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Movie Review: Becky (2020)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Kevin James, Mr. Paul Blart himself, decided to take on a serious role? What if that role were that of a jacked-up neo-Nazi who terrorizes a family at their lakeside home? Boy and howdy, wonder no more, for here comes Becky, a solid, exciting, jarring,…

Movie Review: Extraction (2020)

Beggars can’t be choosers during the global lock-down. Cinemas are closed, blockbuster movies and their smaller brethren delayed, and Netflix’s back catalogue has been squeezed drier than a tube of antibacterial hand gel. So when the streaming platform serves up a new release, written and produced by the all-conquering Russo brothers no less, audiences were…

Movie Review: Robert the Bruce (2019)

A nominal sequel to Mel Gibson’s 1995 epic “Braveheart” sounds thrilling all around — bringing viewers back to Scotland’s bloody medieval war cry against the brute, Edward Longshanks of England. Enter Robert the Bruce. In it, Angus Macfadyen (“The Lost City of Z”) also reprises his role as Scottish freedom fighter, Robert the Bruce. Yes,…

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…

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