Sofia Coppola is an acquired taste… which is a nice way of saying that when it comes to her work, I run more cold than hot. Lost in Translation (2003), her best film so far, is a masterpiece of ennui and alienation driven by Bill Murray’s impeccably droll comedic timing and a one-of-a-kind plant-your-flag performance […]

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“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. For Gloria, a New York-based internet writer with a serious alcohol problem in Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal, that abyss happens […]

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I am not as invested in the Star Wars universe as most fans are. I have yet to watch a single episode of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels or even Lego Star Wars; I have not read any of the novels published by Del Rey Books nor the comics published first by Dark Horse […]

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Buried underneath Ang Lee’s and Jean-Christophe Castelli big screen adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a poignant and bitter story about comradeship, patriotic fervor and about how that fervor is exploited. But, alas, Lee’s insistence in shooting this film in 3D, 4K and at 120 frames per second in an […]

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A camouflaged teen emerges from deep inside the Pacific Northwest woods, bow and knife in hand. His target: a deer grazing nearby. Minutes later, the deer is dead after a struggle, and the teen and his five siblings carry their prey back home to be carved, their proud father, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), declaring that […]

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In an article titled “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race” published in 1851, Mississippi physician Samuel A. Cartwright attributed the African slaves’ desire for freedom to a disease he named drapetomania. He called it a “disease of the mind,” one that could be “almost entirely prevented” by treating the slaves like “children, with care, […]

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Outside of what is written in the Bible or what we are taught in Sunday school (or any faith-based school for that matter) or is preached in church, Jesus’ life is pretty much an open book, one upon which artists as diverse as novelists Nikos Kazantzakis and José Saramago, filmmakers like George Stevens, Martin Scorsese […]

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An outsider can often offer unique insights into a culture or a way of life that is totally foreign to her or him. That outsider can make you see the world you take for granted in a whole new light, even if that light is imbued with the outsider’s own prejudices and misconceptions. Alas, you […]

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A couple of weeks ago, in my review for “The Witch” I lamented the fact that the studios had turned their backs on the good old thriller while the rest of the world was embracing it. To prove my point, here comes South African director Gavin Hood with “Eye in the Sky,” a whopper of […]

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Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (sorry, tocayo, you will always be González Iñárritu to me, and not G. Iñárritu) “The Revenant” is the type of physical, single-minded and ambitiously daring work that used to grace the silver screen before the movies went digital. It brings to mind such equally mad masterworks as Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre: The Wrath […]

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Writing about “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” on its opening week is like walking into a minefield. How much of the plot can you give away in your review without provoking the ire of the countless fans who have yet to see it and still be able to offer a reasonable evaluation of […]

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