It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Manifesto really is. A collaborative art project? A chance to marvel at the majesty of Cate Blanchett for 90 minutes? A history lesson on the many movements that have swept through art and politics over the decades? This is all true. But is it unmissable? That’s where things get tricky. On the surface, it seems hard to see the appeal of the film outside of the festival circuit. Manifesto might play well to film and art geeks, but will average moviegoers be lured in by seeing Galadriel play dress-up for ninety minutes? It’s unlikely and yet, by digging deeper into just what Manifesto is trying to accomplish, there is room for the film to make a considerable impact on a generation slowly becoming more politically conscious and active with each passing day.
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Next week will bring Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to theaters. The advanced test screening scores were more than promising (they received the highest audience scores of any Marvel Studios film), and the brief reactions from the first press screenings had plenty of positive things to say. Now we have a Guardians of the Galaxy 2 review round-up that gives us a little more insight into what works in James Gunn‘s cosmic comic book sequel and what doesn’t. In general, it sounds like the movie is still wholly entertaining, but it’s not quite as good as the franchise starter that came before it.
Check out the excerpts in our Guardians of the Galaxy 2 review round-up below. Read More »
What is it about the jungle that lures in filmmakers like a siren song? Over the years, auteurs like Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo), Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now), and Peter Weir (The Mosquito Coast) have married the untold beauty of unexplored lands with the obsession that borders on insanity exemplified by protagonists who go deeper into those lands. Now, we have a new entry in the subgenre: The Lost City of Z, courtesy of writer/director James Gray, telling a true story of a British explorer who’s seduced by the jungles of South America once and is unable to shake their pull on his psyche. While The Lost City of Z is perhaps not as overheated a depiction of the madness of obsession as Fitzcarraldo or Apocalypse Now, it’s no less entrancing and enormous.
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The Fate of the Furious, like one of its heroes, wants to live life a quarter mile at a time. On a moment-to-moment basis, the eighth entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise offers visceral thrills that come close to rivaling some of the series’ standout chases. But as the film rides its way to an ice-bound conclusion that requires our heroes to literally stop World War III from happening, it becomes all-but-impossible to accept some of the leaps of logic Fate takes in how its characters treat each other and the fabled family. This is the first entry in a while that talks a bigger game than it walks (or drives).
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Even though blockbuster season doesn’t technically kick off until May with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Universal is shifting things into gear a little early with the release of The Fate of the Furious this weekend. It’s the eighth installment of the franchise that began all the way back in 2001, and it’s still unbelievable to me that the franchise has come this far. However, it will be up to audiences to determine whether that’s still a good thing or not.
As for The Fate of the Furious reviews, they are torn as to whether this is one of the best films in the reinvigorated franchise so far, or one of the worst. Reviews go from one extreme to the other, and some of the naysayers are those who have enjoyed the hell out of the recent run of sequels in the film series. We highlighted some brief Twitter reactions from CinemaCon a little while back, but the full reviews give us a more complete picture of the sequel. Read More »
An effective film can be used as a weapon and during World War II, America utilized every weapon in its arsenal. As Hollywood directors turned propagandists, John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, George Stevens, and John Huston understood better than most the incredible power of film. But did they wield it responsibly? Netflix’s three-part documentary series Five Came Back attempts to answer that question by digging into the strange, even ugly period of history when Hollywood directly fed the war machine.
Let’s take a look at the series itself…and what you should watch after you’ve finished it, should you want to see more.
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Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2017 by Karen Han
Has there ever been a show that so profoundly plumbed the depths of human delusion and misery like Review? Even before heading into its third and final season, the show (starring Andy Daly as Forrest MacNeil and airing on Comedy Central) had already distinguished itself as a dark comedy of unmatched proportions, if not an outright tragedy — the fact that the predominant theory as to what was going on was that Forrest was in Purgatory had to be debunked by Daly himself says as much.
The premise of Review, as stated by Forrest in the show’s opening credits, is this: “Life: it’s literally all we have. But is it any good? I’m a reviewer, but I don’t review food, books, or movies. I review life itself.” Initially, the reviews seemed fairly self-contained. They weren’t good decisions (the first two episodes were “Stealing; Addiction; Prom” and “Sex Tape; Racist; Hunting”), but they generally fit into the traditional mold of similar mockumentary-style comedies, i.e. the end of each episode meant a blank slate, and the next episode would see the host as spry and damage-free as ever. But then, “Pancakes; Divorce; Pancakes” happened, and the veil was lifted.
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The live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell is a cinematic cubic zirconia that thinks it’s a diamond. The real thing exists, and is much easier to recognize; even at its gloomy, stylish best, this version is a poser unable to hide its true nature. The 2017 Ghost in the Shell is itself a ghost, a trace of something familiar left behind that can’t quite replicate the sense of being introduced to a strange new world that feels disturbingly close to our own. Though many of the themes inherent in this story are still relevant in 2017, nearly 30 years after the Masamune Shirow manga was first published and more than 20 years after the release of the iconic anime, Ghost in the Shell fails to capitalize.
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Posted on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Well, the first season of Legion is over and it’s a good thing we already know a second one is on the way because it left us with one hell of a cliffhanger. However, “Chapter 8” built to that cliffhanger in the most satisfying way possible, delivering gonzo action and wild character beats while also exploring its themes with humor and style. Let’s take a closer look.
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(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers.)
When we revisited the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers last week, I thought we would be engaging in an act of pop culture masochism. Instead, I was weirdly won over by the whole endeavor. For all of its crass cheapness and cobbled-together storylines, the original Power Rangers series still displays an undeniable, sugar-sweet charm. It’s a hard thing to hate.
So perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that director Dean Israelite‘s big screen adaptation of the long-running series is surprisingly good and surprisingly thoughtful and surprisingly weird. Surprise is the key word here, clearly. It’s not just surprising that a $100 million Power Rangers movie is watchable, it’s surprising that it has so much oddball personality. It’s a movie about inclusivity and giant robots punching monsters. It’s a movie about outcast teens coming together and a scenery devouring villain who serial kills people for their fillings. It’s the start of a big-budget movie franchise that also has a vital subplot about teen sexting.
Power Rangers is too weird to ignore and too nice to disregard. Let’s talk about it. Spoilers ahead.
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