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6 articles


Forget "Chappie", "Ex Machina" is the Film About Artificial Intelligence You Wanted

26 April 2015 2:08 PM, PDT

A lot of noise has been made this year over how fans of Science Fiction should go see some of the larger studio-produced Sci-Fi flicks like Jupiter Ascending and Chappie if they want to see more "original" science fiction films in theaters in the future. The idea was that it didn’t matter if Jupiter Ascending and Chappie were quite disappointing efforts, and they were, they deserved your money if you ever wanted more films like them. It’s an argument equivalent to a hostage situation, and it was ridiculous. You shouldn’t support bad films in the hopes that the studio will throw some good ones your way down the road. Instead, you should pay to see excellent movies like Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, because doing so will be rewarding for you - and it will be. Plus, you get to see one of the more beautifully filmed »

- Lex Walker

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Even Sondheim Fans Might Choose to Avoid Venturing "Into the Woods"

26 April 2015 12:00 PM, PDT

Behold! A great smorgasbord of genre-specific characters packed into a single narrative! No, not the ABC (i.e. Disney) fairy tale mashup show Once Upon A Time. And not the Gothic mosaic that is Penny Dreadful. Or the superhero ensembles of the Justice League and Avengers. Nor even the upcoming villainous cadre of Suicide Squad. This is “art:” Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1986 Broadway triumph, Into the Woods, that managed to eek out three Tony Awards in a year mostly ruined for all other contenders by the arrival of Broadway’s now longest running show, The Phantom of the Opera. Ever since that first Broadway run, and every subsequent tour, restaging, and revival, Into the Woods has been a favorite of Drama Departments in liberal arts schools across the country. Sondheim aficionados can’t stop singing his praises, but, unfortunately, very few of them sang anything other than, “Get me out of these woods, »

- Kyle North

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Believe It Or Not, You Shouldn't Trust A "Gnome"

20 April 2015 8:05 PM, PDT

Kind-hearted Zoe (Kerry Knuppe) is having a tough time. Her mother is heavily medicated. Her step-father is a molester. She works at a convenience store to put herself through college, where she is receiving unwanted attention from a professor, and one of the store’s regulars, a homeless woman nicknamed Ms. Mae (Willow Hae), is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Before Ms. Mae dies, she passes along a curse to Zoe which gives her a witch’s mark on her skin and the unwanted protection of a murderous gnome (Verne Troyer).

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- Rachel Kolb

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Damici Makes "Late Phases" Howl

20 April 2015 6:39 PM, PDT

Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf stars an appropriately gruff, grizzled and grumpy Nick Damici as Ambrose McKinley, a blind Vietnam War vet who has just moved to the picturesque retirement community of Crescent Bay following the death of his wife. Accompanied by his trusty seeing eye dog, Shadow--the only living thing that he seems to approve of--McKinley proceeds to settle down and wait for death to come for him, even going so far as to ask his son to drive him to shop for tombstones. However, after the one neighbor to greet him kindly dies in a gruesome late-night attack, and brave Shadow meets a similar, tragic fate, McKinley is forced to come out of retirement and be the one thing he was ever truly good at: a soldier.

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- Lee Jutton

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"Nightbreed" Emerges From The Grave

20 April 2015 6:38 PM, PDT

Clive Barker ranted and raved; then he hoped and prayed. Finally, some enterprising horror devotees hunted and found, giving him the chance to deliver on a promise 25-years in the making. In 1990, Morgan Creek slashed Clive Barker’s adaptation of his own novella, Cabal, into a flimsy pseudo-slasher, in that there was almost no violence in the actual movie but they wanted to cut a trailer catering to the least common denominator schlock fan. The marketing completely avoided the monster elements and more nuanced dark romantic fairy tale. The result was a box office misfire and one really unhappy Mr. Barker. For over two decades, he spoke at conventions and in interviews about the real Nightbreed, a monster mash love story, lost on the cutting room floor. Finally, it has arrived, but its story to final release is as surreal as the fantastical creature world of Midian.

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- Kyle North

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Stop! "Adventure Time"

20 April 2015 5:02 PM, PDT

With a spoonful of Dungeons & Dragons, a pinch of Game of Thrones, and a whole lot of hand-drawn escapades, Cartoon Network’s prolific Adventure Time returns to DVD, picking up in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo with Episode 30 of Season 5: Frost & Fire. Young Finn wakes from a pleasurable dream wherein Flame Princess and Ice King, voiced by Jeremy Shada, Jessica Dicicco, and Tom Kenny respectively, do battle. Waking before the resolution, Finn orchestrates an epic confrontation of fireballs and ice lighting, until Flame Princess realizes Finn has betrayed her trust to antagonize the fight and leaves him to learn an important lesson about friendship and betrayal. So begins the 16-episode collection that juggles puberty with comedy.

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- Kyle North

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