The Latest Movie Reviews
'The Florida Project' Is A Visually Striking Look At Adult Problems Through Childrens' Eyes
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A couple of years ago, director Sean Baker solidified his reputation as an indie-filmmaker-to-watch with the groundbreaking Tangerine. Now, with all eyes on him, he follows it up with the equally impressive The Florida Project. The Florida Project is about a week-to-week hotel in Orlando, Florida (right in...

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'Leatherface' Is The Texas Chainsaw Movie That No One Asked For...Or Wanted
Production: Scary Factor: 
There are few horror franchises as beloved as that of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. There have been sequels, prequels, and remakes, all with varying degrees of success and effectiveness, but even the duds have fans that will defend them until the end. Those fans' resolve will be tested with Leatherface, as it...

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'Happy Death Day' Is A Lightweight And Forgettable Slasher With A Tired Gimmick
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Happy Death Day begins with a sorority girl named Teresa Gelbman, or "Tree" (Jessica Rothe from La La Land), waking up the morning of her birthday in the dorm room of a dorky guy named Carter Davis (The Bling Ring's Israel Broussard) after a night of drunken antics. Equally embarrassed and hungover, Tree does...

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'Blade Runner 2049' Is A Beautiful Cult Movie Spectacle
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Released in 1982 and based on a Philip K. Dick novel, the original Blade Runner is a cult science fiction classic. Rumors of a sequel have been circulating for years, and now, it's finally here. And for the most part, Blade Runner 2049 lives up to the hype. Set thirty years after the events of Blade Runner,...

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'Lucky' Celebrates The Magnetic Presence Of The Late Harry Dean Stanton
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A few weeks back, legendary character actor Harry Dean Stanton passed away. Stanton leaves behind a diverse body of work that includes such classic movies as Alien and Wild at Heart, but he was basically known as a supporting actor - a sideman. It's only fair that his last film, the simply titled Lucky, lets...

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'American Made' Is A Fine Biopic With A Solid Tom Cruise Performance
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Given how recognizable he has become as an action star, it isn't often that Tom Cruise stars in biopics. For that reason, American Made is a rare breed, but for many others, it is by the numbers. A story of an American pilot that was recruited by the CIA, began working for the Colombian drug cartel, and eventually...

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'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Is Another Slick Spy Flick With Great Action
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The first Kingsman: The Secret Service was a surprise hit, a comedic riff on the James Bond formula with over-the-top violence, characters, and a sharp wit. Its follow-up, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, picks up where the first film left off and never misses a beat, delivering everything fans expect from a sequel....

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Don't See 'Friend Request' Alone, But Not Because It's Too Scary
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With technology advancing at the speed of light and social media becoming many people's main source of communication, it's no wonder that horror movies have embraced and explored the darker side of the phenomenon in movies like Unfriended, The Den, Open Windows, and Ratter. Well, you can add another technophobic...

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'The Houses October Built 2' Continues A Story That Should Have Ended
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A few years ago, The Houses October Built put a fun twist on the found footage trend by portraying a YouTube video-making, Halloween haunt-loving group of folks who happen upon the wrong haunt. Now, the gang is back for more in, yep, you guessed it, The Houses October Built 2. The Houses October Built 2...

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Confusing And Surreal, 'mother!' Is A Beautiful Mess Of A Movie
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The promotional campaign for mother!, the newest film from Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), has been genius. It shows just enough to pique interest without giving audiences any idea of what the movie is about. And after seeing it, many viewers still won't have any idea what the...

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'American Assassin' Is A Passable B-Level Action Drama
Production: Action Sequences: 
American Assassin is the type of disposable action/drama that can be found historically throughout the month of September. The plot is fairly predictable, the characters and their motivations are very thin, and the action is serviceable if a bit generic. Though it may be based on a novel by Vince Flynn, what was...

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After 27 Years, 'IT' Is Back To Terrorize The Kids Of Derry Once More
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In 1990, prolific horror novelist Stephen King's most ambitious book, the simply titled It, was made into a two-part television miniseries. The book, and miniseries, was about a clown who terrorized a New England town and kidnapped its children every twenty-seven years. Now, just like in the book, IT is back,...

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'Dave Made A Maze' Is The Most Endearingly Crazy Movie You're Bound To See This Year
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Scary Factor: Uniqueness: 
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that is so quirky, so wacky, so bat-shit insane, that its entire existence is brought into question. Dave Made a Maze is one of those movies. Dave Made a Maze is about a downtrodden guy, Dave (Nick Thune), who builds a cardboard fort in the living room of his apartment....

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'Annabelle: Creation' Is More Of The Same From The Creepy James Wan-Iverse - And That's A Good Thing
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The biggest hurdle facing Annabelle: Creation is the fact that, at first glance, it seems to be an unnecessary movie; the first act of Annabelle already covered the origin of the demonic doll. Or so we thought. As it turns out, that was only half of the story. Annabelle: Creation goes back a little further...

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Not Even Matthew McConaughey And Idris Elba Can Save 'The Dark Tower' From Itself
Production: Writing: 
Stephen King fans have been waiting a while for a movie adaptation of The Dark Tower. The first book in the series was written in 1982, but rumors of the film started up about ten years ago. Now that the movie is finally here, the question that begs to be answered is "is it worth the wait?" No. No, it's not. The...

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'Atomic Blonde' Is More Than Just The Female Version Of 'John Wick'
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Set in 1989, right before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Atomic Blonde stars budding action star Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Lorraine Broughton, a British MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin to retrieve a list of double agents that was stolen when a fellow MI6 was murdered by a KGB thug. Once in Berlin,...

