FANTASIA 2017: EXPO 67 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

Do you ever wonder what happened to the World’s Fair? We don’t hear too much about them anymore. But those massive international events that seemed to define multicultural progression and optimism in the twentieth century aren’t exactly gone – it’s just America’s involvement in them that is (t ...

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FANTASIA 2017: BITCH

The name “Marianna Palka” should be known by more people. The very fact that it isn’t makes my heart hurt in a substantial way. Most people know Palka more as an actress, most recently as Reggie in the Netflix series GLOW, but her work as a writer/director has produced two of the most original and r ...

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FANTASIA 2017: GAME OF DEATH

A new horror movie about millennials’ heads exploding? Sign me up any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Game of Death is the movie in question, and it’s another horror flick by way of those horror masterminds…the French Canadians? In truth, Canada has produced some terrific little horror gems the ...

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CINEPUNX Remembers George A. Romero

Regular listeners to the flagship show of this collective, Cinepunx, will have heard the story a few times of my introduction to horror when a less than attentive parental figure allowed me to join my not yet “step” siblings to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. This is, honestly, a pretty ...

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FANTASIA 2017: The House of the Disappeared

One aspect of filmmaking that will always interest me is how directors view/feel about their audience. From filming to editing to marketing, directors surely have a mindset as to how their participating watchers will feel during a particular scene, or sequence of buildup, or that sharp left that seg ...

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FANTASIA 2017: SUPER DARK TIMES

I am a sucker for a coming-of-age flick. Always have been. I remember being ten-years-old and weeping like a willow when Vada walked up to Thomas Jay’s casket in My Girl; or when Gordie had his breakdown in Stand By Me; or when Charlie hit the dance floor in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That kin ...

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In Theaters: WISH UPON

  With age, wisdom is supposed to come. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or maybe I’m just an idiot, but no matter the reason, I found myself last week sitting in the theater to watch the supernatural horror film, Wish Upon. It’s one of those films that the signs were there that it was going ...

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REVIEW: THE BIG SICK

I have always had this one rule that has been a sort of trigger while watching a movie: if this one thing happens, the film is going to be awful. One rule. It gets broken; I check out. And that rule is: if a film shows any part of Night of the Living Dead, I’m done. Why? Because it’s the easiest thi ...

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FANTASIA 2017: THE HONOR FARM

“If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended; that you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear.” Those, of course, are Puck’s famous words from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. And, having sat through all 74-minutes of Karen Skloss’s bizarre fever dream of ...

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REVIEW: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

When you’re watching a film that is, essentially, a battle between apes and humans, and you’re rooting for the apes, you know the filmmaker has done something right. That filmmaker is Matt Reeves and the ‘something’ he has done right is a trilogy that ranks right up there with the greatest of all-ti ...

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REVIEW: THE BEGUILED

Oh, Sofia Coppola – the all-time purveyor of manic pixie dream girls in all their forms and fashions. She has made a career out of exposing the complexities, the vanities, and the authentic realness of women and that sometimes gets lost in most mainstream pictures. Add to that her distinct and unmat ...

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REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

As a kid, Spider-Man was totally my bag. For me, there was Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And, until Sam Raimi entered the picture, the only cinematic representation I had was the 1977 film, which is more ridiculous camp than anything else (though it does retai ...

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Films From The Void: BURNT OFFERINGS

FILMS FROM THE VOID is a journey through junk bins, late night revivals, under-seen recesses, and reject piles as we try to find forgotten gems and lesser-known classics. Join us as we lose our minds sorting through the strange, the sleazy, the sincere, and the slop from the past and try to make sen ...

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Remembering STREETS OF FIRE

I need to watch more Walter Hill films. I’m not kidding; the amount of Hill films I have seen is embarrassingly low (good luck trying to get me to admit the number viewed). This great shame is brought on even more lately with the release of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver (Hill’s 1978 crime thriller The ...

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THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS: Punx in Disguise

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the premiere of one of the most surprisingly subversive shows in television history Typically when we think about entertainers who have changed America, we think of cultural troublemakers such as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Phyllis Diller, or Norman Lear. Each ...

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REVIEW: THE MUMMY

What did people expect from The Mummy? Seriously? I’ve read the negative reviews, some of them bordering on outlandish overkill, and none of them are really that eloquent at pointing out why the film isn’t entertaining. It’s like critics are disliking it for the sake of disliking it, as if there is ...

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LITERATURE-PUNX: Cinepunx Summer Reading List

I cannot help but love summer. There is so much about it that seems outside my realm of interest: THE BEACH, POOLS, VACATIONS, AMUSEMENT PARKS, DECKS, WATER SPORTS, SWIM SUITS, SUMMER FOOTWEAR! None of these are particularly “on brand” for me (though at one time I was an embarrassingly d ...

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REVIEW: ROUGH NIGHT

First off: I hated this movie when it was called Very Bad Things. It didn’t work with gents and it doesn’t work with ladies. Why? Tone, baby. It’s all about the tone. Trying to take a movie that is, essentially, about the accidental death of a stripper and inject it with whimsical comedy and emotion ...

