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Reviews

The Card Counter

Much like an expert poker player, writer/director Paul Schrader underplays The Card Counter.  Instead of a flashier approach that boasts with style, Schrader captures the subdued focus and routine of a gambling sub-culture and its players.  One of those players being William Tell (Oscar Isaac), a former serviceman who invests in high-rolling card games to keep himself distracted.  It’s an efficient, time-consuming past-time that prevents William from possibly falling back into bad habits.

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Between Waves

By: Trevor Chartrand Canadian filmmaker Virginia Abramovich makes her feature film debut with Between Waves, a captivating (albeit heavy-handed) exploration of mental illness and grief, framed through the sci-fi lens of inter-dimensional travel.

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9/11: Inside the President’s War Room

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room is a candid documentary meant to commemorate the events of September 11th, 2001 and serve as essential viewing for its 20th anniversary.  While the film delivers on its candid nature, featuring exclusive photographs and interviews with past White House officials including former president George W. Bush, Adam Wishart’s doc is not as considerate as it could be.

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Death Drop Gorgeous

Camp is notoriously tricky to pin down, and even tricker to execute.  As Susan Sontag notes in her 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”, “[o]ne must distinguish between naïve and deliberate Camp.  Pure camp is always naïve.  Camp which knows itself to be Camp (“camping”) is usually less satisfying”.  Sontag suggests that the best, most satisfying examples of camp are those that are trying to be serious.  When something tries to be camp, it usually fails….

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Mogul Mowgli

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Bassam Tariq and actor Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Sound of Metal) are the co-writers of BBC Films’ Mogul Mowgli, and together they explore the concepts of family, tradition, and cultural identity/responsibility with their recent collaboration.

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The Comeback Trail

For as morbid as it is, I had a really good time watching The Comeback Trail, a dark comedy about a scheming film producer banking on the “accidental” death of his leading star.  Think Bowfinger or The Producers with more slapstick and cynicism.

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He’s All That

“What’s the point to remaking She’s All That?” is a question that frequented my thoughts when I first heard of He’s All That.  It was another random project that seemed as if it was putting all of its eggs in one basket, hoping to simply capture the attention of movie goers with the idea of swapping the gender roles of its predecessor.  Other than looking to be entertained, I was hoping most of all that…

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Candyman

As the urban legend goes, if you repeat the word “Candyman” in the mirror five times, an ominous presence will unapologetically seal your fate.  If repeating “Candyman” is a representation of evil, perhaps a representation of  good will would be repeating Nia DaCosta’s name in a mirror five times.  Maybe if we all did, we could encourage her to keep making great movies like Candyman.

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PAW Patrol: The Movie

After some minor big screen stints and continuing with its long-running success on television, PAW Patrol makes a flawless leap to feature-length with PAW Patrol: The Movie – essentially cobbling together four missions into an entertaining movie for families.