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Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman is a provocative call to arms that’s both committed to its cause and impossibly funny.  It’s one hell of a feature-length debut from writer/director Emerald Fennell, who has previously acted on the UK’s Call the Midwife and Netflix’s The Crown, as well as wrote for AMC’s Killing Eve.

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Pieces of a Woman

It’s impossible for me not to write about Pieces of a Woman from my own experience with child loss.  The movie is about a child’s death during delivery and her parents’ grieving process as they search for personal closure.  As a father who has lost three babies with my sublime wife through miscarriages, Pieces of a Woman really hits close to home.

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The Dissident

By: Trevor Chartrand Informative and eye-opening, The Dissident is a haunting documentary that’s shockingly timely and relevant, especially considering last week’s siege in Washington.  Among other things, this film demonstrates the dangerous potential of social media when used in the wrong way.

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Grizzly II: Revenge

The best thing about Grizzly II: Revenge is how its hilarious marketing completely blindsides the audience.  The lost 80s sequel to 1976’s thriller Grizzly has been promoted as a vicious horror starring a young George Clooney, Laura Dern, and Charlie Sheen.  Those Oscar winners, and Charlie Sheen, certainly show up within the first few minutes to only be mauled by a man-eating grizzly bear by the following scene. 

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Stars Fell on Alabama

The most interesting scene in Stars Fell on Alabama involves the lead couple participating in a complicated line dance to a country cover of “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects while they squabble over hurt feelings.  The scene is vaguely surreal and doesn’t make a lick of sense, but at least its absurdity is moderately compelling to watch, which is more than I can say for the rest of this bland and charmless…

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

Filmmaker Yeon Sang-Ho established an extremely dangerous threat with Train to Busan, his crowd-pleasing zombie movie which has since been claimed as a contemporary horror classic.  His follow-up, Peninsula, continues the story of the deadly virus that continues to sweep South Korea through a team of characters who are all desperate for a new beginning.  They believe their new future awaits them if they help retrieve $20,000,000 left in Incheon – a sum that will…

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Honest Thief

Liam Neeson has been playing a variation of the same soft-yet-secretly-badass character since 2008’s Taken, and Mark Williams’ action-thriller Honest Thief is no exception.  Neeson treads well-worn ground as Tom, a former marine-turned-bank robber who wants to turn himself in and start a new life with his girlfriend, Annie (Kate Walsh).  His attempts to make amends don’t exactly go as planned when the FBI agents sent to take him in decide to keep the money…

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Modern Persuasion

I can’t comment on whether Modern Persuasion is an adequate adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion because, as someone who is shamelessly not a reader, I’m unfamiliar with the original literature.  However, just as I did earlier this year with Emma, I can give the perspective of a viewer who is going into the movie cold, looking for something sweet to curl up with.  Even though it starts out strong, I’m afraid Modern Persuasion just doesn’t…

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Stardust

Stardust has a really good idea for a movie: the rise of an insecure musician who strives for fame but, at the same time, is scared of how his lack of identity will ruin him.  If the movie was about an ambiguous celebrity, director Gabriel Range (Death of a President) could’ve had a lot of room to explore the anxieties of fame.  Unfortunately, he’s desperate to crowbar these dilemmas into an unqualified and unauthorized biopic…