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Movie Review: The Hunt (2020)

The horror genre relies, to an extent, on the utilization of familiar tropes. The use of these tropes can reward and subvert expectations, and how these tropes are used contributes to the film’s effectiveness. Audience familiarity is both an opportunity and a difficulty for filmmakers: Give the audience what they want and they welcome it,…

Movie Review: Trauma Center (2019)

Trauma Center, a brutally dull alleged action movie that nominally stars Bruce Willis (“Glass”) as a world-weary cop, is not the kind of movie that anyone will remember in ten years, or, for that matter, even later this year. Its premise is flimsy, its execution is disjointed, its acting is atrocious, and its conclusion is…

Movie Review: Stalked (2019)

Former marine and single mother Sam (Rebecca Rogers) is on maternity leave. Her baby needs medication, so she leaves the kid home alone and runs to the pharmacy. Sam is abducted. She wakes up in a locked-down warehouse. A mysterious voice informs her that her child will be killed unless she “plays the game.” It’s…

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

No doubt, Disney and Lucasfilm were faced with a monumental task by ending the Skywalker saga — the ninth film in a franchise that changed the course of filmmaking and introduced generations of viewers to freewheeling, space-opera arcs and settings. Inherent in that task: The risk of polarizing a temperamental fan base and bookending “Star…

Movie Review: Grand Isle (2019)

Nicolas Cage (“211”) generally uses a couple of different gears of crazed for his movies nowadays, one a sort of wild-eyed screaming banshee and the other not so much. In Grand Isle, he dials it back ever so slightly to give us the kind of unhinged lunatic that most audiences (me included) find entertaining. To…

Movie Review: Charlie’s Angels (2019)

Gone are the days of 1970s-style “Jiggle TV” . . . you know, that endearing media term reserved for the boob-tube, pop-cultural guilty pleasure that the late mega-television producer Aaron Spelling eagerly supplied to prime time viewers? With it, the ABC network struck a goldmine with the curvy, cops-turned-private investigators from the Townsend Agency in…

Movie Review: Le Mans ‘66 (2019)

Is Le Mans ’66 (also known as “Ford v Ferrari” in the U.S.) about racing? It’s a question comparable to “Is ‘Jaws’ about a shark?” or “Is ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ about espionage?” Certainly racing features in the film, leading up to, as it does, the 1966 Le Mans Grand Prix, as well as other…

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