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PROFILES IN CINEMA: Ron Marchini

In a week where the legendary Adam West has passed away (RIP Batman!), it seems especially fitting to launch this column with a martial arts champion and action film star who counted West as a friend, working with him in Paul Kyriazi’s Omega Cop. That action star is Ron Marchini. Ron Marchini ...

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REVIEW: IT COMES AT NIGHT

Here in the South, we have a saying – “Bless her heart” or “Bless his heart.” We use this as a precursor to saying something negative about someone. Example: “Gladys, bless her heart, has just never had the best taste in paisley linens.” By the Rules of Southern Etiquette, using this phrase cancels ...

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HOME VIDEO: A CURE FOR WELLNESS

Caution: this essay contains spoilers! Anti-hero Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is on a fast track to the Executive Floor. When his firm undergoes some financial – as well as legal – troubles, Lockhart is chosen to retrieve the vacationing board member Pembroke (Harry Groener) so he may assist i ...

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Netflix Weekly: BLAME!

I was very excited to watch Blame! without knowing very much about it, and for a big reason: I’m currently on an anime kick, and in my opinion I haven’t watched a lot of anime films. Sure, I’ve watched the essentials like Akira and Perfect Blue and Spirited Away and Ghost in the Shell and…I’ll ...

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REVIEW: THE COMMUNE

Thomas Vinterberg is the master of shocking revelation and painful discomfort. In his 1998 masterpiece, The Celebration, a birthday gathering to honor a beloved patriarch is rocked to its core when his son announces that he and his sister were sexually abused by the man as children. His 2012 film, T ...

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REVIEW: Wonder Woman Lassos Up a Win

This review contains some spoilers. “Be careful of mankind, Diana, they do not deserve you.” These are some of the last words spoken by Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, before watching her daughter sail away from her forever, and into the uncertain future of Man’s World. Mankind, and whether it dese ...

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Netflix Weekly: WAR MACHINE

The issue of Rolling Stone released in 2010 contained an article titled “The Runaway General” by a journalist named Michael Hastings. He was tasked to follow around a general who was just hired to find closure for the United States in the war against Afghanistan. War Machine, the cinematic adaptatio ...

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Review – DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE

The life of the artist is frequently envied and romanticized. Turn back the pages of most history books, and you’ll find the artist has been looked to for social critique, entertainment and insight for thousands of years, fulfilling an important function in society. Given this role, it’s no surprise ...

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It Came From Iceland: CHILD EATER

Being a child is an existence oftentimes based on fear. As children, we lack the ability to rationalize what we see and hear around us. We’re quicker to leap to insane conclusions about what happens, and quicker to translate an uncertainty of anything into a certainty that we are witnessing somethin ...

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Netflix Weekly: MINDHORN

Something has to be said for the opening scene of Mindhorn, a show-within-a-movie tale from the United Kingdom. From its plot summary and Netflix trailer, I got this pit feeling that the film would just jump right into footage of the “Mindhorn” TV show, complete with VHS-quality footage of the progr ...

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REVIEW: THE LOVERS

So: let’s break this review down into three things The Lovers gets right and the one thing The Lovers gets wrong, with there being an overlap. When I’m this split on a picture, I find it’s best to break it down on a very simple level and see where I stand after the smoke clears. The Lovers is about ...

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REVIEW- ALIEN: COVENANT

Ah, Ridley Scott. What an enigma. At 79 years old, he has made his bloodiest, grisliest, and most hyperactive film to date. Alien: Covenant feels like a young man’s film, in the way that Mad Max: Fury Road felt like it had been directed by someone in the vibrancy of their youth. Ridley Scott has alw ...

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REVIEW: CITIZEN JANE – BATTLE FOR THE CITY

“I really dug the film Citizen Jane.” “Oh, what’s it about?” “City planning.” “Huh?” “City planning. The planning of cities.” “I think I’ll skip that one.” And that would be a terrible mistake. Sure, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City is a film about city planning, but it’s primarily about the people ...

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REVIEW: THE DINNER

The name of this film could just as easily have been “Wealthy White People Problems,” because that is really all it is about – four people who have the wealth, education, and privilege to debate whether or not they even have to consider doing the right thing. That doesn’t mean The Dinner isn’t engag ...

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REVIEW: BURDEN

The name Chris Burden was familiar to me. I remember hearing about him having someone shoot him (like, with a rifle) for an exhibit, and I also remember hearing about his Chicago installation where he stayed under a piece of glass for three days until someone brought him water, and then he stormed o ...

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REVIEW: RISK

This film is difficult for me. It’s directed by a filmmaker for whom I have great respect: the daring, important, and brilliant Laura Poitras. But its subject is a man I loathe: the cowardly, dangerous, and unreliable Julian Assange. So how am I to take Risk, the new documentary that follows Assange ...

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REVIEW: THE WALL

Man, I wanted to like The Wall more than I did. Maybe that’s not fair. I was all-in for 95% of this film, and then all-out for the final 5%. And, in most cases, I can forgive a film a lackluster ending if the material that came before is worthwhile. But not here. Here, the finale of this film is so ...

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REVIEW: A DARK SONG

There is so much about A Dark Song that works…until it doesn’t. And I’m a sucker for British horror flicks, so I am most certainly the target audience for a film like this. I don’t necessarily think anyone is to blame; the filmmaker is doing exactly what he wants to do. I just thought the first two- ...

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