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Movie Review: American Ultra (2015)

A common criticism of modern filmmaking is a lack of originality. And in a medium of formulaic genre styles that thrive on remakes, reboots, sequels and extended cinematic universes, it’s perhaps a valid point to make. Yet there is one main advantage to movies that carry a sense of familiarity — consistency. Whether it is…

Movie Review: Life After Beth (2014)

You can say this about Life After Beth, the indie zombie romantic comedy (zom-rom-com?) by first time director, Jeff Baena: Aubrey Plaza (2012’s “Safety Not Guaranteed”) makes for a great zombie. With her deadpan delivery and soulless eyes, she doesn’t have to do much to look and act like the dead reawakened. Don’t get me…

Movie Review: The Last of Robin Hood (2013)

The Last of Robin Hood, which focuses on the twilight of Errol Flynn’s life and career, is an uneven mix of brilliant performances and an inert, aimless story. It’s a shame, really, because Flynn’s final days were the stuff of tabloid legend. Here, the trio of main characters are examined only superficially, with scant attention…

Movie Review: Cement Suitcase (2013)

It isn’t likely one will recognize any members of the cast of Cement Suitcase, a film written and directed by J. Rick Castaneda (whose resume includes just a few short features, including “Math and Other Problems”). Yes, a person may have a fleeting bit of acknowledgement, but will most likely say, “Oh, he/she just looks…

Movie Review: Don Jon (2013)

With his directorial debut, Don Jon (for which he was also the screenwriter), Joseph Gordon-Levitt has certainly proven he’s a man of many talents. The film itself is not without its flaws, but for a first venture behind the camera rather than in front of it, Don Jon reminds us that throughout his career, Gordon-Levitt…

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