New Releases

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First Man

There has never been a film about space exploration like First Man. While most possess a passing knowledge about NASA and Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man,” the new film from writer and director Damien Chazelle places the emphasis on the struggles of the astronauts, not the spectacle of their occupation or the triumphant aftermath….

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Mid 90s

Comic and dramatic actor Jonah Hill’s Mid90s is his debut as a writer and director, a depiction of a deeply troubled childhood amidst the Clinton era.  While a young cast performs well enough, there’s little here to suggest Hill learned anything while working for pros like Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, or the Coen brothers. In fact,…

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A Simple Favor

Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor is about how some friendships are so fulfilling and unexpected, we can’t believe our luck. When Stephanie, a widowed, lonely “supermom” (played by Anna Kendrick), meets the flashy, carefree Emily (played by Blake Lively), she’s visibly amazed that a wealthy, sophisticated figure in the fashion world would take an interest in her….

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The Predator

During a top secret mission, an Army Ranger sniper named Quinn (played by Boyd Holbrook) is about to hit his target, when a massive spaceship interrupts his mission. The UFO, which crashes to Earth, is piloted by a Predator, who immediately murders everyone it encounters. The outcome makes Quinn seem like a lunatic for blaming…

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The Nun

The scary, ghostly nun from “The Conjuring 2” now has her own origin movie, a prequel that is, unfortunately, the least in the so-called “Conjuring Universe.” Taissa Farmiga (younger sister of “The Conjuring” star Vera Farmiga) stars as a nun-to-be who is recruited by a guilt-ridden priest (played by Demian Bichir of “The Hateful Eight”)…

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The MEG

There’s a Megalodon-sized reason “The MEG” is a better movie than “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom;” the former is a Jason Statham versus a giant shark B-movie that knows exactly what it is, has a cheeky sense of humor about itself and is free of franchise-building expectations (or any high minded expectations). The latter is a…

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Mission: Impossible- Fallout

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, taking on his greatest mission…making audiences forget that “The Mummy” happened a year ago. Well, mission accomplished. While “Mission: Impossible- Fallout” left me both giddy and incredulous, I had a great time watching Hunt and his remaining IMF team take on a series of villains with ties to nuclear…

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MFF: Calling All Earthlings

How’s this for a tale: in the late 1950’s, a man named George Van Tassel built a structure called The Integratron, which was believed to be a time machine. While the building incorporated Tesla concepts into its science and structure, Van Tassel claimed the inspiration came from instructions provided by extraterrestrials.  Van Tassel, who died…

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MFF: Keepers of the Magic

  Vic Sarin’s “Keepers of the Magic” is a documentary composed of interviews with some of the greatest cinematographers who ever lived, artists whose contributions to cinema can, indeed, be described as magical. While Sarin, a gifted filmmaker in his own right, bears personal insight and his warm onscreen presence at times, he mostly stays…

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

One of the key elements missing from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is allowing the audience to vicariously explore a fantastic theme park. The unbeatable 1993 original and 2015’s “Jurassic World” offered a sense of awe, not only towards reanimated dinosaurs, but also in its depiction of a lavish, fascinating science lab/family-friendly ride that shows us…

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