The “I” of the Tiger

A Walt Disney fairy tale about El Chapo told through the language of Gabriel García Márquez and visually painted as if guided by Frida Kahlo’s hand, Tigers Are Not Afraid is some kind of special. Writer/director Issa López obliterates genre boundaries to tell a story about the globally ignored collateral damage of cartel violence: orphaned […]

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Papa, Can You Hear Me (In Space)?

SNL, which allegedly does “comedy” when not hiring and firing racists, once had a sketch that started “You’re watching ESPN Classic. Come on, man. Spend some time with your kids…” Ad Astra shows just how far some toxically masculine daddies will go to neglect paternal responsibilities: Neptune. Not quite as sophisticated as it thinks itself, […]

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Spoiling It

Although I appreciate Ryan’s initial poo-pooing of It: Chapter 2, this painfully plotless 3-hour behemoth that’s awkwardly reliant on Michael Bay-style CGI destruction has plenty of spoilers that are worth poo-pooing, too! It: Chapter 2 is a special kind of “bad” for a lot of reasons they couldn’t show you in the trailers. The epic […]

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J. Lo v Stock Bros Just So-So

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to roofie stock brokers.” Writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers doesn’t start with an explicit dialogue-riff on Goodfellas, but it may as well have. The film so clearly yearns to be a savvy fable about socioeconomic plundering, a pole-dancing-Robin-Hood legend that’s updated for the era of Bitcoin. […]

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Exhausting Piece of It

Starting with a wholly unnecessary hate crime sequence, It: Chapter Two is the worst clown-infused sequel since the birth of John Wayne Gacy Jr. Almost entirely plot-free, the film is frequently cheap-looking, unintentionally silly, and a total CWBH, which stands for “complete waste of Bill Hader.” That probably didn’t need an acronym, but after 170 […]

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Paul, Bearer of Cheer

From health issues to unexpected travel, a collection of calamities has blocked me from attending any of Film Streams’ annual “Feature” fundraisers. This year’s (held on Aug 25) was my very first, and according to founder and executive director Rachel Jacobson, it broke records and was the biggest ever. I’m not saying the two things […]

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Zip Coda

So as to not bury the lead: Director Clay Tweel’s Out of Omaha is inspired, insightful filmmaking that patiently provides a platform for those denied everything, including a soapbox. The fierce urgency of the first half hour lays bare the truth of Omaha’s negligence towards its black community before giving way to a quiet, mournful […]

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