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22-Oct Dune (2021)
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22-Oct Introducing, Selma Blair
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TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Trip to Greece, The 5
Alice (2019) 5
Detour 5
Last Black Man in San Francisco, The 5
Honeyland 5

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Prom, The 1
Lucy in the Sky 1
Halloween Kills 1
Antebellum 1
Malcolm & Marie 1

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Take this Waltz 3.19
Headshot (2012) 4
Jackpot 5
As Luck Would Have It (2013) 4.14
Graceland 4
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2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Antisocial 4
Key of Life 4
Thermae Romae 4
Berserk Golden Age Arc 2: The Battle for Doldrey 3
Burning Buddha Man, The 3
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2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dallas Buyers Club 4.36
Omar 4.57
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 3.63
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Begin Again 3.95
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2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
About Time 2
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Missing Picture, The 4
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Alan Partridge 4
August: Osage County 1.78
Fifth Estate, The 2
Labor Day (2013) 1
Blue Ruin 4.44
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2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Swiss Army Man 4
Love & Friendship 4.46
Sleight 3.14
Under the Shadow 5
Certain Women 4.14
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2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
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2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Pitch Black 3.56
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) 1
Phoenix Incident, The 3
Alienated 2
Displacement 3.14
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2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ms. Purple 4
Greener Grass 2
Honeyland 5
Death of Dick Long, The 3
Lodge, The 3.31
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2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Saint Frances 3
Us 4
Good Boys 4.14
Long Shot 4.14
Day Shall Come, The 3
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2019 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Them That Follow 4
When Lambs Become Lions 5
Pizza, A Love Story 4
Greener Grass 2
Cold Case Hammarskjold 4
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2019 London Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Knives Out 4.2
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2021 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Censor 3
I Was a Simple Man 4
In the Earth 3
We're All Going to the World's Fair 2
Marvelous and the Black Hole 4
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2021 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Introducing, Selma Blair 4
Oxy Kingpins, The 4
Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break 2
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
Broadcast Signal Intrusion 3
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2020 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dinner in America 2
Minari 4.9
Save Yourselves! 4
Promising Young Woman 3.18
Kajillionaire 2.5
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2021 Cinequest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
My Zoe 4
Since August 5
This Is Not a War Story 4
Bitter Sugar 5
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2021 Seattle International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Strawberry Mansion 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
Censor 3
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Independent Film Festival Boston 2021 MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet, The 4
Dry, The 4
I Was a Simple Man 4
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America 4
Marvelous and the Black Hole 4
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2021 Toronto Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dear Evan Hansen 1
Dune (2021) 3
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2021 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Junk Head 3.57
Hold Me Back 4
Joint 3
Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me? 5
Raging Fire 4
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2021 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Little Vampire (2020) 4
Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break 2
Hotel Poseidon 2
All About Lily Chou-Chou 3.21
Seobok 3
MORE MOVIES

2021 Venice Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dune (2021) 3
Halloween Kills 1
Last Duel, The 2
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2021 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dune (2021) 3
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2021 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Dune (2021) 3
Broadcast Signal Intrusion 3
Last Duel, The 2
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
Films I Neglected To Review: Aoalsmenn!
Films I Neglected To Review: Itt Follows
A Look Back At TIFF21
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Films I Neglected To Review: You Must Remember This. . .
