New Releases

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Creed II

The first line spoke in “Creed II” is “You got this.” Its uttered to Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) by his girlfriend, Bianca (played by Tessa Thompson) before a boxing match and the statement pretty much sums up the movie: overly familiar but confident. While Creed is enjoying his sudden fame and a…

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The Front Runner

The infamous photograph of Senator Gary Hart, sitting on a pier in a Monkey Business shirt with model Donna Rice sitting in his lap, defined not only an election year but Hart’s political career. It summed up the failed presidential candidacy of a man but also provides a telling, cheeky and unintentionally funny snapshot of…

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Widows

Characters in movies can sometimes reveal a layer to themselves based on the kind of pets they have. This is true of real life, too. If you’re looking for a window into the soul, note the kind of animal a person keeps near them for company. In the case of Veronica, the lead of Steve…

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Wildlife

When we meet the Brinson family, Jerry (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Jeanette (played by Carey Mulligan) are sharing a tender moment in their living room. Their only son, Joe (played by Ed Oxenbould) watches his parents, visibly embracing this happy, unguarded moment between them. His careful, almost mournful look indicates that this is a…

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Lisbeth Salander is still at large. Known in some circles as The Girl Who Hurts Men Who Hurt Women, Salander is a brilliant online hacker, career criminal and a dark, elusive figure. Almost always attired in black and living a permanently transient existence, she is a ruthless enforcer of justice and a haunting presence. I…

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Bohemian Rhapsody

There is a powerful film trying to escape from within “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddie Mercury rock biopic that plays it too safe. We meet a young, odd Mercury, played by Rami Malek in a performance that will make him a household name. In 1970, while Mercury works at Heathrow Airport hauling luggage and seeming unlikely…

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The Other Side of the Wind

Writing about Orson Welles is like being the last cop to show up at a crime scene; coming up with fresh clues and insights is nearly impossible when there are intellectual footprints  and film scholar fingerprints everywhere. I’ve never written a piece in my life about Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (1941), because nearly everyone else has….

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Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the series that gave her the unchallenged title of Scream Queen and launched her career. After years of establishing her versatility in various projects, Curtis once again honors her fan base with another deeply felt, complex take on Laurie Strode. In this distinctly different take on the series, Strode is…

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A Star is Born

The fear of being on stage in front of an audience is said to be among the most crippling phobias many face. How about magnifying that fear with knowing that you were never meant to be there in the first place, that your presence on a performance space in front of hundreds is an unnatural…

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Venom

My younger brother Marty had a Venom action figure that used to freak out my mother. It was likely due to how, if you pressed the button on the back of the figure, it would declare, “I wanna eat your brain!” Venom is an offshoot of Spider-Man and a towering, black-clad figure, who plainly resembles…

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