Monthly Archives: September 2016

Movie Review: “The 13th” makes the “Prison Industrial Complex” argument on Netflix

The statistics are damning, the dots connect and the admissions — secretly recorded or otherwise admitted, are conclusive. There’s been a concerted effort to criminalize, incarcerate and stereotype black men as “super predators”, junkies and the like by opportunistic politicians, … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “American Honey”

I had an editor early in my career who repeated her grandmother’s favorite oath any time the culture served up fresh evidence of the dire and depraved straits America was plunging into. “Fall of Rome. Fall of Rome.” It’s a … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Masterminds” overthinks itself

The real “hillbilly heist” was funny enough, without a lot of Hollywood embellishment. A gang of rubes from rural N.C. robbed a Loomis Fargo armored truck storage facility safe of $17 million, and almost got away with it. They just … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “The Birth of a Nation”

If there’s a single good thing that has come out of the real-life rape controversy that has come to hang over Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” it is that is forces one and all to dispense with the … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Queen of Katwe” has all the right (chess) moves

That grande dame of international cinema Mira Nair gives a gritty Third World texture to “Queen of Katwe,” a faith-based Disney drama about a poor, illiterate Ugandan who masters the lethal intricacies of chess. It’s a conventionally inspiring feel-good dramedy … Continue reading

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Movie Preview: Nobody is on the fence about “Bad Santa 2”

The first film had its fans (Me) and detractors. Growing up in the South, I recognize in Billy Bob Thornton the true exemplar of cotton picking cussing, with every politically incorrect profane tirade delivered in a Drawl for the Ages. … Continue reading

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Movie Preview: “20th Century Women” makes Jimmy Carter a prophet and Annette Bening a true believer

The latest from the director of “Beginners,” Mike Mills, puts Annette Bening and Billy Crudup and Greta Gerwig in the late 1970s, right in the middle of our “national malaise.” And finds heartfelt fun and wisdom in it. An odd … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “The Late Bloomer”

Stand-up comic, impressionist and actor Kevin Pollack steps behind the camera for “The Late Bloomer,” a sweet-spirited if slightly rude rom com masquerading as a sex comedy. It’s a little flat-footed, with the script-by-committee lacking the nimbleness you want in … Continue reading

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Movie Preview: It’s Franco vs. Slater in the gay porn murder tale “King Cobra”

“King Cobra” is “based on a true story” about a rivalry between two online porn video producers — played by Christian Slater and James Franco — feuding over a hot new “discovery” one of them controls. With those leads, and … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Deepwater Horizon”

We’re entitled to a little skepticism when a movie titled “Deepwater Horizon” pitches itself as about “the heroes” of the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history. Somebody, a lot of somebodies, screwed up. The consequences were dire for the … Continue reading

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