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Movie Review: Lady Bird (2017)

For her fun fictionalized memoir of sorts, Greta Gerwig has painted a coming-of-age tale almost entirely in shades of grey. Lady Bird is the writer/director’s gentle, through passionately prickly look at the haze that lies just beyond adolescence, with Saoirse Ronan (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) playing Christine, the also titular protagonist who must navigate the…

Movie Review: The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Coen Brothers. Paul Thomas Anderson. Quentin Tarantino. When you think of great American directors who defined the first decade of the new millennium, these are a few of the usual suspects. When we reflect upon the current decade, it would be unwise to neglect the rise of an unusual directorial talent: James Franco. No…

Movie Review: Mr. Roosevelt (2017)

Mr. Roosevelt is a quirky comedy written, directed by and starring comedian Noël Wells (“The Incredible Jessica James”) and is about a struggling funny person who travels from Los Angeles back to her old stomping grounds in Austin, Texas when a loved one falls ill. While there, she has the misfortune of staying with her…

Movie Review: The Faith Community (2017)

Young adults Hannah (Janessa Floyd), Andrew (Aidan Hart) and Colin (Jeffrey Brabant) are heading into the remote Maryland woods to attend a Bible retreat. Hannah and Andrew are signed-up Christians. Colin is a skeptic, wishing to document their experience, and he holds their one and only camera. We’re in found footage country, folks. The initiates…

Movie Review: The Young Karl Marx (2017)

Stating that history is determined by the struggle between the ruling classes (the exploiters) and the oppressed classes (the exploited), nineteenth century German philosopher Karl Marx blamed poverty and starvation on the evils of capitalist society and declared that class conflict could only be ended by the overthrow of capitalism and the building of a…

Movie Review: Jungle (2017)

Here’s the thing about travel nightmares and existential crises, we’ve all had them. Jungle, based on Israeli adventurer, author and humanitarian Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir of the same name, puts both on display to horrifying effect. This travel diary gone awry does to hiking in the Amazon what “Brokedown Palace” did to Thailand (in my 14-year…

Movie Review: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

Both the original “The Houses October Built” and its sequel, The Houses October Built 2, open with quotes about the dark, primal volatility of human nature. The first cites Walter Jon Williams’ well known “I’m not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted hotels, I’m afraid of what real human beings do to other real…

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