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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REVIEW: UNCLE HOWARD

Most people don’t know the name Howard Brookner. But, some do. And Uncle Howard is about Howard and the people who knew and loved him. It’s a love letter to a man whose light was extinguished, like so many, by AIDS. And it’s an introduction, for many, to a filmmaker whose short life produced some tr ...

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REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Let’s get it out of the way – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is very much like The Empire Strikes Back. It is ripe with daddy issues, separates our heroes for a large chunk of the film, and (unlike most sequels) stands alone outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just like the original film, it’s ...

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REVIEW: PRINCESS CYD

A mysterious and foreboding 911 call sets the stage for Princess Cyd, the latest drama from Chicago writer/director Stephen Cone, whose Black Box remains one of my favorite indie films ever, and whose Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party isn’t far behind. That phone call lets us know that someone, somewher ...

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REVIEW: BOMB CITY

Any time I see the “Based on true events” heading in front of a film, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and pray for the best, knowing that there is a strong likelihood that what I am about to see will be less than satisfying. So, when that title emerged at the beginning of Bomb City, I was consi ...

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REVIEW: A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

On the surface, A Closer Walk With Thee might seem like an inspirational Christian flick from the fine folks over at PureFlix – something akin to God’s Not Dead or The Case for Christ. That’s only if you base your opinion of the film on its whimsical title. Anyone who goes in to this fil ...

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Netflix Weekly: SAND CASTLE

When the credits of Fernando Coimbra’s Sand Castle started rolling, I couldn’t help but feel a satisfying sense of calm and appreciation for how this true-life Iraq story was handled. Sand Castle tells the prudent story of American soldiers on a job to provide clean water to the Iraqi village Baquba ...

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Five Movie Music Podcasts (That Aren’t Mine)

For thems what love movies, there’s podcasts aplenty, as readers of this site are only too familiar. In addition to the fine Cinepunx network of shows, there are shows which cover everything from movies in general, to ‘casts which get granularly specific. If you have a love for horror flicks, there ...

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Netflix Weekly: WIN IT ALL

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the our new column here at Cinepunx, NETFLIX WEEKLY! Each week let Jaime Burchardt be your guide through the highs and lows of Netflix exploding original film content!) Before watching Win it All, the phrase I kept hearing and seeing online that described co-writer/d ...

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WE GOT ISSUES: March Comic Round-Up

A-hoy-hoy, everyone! The dreadnaught of chicanery, Johnny, is back with a brand new comic round-up! In March, I read 197 comics (that’s right, I keep track). Here’s what’s worth mentioning: Once and Future Queen #1 by (W) Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride (A/CA) Nick Brokenshire from Dark Horse Comics w ...

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