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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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'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Is The Best Spidey Story Yet
Production: Action Sequences: 
No one would fault any moviegoer for saying that they have Spider-Man movie fatigue, with five films having been released in such a short span of time. And with Spider-Man: Homecoming hitting theaters this weekend, there's no doubt some will dismiss the latest comic book release simply because it features a familiar...

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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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Sofia Coppola's 'The Beguiled' Plays With Loyalty, Emotion...And Genre
Production: Cinematography: 
One of the big buzzes coming out of the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival was the fact that Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) won the Best Director award for The Beguiled, an award that had only once before been given to a woman (and that was way back in 1961 when Russian filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva took...

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'Moka' Takes The Revenge Film In A Different Direction
Production: Acting: 
Moka is about a woman named Diane Kramer (Emmanuelle Devos from Coco Before Chanel) whose son has been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Using witness accounts of the crash, she determines that the driver was a blonde woman in a mocha colored luxury sedan. With the help of a detective friend, she gets a list of...

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'The Exception' Is The Exception, Not The Rule
Production: Chemistry: 
Set during World War II, The Exception is about a German Captain with a checkered past named Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney from the Divergent movies) who is sent to protect exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (screen legend Christopher Plummer from Beginners and Danny Collins) in the Netherlands from British spies that are...

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'Band Aid' Will Satisfy Your Quirky Indie Musical Comedy Cravings
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Chemistry: Comedy Factor: 
Zoe Lister-Jones is most recognizable from appearances on sitcoms like "New Girl," "Whitney," and "Life in Pieces," but she's done her time behind the camera as well, having written the indie flicks Consumed and Breaking Upwards. Now, Lister-Jones takes on a new challenge with her directorial debut, the rocking...

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'Wakefield' Is Disturbing, Unsettling, Unnerving...And Impossible To Not Watch
Production: Acting: 
Unlike some actors who need a rest coming off of hit television series, Bryan Cranston is showing no signs of slowing down after "Breaking Bad." Between Trumbo, Godzilla, and The Infiltrator, Cranston's post-Walter White career has included some interesting role decisions. The latest of these decisions is as...

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'The Mummy' Kicks Off Universal's Dark Universe With A Whimper
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After a handful of false starts with I, Frankenstein, Dracula Untold, and Victor Frankenstein, Universal Pictures is finally ready to officially launch their Dark Universe of monsters. And they have chosen The Mummy to be the film that breaks the ground. The Mummy stars Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher) as American...

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'It Comes At Night' Will Scare You With What It Doesn't Show
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Sound: Scary Factor: 
Last year, indie filmmaker Trey Edward Shults hit the ground running with his feature debut Krisha, an interesting and affecting experiment about a recovering alcoholic who returns home to celebrate thanksgiving with her estranged family. The movie itself walked the line between drama and comedy, but the approach...

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'Wonder Woman' Is Here To Save The DC Cinematic Universe...Or At Least Get It Some Respect
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When it comes to last year's disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, most fans agree that Wonder Woman stole the show. Some might even go a step further and say that the Amazon princess was the only thing about the movie that was worth watching, and audiences were left waiting with bated breath for...

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'Alien: Covenant' Connects Some - But Not All - Of The Dots Between 'Prometheus' And 'Alien'
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Action Sequences: Scary Factor: 
In 2012, director Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus was one of the most polarizing movies of the year. People either loved it or hated it, and those opinions tended to sway from one side to the other with subsequent viewings. Because of this, any review of the new Prometheus sequel/Alien prequel should...

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'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' Brings The Merry Band Back Together
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When Guardians of the Galaxy was released back in 2014, it was a major risk for Marvel Studios. Sure, they had a nearly flawless record, but most of those hits were with well-known properties. Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, was a relatively unknown comic series, led by familiar but unproven stars,...

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'My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea' - Corny As Hell, But You'll Like It
Production: Animation: 
As a writer and illustrator, Dash Shaw has had several successful graphic novels. Now, following in the footsteps of Daniel Clowes and Frank Miller, Shaw has turned to feature filmmaking for his next challenge with the wildly entertaining My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. The title of My Entire High...

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Ben Wheatley's 'Free Fire' Is Ten Characters, One Warehouse, And A Whole Bunch Of Bullets
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
There's a common thread to the movies of Ben Wheatley, the director of indie gems like High-Rise, Kill List and Down Terrace. They're aesthetically beautiful, yet narratively lacking, and they tend to overstay their welcome for a bit before they eventually conclude. Free Fire fits right into the Wheatley mold. Set...

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Nacho Vigalondo's 'Colossal' Bends Genre With Giant Monsters And Anne Hathaway
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Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has been one of the horror world's best kept secrets. Fright flick fans know him well from his features Timecrimes and Open Windows as well as from his short segments in The ABCs of Death and V/H/S Viral, but he's remained relatively unknown to general audiences. That's about...

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It's Been A Long Wait, But 'The Blackcoat's Daughter' Lives Up To The Hype
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It's been a couple of years since February, the creepy thriller from writer/director Oz Perkins (son of the legendary Anthony Perkins), began getting rave reviews from critics and festival goers alike. The film was snatched up by indie superheroes A24...then promptly put into a seemingly endless distribution...

