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Film Review: ‘I Am Bolt’ Brings the Feel-Good Vibes of its Superstar Athlete

Directed by brothers Gabe and Benjamin Turner, the documentary “I Am Bolt” starts off with a bang. Opening with a montage featuring anthemic music while a narrator introduces a man with “physical strength and magnificent speed,” it could easily be mistaken for a superhero movie. As the title suggests however, the film’s subject is the […]

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Film Review: ‘Fences’ Draws More Meaning to the Art of Acting

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington has made his mark on film history with such films as “Malcolm X” and “Glory.” His work as a director has admittedly struggled to find the right voice and aesthetic to capture the same passion he’s brought to his acting roles. In the adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning […]

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Film Review: ‘Miss Sloane’ Is Ruthless With a Monstrous Turn by Jessica Chastain

2016 AFI FILM FEST: In a time of fiery debate, just following a tumultuous election year, nothing is as timely or educational as John Madden‘s politically charged “Miss Sloane.” Constructed by a crackling script by Jonathan Perera, in his boisterous debut, the film is rich in words and helmed by an enigmatic turn by Jessica […]

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AFI Fest Film Review: ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Rebels Without Coherent Cause

2016 AFI FILM FESTIVAL: Warren Beatty‘s haphazard “Rules Don’t Apply” is a screwball dramedy that plays like a direct-to-video sequel to Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Where that film provides honest penetration into the depravity of wily tycoon Howard Hughes, this cinematic farce exploits for amusement. Beatty, doing double duty as writer-director, can’t decide whether the egomaniac […]

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Film Review: ‘The Companion’ Is a Simplistic Tale of Male Friendship

With a plot exploring themes surrounding unlikely friendship, AIDS and boxing, Pavel Giroud’s “The Companion” would appear to be an unusually ambitious film. But looks can be deceiving, as the storytelling in this low-key drama takes a rather tentative approach. Despite a fascinating premise, Giroud keeps the emotions reserved and the conflicts minimal with his […]

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Film Review: ‘Miss Hokusai’ Channels Miyazaki to Highlight a Forgotten Female Artist

When “The Wind Rises” released in 2013, the legendary Hayao Miyazki received considerable praise. The film was a love letter to art in many ways, while always striving for perfection. The greatest accomplishment of the film was its creative use of the biopic format. Rather than telling its story in live action, “The Wind Rises” […]

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Film Review: Leonardo DiCaprio Spotlights the Climate Change Crisis in ‘Before the Flood’

The familiar voice of Leonardo DiCaprio opens “Before the Flood,” narrating over a set of graphic paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. He explains that they represent his first encounter with the environmental concerns to be subsequently discussed in the documentary, depicting the downward spiral of man from the harmonious Garden of Eden to an apocalyptic future […]

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Film Review: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and Mel Gibson Shine a Light on Brutality and Service

Say what you will about director Mel Gibson in regards to his personal life and choices he has made, but the guy knows how to make a movie, plain and simple. “Hacksaw Ridge,” his newest endeavor, has the Oscar-winning director of “Braveheart” mobilizing on the battlefield of World War II. While far from perfect, with […]

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Film Review: ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Shows Fury and Technique from Director Peter Berg

Real stories about tragic events have the advantage of being harrowing without much effort because the accounts of the truth do much of the job for them. It takes a distinct type of filmmaker to raise the film above the standard. While director Peter Berg doesn’t completely connect the dots, he promotes a tale of […]