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Movie Review: The House With A Clock In Its Walls
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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The House With A Clock In Its Walls

The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eric Kripke
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Sunny Suljic
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG | Minutes: 104
Release Date: September 21, 2018

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is Eli Roth‘s first foray into children’s films. Based on the 1973 novel of the same name by John Bellairs, the film is a first-time collaboration between the filmmaker and Amblin Entertainment.

Normally, the spirit of Amblin films and Roth’s horror influence would make for an interesting combination. But the result is an odd concoction of mixed feelings and a film that, at times, can feel like it is at war with itself. Check out the full review below.

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Movie Review: The Public Image Is Rotten
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The Geeks of Doom   |  @   |  
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By DougVThem

The Public Image Is Rotten John Lydon

The Public Image Is Rotten (2018)
Documentary
Featuring John Lydon (The Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd)
Directed by Tabbert Fiiller
Abramorama
Release date: September 14, 2018 (New York)

I could never be willful on a farm. The only things you can antagonize are the cows. – John Lydon (Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, 1994)

It was in San Francisco on January 14, 1978 when John Lydon uttered the off the cuff remark that would become the proverbial eulogy of his intentionally sensationalized punk rock band, The Sex Pistols.

“You ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?,” Johnny Rotten snarled at the Winterland Ballroom audience, while his band unceremoniously petered out behind him. Soon after the break up, Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren legally stripped Lydon of his stage name “Johnny Rotten.” After fronting a rock and roll media phenomenon, Lydon soon found himself broke and his public image confiscated.

Talbert Fiiller‘s documentary The Public Image Is Rotten is structured around a series of interviews with the now 62-year-old Lydon recalling, with some uncharacteristic openness, the rises, demises, and ultimate resurrection of his post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Limited (PiL). It’s a complicated tale that spans four decades and features an all-star roster of notable line-up changes.

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Movie Review: The Ranger
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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The Ranger movie

The Ranger
Directed by Jenn Wexler
Written by Jenn Wexler, Giaco Furino
Starring Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden
Glass Eye Pix
Release date: August 17, 2018 (NY)

33 years ago to the day Dan O’Bannon’s punk rock horror classic, Return of the Living Dead opened in theaters. The spirit of that film is alive and well in The Ranger, a new punk rock horror film that opens in New York today, and had its premiere last night at the IFC Center in the village. The Ranger is the first film directed by Jenn Wexler, a producer with Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix. It was co-written and based on a script from Giaco Furino. Together, they not only kept the punk rock tradition of ROTLD alive, but created a whole new monster, and with it one of the year’s best horror films. Combining a kickass punk soundtrack, a psychedelic filming style, and one of the creepiest modern day bad guys in horror, The Ranger is a must see that leaves genre fans howling.

More below.

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An All-Nighter At Cinema Arts Centre’s ‘Up All Night’ Horror Movie Marathon 2018
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Up All Night Horror Movie Marathon

It was something I did often in high school and college – the ol’ all-night movie marathon. As a 36-year-old married adult with 2 children, the concept of staying up all through the night watching movies is something that sounds unreasonable and completely illogical. But then I saw the advertisement pop up in my Facebook feed… the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, Long Island, NY, was hosting an all-night horror movie marathon. It took me over a week of intense debate as to whether I should do it, but on Saturday morning, with my wife’s permission (of course), I purchased my ticket for their 2018 Up All Night “Pay to Get Out” Horror Movie Marathon and headed out to meet my fate… 8 horror films in 13 hours, one last great All Nighter… for now.

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Movie Review: Crazy Rich Asians
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Crazy Rich Asians header

Crazy Rich Asians
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Adele Lim, Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Kris Aquino, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Rated PG-13 | Minutes: 121
Release Date: August 15, 2018

Romantic comedies may be a dime a dozen, but every once in a while there comes one that can change the course of cinema. And in the age of having more representation on the big screen, no film is more important than Crazy Rich Asians. Director Jon M. Chu‘s adaptation of the Kevin Kwan novel of the same name represents that shift. It’s a film that changes the genre by looking at it from a different perspective, one that has been largely ignored for almost an entire generation.

And because of that, Crazy Rich Asians is not only a special film but one that is also highly entertaining and enlightening. Check out my full review below.

