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I Love My Dad

At the root of a dark comedy is sadness.  Some examples may take more effort to trace back to that forlorn emotion, but the premise usually begins with an unfortunate circumstance and then carried beyond the point of comfort or absurdism;  ideally to create humour.  It’s all about finding amusing, and sometimes inappropriate, ways of interpreting that sadness.  And, I Love My Dad is successful most of the time.

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Vengeance

By: Jeff Ching Despite the title, Vengeance is really not a revenge movie (though revenge is part of the plot), and it’s especially not an action movie. Actually, it’s much better and smarter than what you’d expect.  It’s a very ambitious film that attempts many things: it’s a fish-out-of-water comedy with a dark sense of humour, a murder mystery, it’s satirical, it’s philosophical.  The movie has a lot to say about the current state of America…

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My Old School

My Old School is a peculiar documentary that intrigues audiences with an unconventional narrative gimmick, and further attracts viewers with its strange, entertaining, and deliberately confusing yarn.  The movie is, simply, unforgettable.

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Thirteen Lives

For three years, I have received an annual movie about the Tham Luang cave rescue.  First, we had the experienced first responders recreating their efforts in Cave Rescue.  Then, the team behind Free Solo made a documentary about the disaster with The Rescue.  And now, the story receives the “Hollywood” treatment with Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives.  Despite my personal exhaustion with this story, I was excited to see how this latest adaptation measured up to…

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Honor Society

From Awesomeness Films (You Get Me, Spontaneous, Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series) comes Honor Society, a teen movie that’s darker than expected.  Considering how annoying the film’s smug trailer was, I appreciated this unexpected edgier approach.  However, the execution is imperfect and isn’t nearly as measured as it should be.

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Infrared

By: Jeff Ching The movie title Infrared is pronounced (infa-red), to which I bet that most people not familiar with the camera setting would pronounce it (in-fraird);  or maybe it was just me?  Just getting that out of the way now, as this is a title that deserves respect and to be pronounced properly.

Reviews

Becoming a Queen

Becoming a Queen is a very straightforward documentary that zeroes in on one person, their career, and their primary achievement. The film follows this standard structure well enough, issuing the occasional bit of history along the way, but I wish director Chris Strikes followed a less conventional format to this vibrant subject matter.

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The Gray Man

A dependable cast (which includes Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, and Julia Butters) is let down by weak storytelling and sloppy filmmaking in Netflix’s summer blockbuster The Gray Man.

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The Bad Guys

The Bad Guys is a big screen adaptation of a popular book series for kids, perhaps to tide over the Diary of a Wimpy Kid crowd.  But even as someone who was completely unfamiliar with the series, I thought its feature-length debut was great.  It’s one of the coolest and most exciting films of the year.

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Fire of Love

“Do I like this movie, or do I just like the footage?” I frequently asked myself this during Fire of Love, a documentary about the relationship between volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft and their explosive expeditions.