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‘First Man’ is great in space…Yet the human drama doesn’t reach same heights

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Rating: «« out of ««««

Running Time: 141 minutes

Most people know of astronaut Neil Armstrong as the first person to step foot on the moon. However, less are aware of the incredible work and dedication it took to get there. Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) chronicles the man’s story in the biopic...

‘The Hate U Give’ is a must-see for young adults

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Rating: ««« out of ««««

Running Time: 132 minutes

By now, we’ve come to expect certain common themes and subject matter in young adult film adaptations. In fact, so many are dystopian science-fiction dramas that many of them fuse together, at least in my mind.

The Hate U Give takes a very different approach, dealing with real, topical and at times, shocking subject matter. It’s also remarkably effective and stands out as a picture that teenagers would be well advised to see.

The story revolves around Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a 16-year-old black girl who travels from her home in a low-class community to a high school in an upper-class, mostly white...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Oct. 19, 2018

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Welcome back to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There are some really big blockbusters arriving, as well as plenty of intriguing independent films. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

Ant-Man and the Wasp - The latest Marvel superhero movie to hit the streets is a sequel that continues the adventures of Ant-Man. While under house arrest, the character is contacted by his old compatriots to help them on a new mission involving inter-dimensional travel. He must avoid bad guys and the police in order to save his friends. Reaction was very positive towards this effort. A...

‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ builds suspense, but ends up crumbling

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Rating: «« out of ««««

Running Time: 141 minutes

A few years back, writer/director/producer Drew Goddard surprised many a critic with The Cabin in the Woods, a freaky and fun deconstruction of the horror genre, jesting at its many tropes and why audiences enjoy them so much.

Bad Times at the El Royale certainly feels like the work of the same filmmaker, experimenting with narrative timelines and attempting to build suspense by revealing small pieces of information instead of directly spelling out what and why things are occurring.

All of the events unfold at El Royale motel near Lake Tahoe, situated on the border of California and Nevada (with a running state line visible...

‘22 July’ is among the year’s most powerful films

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This movie is currently available for viewing on Netflix.

Over the years, writer/director Paul Greengrass has made many a film based around real-life incidents, including Bloody Sunday, United 93 and Captain Phillips.

His latest is 22 July, a dramatization of the horrific 2011 Norway attacks that left 77 dead. While the subject matter is recent and distressing, this exceptional feature finds a way to tell the story successfully, ultimately focusing on the aftermath.

Among the filmmaker’s many effective projects that are based on true events, this is his best one yet.

That one sentence summary written above may be oversimplifying the movie, which deals with a great number of the...

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