SXSW 2021--The Rest Of The Fest
SXSW 2021--Day One
10 Films To See At The 2021 SXSW Film Festival
Rotterdam 2021--An Overview
Sundance 2021--The Rest Of The Fest
Sundance 2021--Day 3 & 4
Sundance 2021--Day 1 & 2
Sundance Film Festival 2021 (Day 1)
Films To See At The 2021 Sundance Film Festival
Screamfest LA (2020 Edition)
The Virtual Fantastic Fest Celebration of 2020
The 58th New York Film Festival
Reflections from the Toronto Film Festival (Virtual Edition 2020)
Fantasia Film Festival (Reviews from the 2020 Edition)
Celebrity Exclusive Interviews
Film Festivals of the World
Criticwatch
Rants and Raves
DVD Reviews
Movies & Money with Erik Childress
The Oscar Eye
Films I Neglected To Review with Peter Sobczynski
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WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
DVD/Blu-ray Schedules
Movie Madness Podcast (with Erik Childress)
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LATEST REVIEWS
DUNE (2021)
"Saint Muad'Dib"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Before getting into any discussion of “Dune,” the long-awaited new screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel that has been tantalizing readers and frustrating potential adaptors ever since it was first published in 1965, I suppose I should first offer up my own prior interactions with it over the years. Although science-fiction is a literary genre that I have never really gone for in a big way, I have made it a point to read at least some of the key works and therefore sat down and plowed my way through it when I was about 12 or so. Truth be told, I wasn’t especially overwhelmed by it. While Herbert certainly knew how to conjure up fascinating new worlds and creatures, he didn’t seem to have much of an idea of how to populate them or tell a story that didn’t bog down into pseudo-mystical gobbledygook at least once every couple of pages—Harlan Ellison once described it as being nothing more than “King of Kings” with giant worms and that pretty much sums it up perfectly in my book. The other reason I read the book then was because, after a number of false starts, it was coming to the big screen in a hugely expensive and highly anticipated screen adaptation from David Lynch, then hot off his Oscar-nominated hit “The Elephant Man,” that magazines like “Starlog” and “Twilight Zone” assured me would result in an epic cinematic event whose size and scope would make even the “Star Wars” films look puny by comparison." (more)
HALLOWEEN KILLS
"Boo Too"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Like so many other film fans, I consider John Carpenter’s 1978 breakthrough hit “Halloween” to be one of the greatest horror movies ever made—a decidedly grim fairy tale about a group of teenagers being stalked by the boogeyman told with such skill, precision and expert manipulation on Carpenter’s part that it still holds the ability to send chills down the spine of viewers, no matter how many times they’ve seen it, more than 40 years after it first appeared. Since that original release, the film has gone on to inspire a cottage industry of sequels and remakes but with the single exception of “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” the delightfully deranged red-headed stepchild of the franchise that had no real connection with any of the other films and which has gone on to become a cult favorite after angering fans during its initial 1982 release, they have all been pretty awful. Okay, maybe a couple of them—say “Halloween II” (1981) and “Halloween H20” (1998)—have been marginally better than the likes of “Halloween Resurrection” (2002) or the garbage Rob Zombie remakes “Halloween” (2007) and “Halloween II” (2009) but they have all been pretty bad to some degree. In fact, with the possible exception of the “Jaws” films, I cannot readily think of another film franchise—at least one that has remained a viable theatrical prospect over the years—where there has been such a gap in quality between the original film and the various continuations. (Yes, the various “Friday the 13th” sequels have all been pretty shitty but since the original wasn’t a good film by even the loosest definition of the word, the drop in quality wasn’t particularly noticeable.)" (more)
LAST DUEL, THE
"The Outrage"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If I had to make a list of the most accomplished filmmakers of the last half-century or so, Ridley Scott’s name would definitely hold a place of prominence. A director who generally favors bold and ambitious works and who has generally strived to avoid repeating himself, even when doing sequels to his own films, he has amassed a list of credits that is practically bursting with the kind of critical and commercial successes that most of his peers rarely attain even once in their careers—“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Legend,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Hannibal,” the full-length version of “Kingdom of Heaven,” “American Gangster,” the “Alien” sequels “Prometheus” and “Alien: Covenant” and “All the Money in the World” immediately leap to mind. At the same time, he has also shown himself over the years to be more than capable of turning out subpar junk as well when working with material that is either subpar or that he just does not seem to connect with on some fundamental level. When he does one of these lesser items—“A Good Year,” “Robin Hood,” “Exodus,” to name a few, the results feel as if they hurt a little more than the usual run-of-the-mill stinker because we know that Scott is capable of so much more. Unfortunately, his latest effort, “The Last Duel,” is not one that is going to go down as one of his great works. A handsomely mounted but dramatically inert work, it offers up a story from the pages of history that is nevertheless meant to resonate with those paying attention to current events but fails to do anything especially interesting with it over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour running time." (more)
