Grandma Got Ran Over By a Gang War

With an opening that evokes a somehow unproblematic Quentin Tarantino or more humble Edgar Wright, writer/director Sasie Sealy’s Lucky Grandma is immediately “on.” Quiet visual cues shout character qualities like a megaphone pressed to an eardrum. With her slouched posture and cigarette always seemingly about to leap to its death from the corner of her […]

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People Used to Physically Buy Stuff

In the “before times,” people would actually leave their homes to purchase things. Allegedly, some of them even liked it when they had to interact with other humans in the same remote vicinity. Two recent documentaries—three if you count The Booksellers, which you should, don’t be rude—serve as quaint little time capsules of an era […]

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More Like Chris Harms-worse, Right?

At its core, Extraction is a love story about knives that long to be inside people’s faces and bullets that only want to marry people’s intestines. It’s the kind of action movie where everyone’s first reaction to seeing it is “This is somehow more violent than I expected.” That’s really saying something, because violence was […]

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Transfixed by Trans Actions

For everyone who has so much scanned a headline about the brutality routinely inflicted upon the Trans community, the first 30 seconds of The Garden Left Behind will plummet stomachs. “Oh no!” I mumbled, using words more colorful than “Oh no!” Between its wordless, atmospheric opening—one that feels like the precise moment a fish realizes […]

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Antique Roadshow: The Movie!

Sex, violence, and groundbreaking cinematography are among the many, many things that The Booksellers is not selling. Sorry, but they just sell books. It’s right there in the title. Actually, because this is a documentary “exposing” the decidedly un-seedy underbelly of New York rare book collectors, purveyors, and auctioneers, it isn’t even really selling you […]

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Pauline Kael Wouldn’t Like Me

The Mount Rushmore of film criticism is arguably a quasi-Cerberus. The three heads would be Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, and Pauline Kael. Her chiseled dome should be much bigger, as the two thumby fellas didn’t invent modern film criticism, so much as they simply helped popularize it. Kael made the game, they just played it. […]

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Alternate TV Realities Better Than Ours

“Whatcha watchin’?” was once a cutesy way of making small talk. Now it is asked with a slight whiff of desperation by those looking to use streaming entertainment like Flex Seal to patch the gaping holes punctured in normalcy. The question was once asked with a smile and is now posed like a thief asks […]

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Suck It, Seth Rogen

In the nicest possible way, Saint Frances is a Lifetime TV movie that has a degree in feminist literary theory. If you added about 40 minutes and cast any of the Freaks and Geeks bros as the lead, you’d have yet another Judd Apatow dramedy redeeming manbabies. Luckily, writer and lead actress Kelly O’Sullivan and […]

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