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Movie Review: The Better Angels

I was only three years old when Alfred Hitchcock died but I recall my Dad saying, regretfully, he’d never see a new film from the great director again. While I never got to see “Rear Window” or “Psycho” the first time they opened, I did grow up in an age where the term “Hitchcockian” grew as a moniker. It seemed …

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MOVIEReview: The Babadook

Growing up, I watched movies such as Hellraiser, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, and Jason and Freddy (before they became bad). These were the type of horror movies that set the standard for me. During the reign of sub-par movies, such as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, I became convinced that there would never be another hair raising …

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DVD Review: The Zero Theorem

The constant pleasure of a new Terry Gilliam film is how he insists on giving his audience something they’ve never seen before. Most movies, you know where they’re taking you, the characters and story have a familiar quality to them and the filmmaking is a comfortable fit for easy-to-digest material. Most uninspired, forgettable movies function this way. Gilliam is not …

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Movie Review: The Book of Life

I have to be honest, “The Book of Life” wasn’t even on my radar of movies to watch. I didn’t know a thing about this movie. I’m not sure if that’s because there was very little push from the studio in promoting it, or if it was lost among other movies playing. Either way, it was a movie I virtually …

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Movie Review: Predestination

The introductory scenes of “Predestination” are intriguing but baffling. We see a character in the midst of what appears to be a heist. An accident occurs, someone catches fire and the camera avoids clearly showing us the faces of the characters present. Clearly, we’re being set up for a big reveal that will come much later. There are many more …

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Movie Review: Taken 3

There’s a scene early on in “Taken 3” where Liam Neeson drives a car down an elevator shaft. It’s far from the only outrageous moment in the movie and goes by so quickly, it’s almost a total throwaway. I suspect the only reason they filmed this scene was so Neeson can one-up Bruce Willis and demonstrate that he’s still got …

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Movie Review: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

The early scenes in this sequel to “The Women in Black” are promising and had me believing that, once again, the producers at the restored Hammer Film Productions had pulled it off. This time, the setting is London in 1941, as war is tearing the city apart. We may be watching a horror movie sequel, but the establishing scenes are …

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The Year in Film: 2014

The 2014 movie year began with the pretty-good, refreshingly different “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and ended with Tim Burton’s fine return to character drama, “Big Eyes.” In between, there were a handful of great movies and lots of clutter. Being a film buff is no different than loving great literature or music: the popular stuff is occasionally great but …

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Movie Review: Ida

When we meet Anna, she’s in the final steps of becoming a nun and living alongside her sisters in a nunnery. She lives in a world of silence, prayer, servitude and religious meditation. There are final steps she must take, like saying crucial vows and making the ultimate choice to embrace the ways of the sisterhood. Yet, before Anna can …

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Movie Review: Citizenfour

Documentary filmmaking can be an act of righteous defiance. When the subject matter was once considered taboo, inaccessible or not permitted for public viewing, the film in question can be a testament to free speech and a cinematic form of rebellion against unseen figures, attempting to silence the artist. Previous documentaries, that were controversial, illuminating and essential, like “The Thin …

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