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Justice League movie review: grab ’em by the fanboy

16 hours ago

MaryAnn’s quick take… The cinematic equivalent of Trump and Brexit as awfulness brought upon ourselves. Incoherent and cheap-looking. There are no heroes, and everything is broken. I’m “biast” (pro): loved Wonder Woman, liked Man of Steel

I’m “biast” (con): …but not a fan of the other Dceu movies

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

These are the times that try woman’s soul. Trump. Brexit. Harvey Weinstein. Al Franken. (Really? Damn.) Global warming. Syria. Everything is awful. Everything is broken. Blake Shelton is People’s Sexiest Man alive? Christ, someone make it stop.

So it’s actually rather brilliant of Warner Bros and DC to fully embrace the everything-is-shit zeitgeist with a movie that just throws up its hands and agrees that the world and those in charge of it are garbage. Justice League is almost a meta exegesis of reality in »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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film review comment bingo (updated for 2017!)

15 November 2017 2:20 PM, PST

Reader Danielm80 has updated his film comment bingo card — sourced from only the finest trolls here at FlickFilosopher.com — for 2017. Behold!

Thanks, Daniel!

(Click here for a slightly larger version.)

Previous: 02.19.15

I’ve been meaning to get around to creating one of these forever, but reader Danielm80 beat me to it. Thank you very much! All hail Danielm80.

Feel free to respond to idiots in comments from now on with a sarcastic, “Ehh, nice G5.”

(Click here for a slightly larger version.) »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Wonder movie review: learning to be nice to a paragon

15 November 2017 6:45 AM, PST

MaryAnn’s quick take… Reminders to be kind are all very well, but it’s time to move past the idea that it’s up to people who are different to inspire everyone else to be better people. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” This is one of the monthly “precepts” Auggie Pullman’s fifth-grade homeroom teacher shares with his students. It’s a nice rule, and yay for the vocabulary lesson of precept. And just to be sure that no one has missed the fact that Wonder has not very subtly underlined this moral over and over again, Auggie will repeat it out loud for the audience at the film’s end.

I wish I felt worse about »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, Us/Can, from Nov 14

14 November 2017 2:19 PM, PST

A simple listing, duplicated from the dvd + vod Us and Canada page, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails (sign up here).

new dvd+vod Aquarius Birthright: A War Story Brigsby Bear I Do… Until I Don’t Maya Dardel Mudbound Logan Lucky Unlocked Blade of the Immortal    I’m planning to watch… Crown Heights Pottersville Tulip Fever

2017’s films, ranked by maryann

all reviews, 1997–today

recent releases The Beguiled Bushwick City of Ghosts A Date for Mad Mary 11/8/16 (aka November 8th) The Glass Castle Good Time Ingrid Goes West Lady Macbeth Landline The Limehouse Golem Maudie The Midwife (Sage femme) Motherland Patti Cake$ Personal Shopper Person to Person Pilgrimage Polina Queen of the Desert Spider-Man: Homecoming Step Strad Style The Survivalist 13 Minutes (aka Elser) War for the Planet of the Apes »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Nov 13

14 November 2017 12:35 PM, PST

A simple listing, duplicated from the dvd + vod UK and Ireland page, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails (sign up here).

new dvd+vod The Big Sick Birthright: A War Story Mudbound The Free World    I’m planning to watch… Kedi Marjorie Prime Unrest

2017’s films, ranked by maryann

all reviews, 1997–today

recent releases After the Storm The Beguiled Bushwick 500 Years Goldstone A Good American I Am Not a Witch It Comes at Night A Man Called Ove November 8th (aka 11/8/16) The Princess Bride (30th Anniversary Edition) Spider-Man: Homecoming War for the Planet of the Apes Wonder Woman Bad Santa 2 Despicable Me 3 Dough Mean Dreams Baby Driver The Book of Henry Brawl in Cell Block 99 Cars 3 Churchill Fast & Furious 8 (aka The Fate of the Furious) Hampstead The »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Only the Brave movie review: the men who tame wildfires

14 November 2017 6:27 AM, PST

MaryAnn’s quick take… Familiar in its overall storytelling arcs about risktaking and redemption, but also a sincere tribute to our new firefighting heroes for a warmer planet. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have read the source material (though only after I’d seen the movie) (and I am indifferent about it)

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

New heroes for a hotter, more fiery planet? Could be. Elite firefighter “hotshots” are the guys who helicopter or hike into wildfires and break them, saving not just a house or two but entire towns, and also wildlife and nature, too. (They literally call themselves hotshots, and it’s tough to snort at this macho boasting because they’re so genuinely badass but also so beneficial, with no downsides. Their important work does not require, say, hurting or killing other people, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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A Murder in Mansfield documentary review: a reconciliation with tragedy (#DOCNYC2017)

13 November 2017 1:25 PM, PST

MaryAnn’s quick take… An honest and brave portrait of the trauma and grief of those in the immediate periphery of a terrible crime. A simple, intimate film, and a powerful one. I’m “biast” (pro): love Kopple’s films

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Filmmaker Barbara Kopple is a legend. She’s won two Oscars for Best Documentary, the first of which, for 1976’s Harlan County USA, honors the film that arguably kicked off the modern era of documentary filmmaking as journalistic activism. Now, her latest film is part of a reinvention of the true-crime subgenre to tell stories that are less procedural and more emotional, looking at the long-term impact not on victims or perpetrators but on those on the periphery. (See also: Yance Ford’s Strong Island, now streaming on Netflix.)

Barbara Kopple is helping to »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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