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48 Hours to Live

At this point in his career, music video director Benny Boom is more of an imitator than a filmmaker.  His feature film debut Next Day Air, a violent crime/comedy driven by half-baked druggies and misunderstandings, was definitely inspired by the early work of Quentin Tarantino.  Boom’s latest project 48 Hours to Live plays as a three-way collision between the trippy in-your-face antics of Argentinian provocateur Gaspar Noé, your average American television crime drama, and dance sequences seen in…

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Bugs

With his previous doc Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, director/cinematographer Andreas Johnsen kept his camera rolling and lingering;  even when little amounted on screen.  The film was in need of direction, but Johnsen ignored this fact.

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Mechanic: Resurrection

Jason Statham has proven himself as an action star, but I still believe his performances are only as good as the filmmaker he’s been paired with.  In the case of Mechanic: Resurrection, Statham is jumping through the same hoops, but he’s doing so in a way that mirrors the entertaining ridiculousness director Dennis Gansel sets up.

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Under the Shadow

Horror cinema is often limited to its wheelhouse of established fears – ghosts, demons, strangers, monsters, or disturbing details.  Horror hounds are always looking for different scares though, and are always welcoming of a filmmaker’s ambition.  Failure is still an option, but the best case scenario is that these directorial risks pay off and make lasting provocative impressions – much like Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow.  It’s an incredible horror film that deals with not just the supernatural, but also…

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Tumbledown

I appreciate movies like Sean Mewshaw’s Tumbledown.  As someone who is asked on a daily basis for movie recommendations, Tumbledown provides me with a safe, warm suggestion for easygoing audiences.

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Solace

It’s pointless to review Solace.  How do you sum up a crime drama that you’ve reviewed so many times before?  What else can you say about the lack of ambition in Anthony Hopkins’ recent roles?  I’m at a loss with Solace, a new whodunit from director Afonso Poyart starring Hopkins as a psychic who assists two FBI agents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish) track down a serial killer.  Imagine a very serious reenactment of that Saturday Night…

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Office Christmas Party

It’s business as usual for Office Christmas Party, the latest exercise in R-rated edginess being applied to an otherwise toothless situation.  Audiences may have been given a dose of this same seasonal comedy in Bad Santa 2, but a more relevant comparison is between Office Christmas Party and 2011’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.