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Movie Review: The Meg
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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The Meg movie review

The Meg
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Starring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Cliff Curtis, Shuya Sophia Kai
Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: August 10, 2018

The Meg was fine. It’s not awful in anyway. But it’s also not spectacular in any way. That is the real issue with the latest summer blockbuster shark movie. Any shark movie is going to inevitably compared to Jaws and that is not fair. Jaws was perfect, a classic of unparalleled status. Most of the immediate post-Jaws shark movies were rip-offs. Some have towed the line and were homages. Since Shark Week and the advent of cable TV, specifically the SYFY channel, shark movies essentially take two forms: thrillers that aim to provoke reactions of fear a la The Shallows (2016) and The Reef (2010), and the much more common go for absurdity and silliness like Deep Blue Sea (1999) or the any of the thousands of “shark movies” on cable such as the Sharknado franchise and Sharktopus. The Meg falls in the one place you don’t want to be… the middle.

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Movie Review: Eighth Grade
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Three-D   |  
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Eighth Grade movie review

Eighth Grade
Written & directed by Bo Burnham
Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Luke Prael, Catherine Oliviere
A24 Films
Rated R | 94 minutes
Theatrical Release Date: July 13, 2018

Eighth Grade shouldn’t be seen as a film quick to critique this generation’s youth or their obsessive reliance on technology and social media. Instead, the film allows us to experience what it’s like to grow up in this era where the most crucial provisions aren’t food and water, but, rather, likes, hashtags, and views that provide sufficient sustenance. This all gets in the way of genuine human interaction.

Director Bo Burnham‘s impressive feature film debut is uncontaminated by traditional narrative devices found in other high-school dramas depicting the coming-of-age story. His film is concerned with the present, but also has its sights always on the future. It gets deep inside the head of a 14-year-old girl who’s waiting for someone to call out and acknowledge her. No matter how hard she tries, she hardly succeeds. It’s a constantly elusive ideal to her, and it shouldn’t be searched for through gratification on social media.

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Movie Review: King Cohen: The Wild World Of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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King Cohen movie poster banner

King Cohen
The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Written and Directed by Steve Mitchell
Featuring Larry Cohen, Martin Scorsese, J.J Abrams, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, John Landis, Fred Williamson
Dark Star Pictures
Release date: August 3, 2018 (NYC premiere)

Who is Larry Cohen? If you don’t recognize his name, I promise you’ll recognize his films. The now 77-year old has been working in the industry since the late 1950s and evolved from writing noir and western television to become a prolific genre filmmaker. His most prominent works include Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), God Told Me To (1976), Q (1982), The Stuff (1985), and Phone Booth (2002). In all he has over 80 writing credits and 20+ directorial efforts. But more than his films was his renegade and rogue filmmaking style. A writer who became a director and producer, Larry Cohen was the consummate hustler and true triple threat. His life and career are now the subject of a phenomenal documentary, King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen, written and directed by Steve Mitchell and put out by Dark Star Pictures.

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Movie Review: Triggered
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Triggered movie banner

Triggered
Written and Directed by Chris Moore
Starring Meredith Mohler, Jesse Dalton, Amanda Wyss, Keni Bounds, Sam Furman, Arian Thigpen, Caitlyn Driscoll
CWM Entertainment
Release date: July 12, 2018 (MS Premiere); Wide Release: 2019

With snowflake aggression on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum at its peak these days, Chris Moore’s Triggered could not be coming out at a better time. While the premise is familiar, Triggered is a throwback ’80s style slasher for a new generation, capturing the vibes of the movies it pays homage to while evoking real questions about social justice warriors and the culture of being so easily offended. In an era where the horror genre is full of social and political commentary, Triggered fits in quite nicely.

The story is simple: 30 years ago, a string of murders ripped through Jackson, Mississippi. Suddenly, the “Jackson Ripper” is back. We meet Callee Bishop (Meredith Mohler), a high school senior and crusader with too many causes. She has a video blog where she attacks cultural appropriation by her classmates. Her constant complaining has led to the mirrors being covered in the bathrooms, the removal of fried chicken from the lunchroom menus, and god forbid you’re wearing chopsticks in your hair! Mohler is hilarious as the hyper-offended Callee. And her relationship with openly gay best friend Ian (Jesse Dalton) is the best part of the film.

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Movie Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Director: Ol Parker
Writer: Ol Parker, Catherine Johnson, Richard Curtis
Cast: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Dominic Cooper, Cher, Meryl Streep
Studio: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 114 Minutes
Release Date: July 20, 2018

No one ever asked for a sequel (or prequel) to Mamma Mia! and yet, here we are, with Universal Pictures releasing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the newest installment of the musical franchise that has a penchant for breaking out in song and dance to ABBA. And here is the surprising thing about that hybrid sequel and prequel. It’s actually good. No, scratch that, it’s really good.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is the film you can’t help but tap your foot to when the music feels good, and cry to when there’s a ballad to be sung. Though the story may be some white noise, the cast has fun with the material they are given. But the true standout is Lily James, who shines with a spirited energy that is so infectious, you can’t help but join in on the fun. Check out the full review below.

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