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'A Ghost Story' Executes Its Simple Concept Brilliantly
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A few years back, director David Lowery hooked up with actors Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara for the critically acclaimed-yet-criminally underseen Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Since then, Lowery has made the reboot of Disney's Pete's Dragon, Affleck has won an Academy Award for Manchester by the Sea, and Mara has...

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For Better And For Worse, 'Dunkirk' Immerses Its Audience In The Horrors Of War
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In his career, director Christopher Nolan has dealt with superheroes (The Dark Knight trilogy), outer space (Interstellar), dreams (Inception), and even the selective human memory (Memento). Now, for something completely different, he takes on the historical war re-enactment subgenre with his new movie Dunkirk. Just...

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Edgar Wright's 'Baby Driver' Combines A Hot Soundtrack With Cool Car Chases In The Best Movie Of The Summer (So Far)
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As a writer and a director, Edgar Wright has done a little of everything in his career. He took on horror with Shaun of the Dead, the buddy cop picture with Hot Fuzz, the slick graphic novel/video game adaptation with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and the apocalyptic adventure with The World's End, all the while...

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Frame Of Mind

The WarriorsNew York, New York.  A hell of a town.  The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.  And it’s a great backdrop for movies, horror or otherwise.  Even when that movie is as surreal and fantastical as The Warriors.

FlatlinersThis past weekend, a remake/reboot of Flatliners opened in theaters to little fanfare.  Not only was it not screened ahead of time for press, but there were no early paid showings on Thursday night in most markets, with the first opportunity for anyone to see the film coming on Friday morning.  Well, in celebration of a movie that the studios seem to be hiding, this week’s Cinema Fearité is taking a look at the original 1990 movie upon which it is based, also called Flatliners.

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane DocumentaryAfter getting his start in nonfiction television, documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has carved out a nice little niche for himself in the music film world with his The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?).  Keeping up the momentum, he now explores the life of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his newest film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.

Bloodlust!Out of all of the elements of the polarizing mother! to be controversial, one wouldn’t expect the title to be one of them, but the awkward non-capitalization at the beginning coupled with the exclamation point at the end has been playing hell with the auto-correct of critics everywhere (including my own).  But mother! is hardly the first movie to feature strange characters in its name; from Airplane! to Land Ho!, movie titles have gotten creative with their punctuation.  Because this is Cinema Fearité, we’re going to take a gander at a horror movie with an exclamation – 1961’s Bloodlust!

ObitIn the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections.  There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column.  Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night IIGenerally speaking, sequels pick up somewhere after the events of their predecessor, whether a few minutes, weeks, or years, and continue to tell the story.  Some take place within the same cinematic universe, but with different sets of characters and circumstances (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2/Blair Witch, 10 Cloverfield Lane).  Others are prequels, telling the story that leads up to the events of the first film (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation).  Still others, however, are sequels in name only.  Such is the case with Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.

Apt PupilLast week, in honor of the recent spike in Stephen King movies, Cinema Fearité took a look at King’s one and only directorial effort Maximum Overdrive.  Well, after the record setting weekend that IT just had, we’re doubling down on King.  This week, we’re going to dive into one of his most disturbing adaptations: 1998’s Apt Pupil.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the WorldAmerican rock and roll music is seen as a smorgasbord of musical influences, borrowing liberally from both European and African sources.  But the influence of the Native American culture on rock music has rarely been acknowledged.  Documentarian Catherine Bainbridge (who also explored Native Americans in Hollywood movies with Reel Injun) and cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (who worked with Bainbridge on the TV series “Mohawk Girls”) explore the Indians that have had an impact on rock and roll in their fascinating new movie Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.

Maximum OverdriveStephen King has always been a prolific writer, and filmmakers have always loved making movies out of his works, but Hollywood seems to be in the midst of a “Kingaissance” as of late, with the disappointing The Dark Tower releasing this past summer, the terrifying IT opening this weekend, and the “how are they gonna film THAT?” Gerald’s Game making its premiere on Netflix at the end of the month.  For all of his novels and short stories that have been adapted into movies, King has surprisingly only stepped behind the camera to direct one of them himself – the 1986 technology-run-amok thriller Maximum Overdrive.

California TypewriterRevisiting old technologies can be fun.  The analog warmth of vinyl records sounds better than the harsh digital compression of CDs.  The feeling of flipping the pages of a good book in your hands beats the hell out of scrolling through that same book on a tablet.  And, as any avid movie collector will tell you, VHS tapes often have way cooler artwork than their DVD/Blu-ray counterparts.  But no one ever thinks about that other lost form of communication – the typewriter.  No one, that is, until music video director-turned-documentarian Doug Nichol made California Typewriter.

The Texas Chain Saw MassacreIt’s been less than two months since the passing of the legendary George Romero, and the horror world has been struck by another huge loss; celebrated director Tobe Hooper died last weekend at the age of 74.  Although Hooper’s biggest box office success was the Steven Spielberg-produced (and some say directed) Poltergeist, his claim to fame is much more influential.  In 1974, he made the most infamous of all American horror movies: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

EscapesHampton Lansdon Fancher.  You may not recognize the name, but you are no doubt familiar with his work.  His biggest claim to fame is that he wrote the first drafts of the script for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but he also had an extremely prolific career as a b-level character actor.  But even behind the scenes, Fancher has led a fascinating life.  So fascinating, in fact, that his filmmaker pal Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) made a movie about him.  That movie is called Escapes.

CrashHere at FilmFracture, David Cronenberg’s movies have been so well-covered that his last name has actually found its way into our Microsoft Word dictionary.  From his first feature film Stereo to his experimental Cosmopolis, you could say that we are fans, at least of writing about his work if not of the work itself.  And this edition of Cinema Fearité adds one more title to the list; this week, we’re taking a look at Cronenberg’s most controversial film, his 1996 fetish thriller Crash.

Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter TribeDocumentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed.  The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

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