaptation...

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Saturday
Aug172019

Review: "Good Boys" 

by Tony Ruggio

Sixth grade, and middle school generally, is a confusing time. It’s a big transition for boys, from children who play to little teens who wannabe a playa, and not everybody’s in sync on the maturity scale. Good Boys is not merely a comedy about eleven year-olds cursing and thirsting for girls, it’s a mico-coming-of-age story about kids outgrowing each other, and trying desperately to stick together as a unit, as the “bean bag boys.” 

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith Williams) are the only members, and they’ve been friends throughout grade school...

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Thursday
Aug152019

Review: Blinded By The Light

by Chris Feil

Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha brings us another earnest and heartwarming delight with Blinded By The Light, a true story of a Pakistani teenager transported out of his British suburb by the music of Bruce Springsteen. Javed (played by charming newcomer Viveik Kalra) is an outsider inside and outside his home: he can’t abide his father’s rigid cultural expectations and struggles to be taken seriously as writer in a white-dominated community. But the film also speaks to the political and economic concerns of its time period, depicting a lower-middle class world oppressed by Thatcher and the ensuing racist resurgence and capitalistic dominance.

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Wednesday
Aug142019

Doc Corner: 'What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?'

By Glenn Dunks

The streets of New Orleans are the setting for US-based Italian-born Roberto Minervini’s latest examination of the American south. If nothing else, his newest documentary sports the year’s best title. It’s a title that asks a question that many of us have probably asked ourselves, from seats of privilege. 

The title actually comes from a slave-era spiritual, which only further highlights the tragic ways that African Americans have been inflicted by the force of racism across all of its forms for centuries. The contemporary age of Trump is sadly not unique and so there is a particular irony to be found in the answer to the titular question. For many the answer is whatever they need to do to get by. Whether that be protest, go to work, trawl the streets for teenage kicks, or rehearse for Mardi Gras. For most without the agency of privilege, when the world is on fire it’s just a struggle to not get burnt...

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Tuesday
Aug132019

Review: Dora and the Lost City of Gold 

by Tony Ruggio

Dora the Explorer was after my time, a cartoon for young children that came around long after my Saturday morning cartoon days were over. And yet, despite being one completely uninitiated and cynical thirtysomething, I found Dora and the Lost City of Gold to be a charming delight. Aged up from the show, Dora’s now a teenager who has spent many of her formative years in the jungle with a pair of well-meaning archeologist parents (Michael Peña, Eva Longoria). Thrust into high school in Los Angeles, she’s an odd duck and beacon of positivity amid the cynical squalor of American modernity. Suck out all pretension and she’s simply the smartest, kindest person in the room. 

Isabella Moner is a bright-eyed, exuberant presence as Dora, always ready to sing or swing into a grand adventure...

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Monday
Aug122019

Review: GLOW (Season 3) 

By Spencer Coile 

Despite its criminal underperformance at the Emmys this year (only scoring 5 nominations), the second season of GLOW was a marvelous piece of television. After an equally impressive first season, season 2 found the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling coalescing into a tighter ensemble. It was no longer just a vehicle for stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron. Each gorgeous lady had a rich history waiting to be told. Against the backdrop of grungy L.A., set to a mix of 80’s synth pop, GLOW pulsated with life, energy, and plenty of risks waiting to be taken. 

Season 2 ended with an offer for the ladies to adapt their syndicated show to an act in Las Vegas. Starship’s triumphant “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” begins to play as they board the bus that will land them in completely uncharted territory. With this notable shift in scenery, does GLOW season 3 pack the same punch? Pun intended...

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