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
"Lightning seldom strikes twice (if you can call the first Venom lightning)"
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "The first "Venom" movie was not, I suspect, what anybody involved wanted it to be; I'd love to know who thought they were making a sort of sci-fi horror movie, who was making a comedy, who wanted straight-ahead superhero action, and who saw a weird queer-ish romance underneath it all and decided to play that up. Somehow, don't ask me how, the movie worked better than it had any right to, even if it was not what one would call above-average. The sequel is clearly the result of Sony trying to reverse-engineer what happened and do it again, and deliberately replicating chaos doesn't come easy." (more)
WIFE OF A SPY
"Keeps the viewer guessing through (and past) the end."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Almost all Japanese films are co-produced by television networks these days, and even if one doesn't recognize the logos before the film, "Wife of a Spy" has the look of a TV-movie or miniseries, specifically the sort of period mystery or World War II homefront drama imported from Great Britain that filled PBS or A&E schedules a few years back. It's both what it is and good camouflage for what director Kiyoshi Kurosawa and his collaborators are really up to, a sneakily clever little thriller that keeps the audience guessing but never in a way that undercuts what is being put front and center." (more)
BLUE BAYOU
"Trapped in between."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "As a fan of Justin Chon's previous two films as a writer/director, I find myself a little disappointed by the slightly bigger, more ambitious Blue Bayou, even though he seems to be following the same path: Create a character and setting of the sort that he would like to play as an actor even if he doesn't often get the opportunity, hang just enough of a story on it for the movie to have a starting and ending point, and let his cast do their work. "Blue Bayou" can get by with that for decent stretches, but sometimes it needs a little more." (more)
INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR
"Ready for her close-up."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "As a young actress, Selma Blair developed something of a reputation for being willing to do just about any awkward or potentially thorny thing onscreen." (more)
NO TIME TO DIE (2021)
"idontwannabeyouanymore"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "I was about to note that I would try to get through this review of “No Time to Die,” the ridiculously anticipated 25th official entry in the long-running series of films featuring that most debonair of heroes, Ian Fleming’s super-spy creation James Bond, when it struck me how ridiculous such a statement would have been at a different time. For the majority of its half-century-plus existence, the franchise has established so many rules, rituals and traditions that are necessary to obey that they make the rites of many organized religions seem freewheeling and devil-may-care by comparison. With the changing of the guard that occurred in 2006 with the arrival of Daniel Craig in the role of Bond, the franchise began to shift gears considerably—not only did the films begin to take on a more serious tone with the once-familiar litany of quips and double-entendres reduced considerably but the formerly standalone stores now became increasingly interconnected. (The “Mission: Impossible” films now essentially serve as the equivalent of what Bond films used to represent.) Now with the Craig era coming to an end with his retirement from the role announced before it even went into production, the latest film in a series once known for its heedlessness has to not only present the usual array of globe-trotting thrills and excitement but wrap up all the various dangling plot threads from the previous Craig films—“Casino Royale” (2006), “Quantum of Solace” (2008), “Skyfall” (2012) and “Spectre” (2015)—as well. That is a lot for any one film—even one from a franchise as well-established as the one—to even attempt to accomplish and the increased level of anticipation towards it as a result of its COVID-related release delays has not exactly made things any easier for it. As t turns out, it cannot quite pull everything off but, much like its venerable hero, it does not go down without a fight." (more)
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FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: ITT FOLLOWS
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"Please enjoy short reviews of "The Addams Family 2," "Stop And Go" and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage."" (more)
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