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'T2 Trainspotting' Is The Sequel That Trainspotting Fans Have Wanted, And The One That They Deserve
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Directing: 
There are two things that a sequel to Trainspotting needed to get right in order to be effective. First, the soundtrack had to be kicking. And second, it had to not ignore the events that took place at the end of the first movie. T2 Trainspotting checks off both boxes. When we last saw the Trainspotting boys,...

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Ape-pocalypse Now! 'Kong: Skull Island' Delivers The Monster-Fighting Goods
Production: Special Effects: 
Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War, Kong: Skull Island stars John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Bill Randa, a nutty researcher who has used satellite photos to discover an uncharted island. Using competition from the Russians as leverage ("they've got a satellite passing over in three days, do you want...

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Frame Of Mind

Night of the Living DeadTo say that the horror world lost an irreplaceable icon this past weekend when George A. Romero passed away is an understatement.  Although he made movies about vampires (Martin), witches (Season of the Witch), and killer monkeys (Monkey Shines), and had some legendary collaborations with superstar horror writer Stephen King (Creepshow, The Dark Half), Romero was, and always will be, known as the father of the modern zombie movie with his “Living Dead” series of fright flicks.  And it all started in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead.

WitchtrapHorror movie titles can be confusing, and we’re not just talking about the endless sequels, remakes, and movies that are called Don’t (insert activity here).  There are the completely different movies that share a common name like Stage Fright, Beneath, or The Boy.  There are the very similarly titled movies that are often mistaken for each other, such as Trick or Treats, Trick or Treat, and Trick ‘r Treat.  It only adds to the quagmire when the same director makes two different movies with titles that are very much alike, such as what writer/director Kevin S. Tenney (Night of the Demons) did when he followed up his 1986 classic Witchboard with his 1989 offering Witchtrap.

Encounter with the UnknownAs one of the premier voices in the science fiction and horror genres, Rod Serling made his mark in the world as a screenwriter.  But, it’s impossible to overlook how effective of a narrator he was.  Between “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery,” Serling’s soothing and calm introductions to tales of the mystical and macabre are burned into the minds of fans everywhere.  He was even enlisted as a narrator on projects that he didn’t write, everything from Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise to Delbert Mann’s The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond.  He also slummed it sometimes, such as when he narrated the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité – the 1973 anthology Encounter with the Unknown.

White of the EyeMost thrillers go from point A to point B in chronological order.  A few, like Irreversible or Memento, work their way backwards.  Still others will skip around in a Tarantino-esque kind of way.  White of the Eye falls into this last category.

The UnseenLast week, Stephen Furst passed away at the age of 62 from complications related to type 2 diabetes.  Furst was one of those actors with a face more famous than his name, his most instantly recognizable role being that of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House.  Although his early career saw him in mostly comedic roles, he also worked in drama, action, and, yep, you guessed it, horror.  In 1980, just a couple of short years after he made Animal House, Furst played the “title” role in The Unseen.

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.

One Dark NightGeek culture lost one of its biggest icons this past weekend when Adam West passed away at the age of 88.  West was easily most well-known and loved for fighting crime on television in the sixties as “Batman” (the Pow! Zap! Bam! era), but he also won over millennial audiences by playing a cartoon version of himself, Adam West, the mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island, on the animated series “Family Guy.”  But West had a plentiful and prolific career on both the big and small screens, even venturing into horror a few times with movies like Zombie Nightmare, Curse of the Moon Child, and the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: the 1982 supernatural thriller One Dark Night.

Empire of the AntsBritish science fiction writer H.G. Wells was one of the most inventive and prolific writers of the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, and it seems as if every one of his stories has been turned into a movie.  Of course, there are the popular big name films, like The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, but a deeper examination of the adaptations of Wells’ bibliography will bring up awesome fright flicks like the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: Empire of the Ants.

Fade to BlackIn the mid-nineties, horror got very self-referential.  Movies like Scream and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare gave audiences a peek into a cinematic world that as aware of itself, a meta-universe that, sometimes hammily, winked and nodded at its influences and predecessors.  This wasn’t invented in 1994, though.  In 1980, an all-but-forgotten gem called Fade to Black did it first.

GorgoIt’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Well then, in 1961, Great Britain flattered the hell out of Japan by making a little Godzilla homage called Gorgo.

The EvictorsLast week, the talented character actor Michael Parks passed away at the age of 77.  Parks was one of those actors whose name might not be instantly recognizable, but whose face is known by every cinemaniac.  He was a regular in films by both Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith has gone on record saying that he wrote Red State and Tusk specifically for Parks.  Like so many other cult favorite actors, Parks did his share of horror movies, schlock with titles like The Savage Bees, Nightmare Beach...and the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité – The Evictors.

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.

The BabysitterIn the seventies, a whole subgenre of horror popped up that revolved around the profession of babysitting.  Led by movies such as Halloween and When A Stranger Calls, horror films made young girls everywhere think twice about childcare as a moneymaking venture.  In 1980, a television movie, simply called The Babysitter, flipped the script on the stalked kinder-care motif by making the sitter the hunter instead of the prey.

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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