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new and ongoing cinema releases, Us/Can, from Jul 21

21 July 2017 2:09 PM, PDT

A simple listing, duplicated from the in cinemas 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).

opening this week Dunkirk The Midwife (Sage femme) Girls Trip Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets    I’m planning to see… Landline

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

now in cinemas The Beguiled Birthright: A War Story Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie City of Ghosts Colossal 500 Years Hidden Figures It Comes at Night Lady Macbeth Letters from Baghdad Logan The Lost City of Z Lost in Paris (Paris pieds nus) Maudie Megan Leavey Spider-Man: Homecoming 13 Minutes (aka Elser) War for the Planet of the Apes The Wedding Plan (aka Through the Wall) The Women’s »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Jul 21

21 July 2017 2:07 PM, PDT

A simple listing, duplicated from the in cinemas 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).

opening this week City of Ghosts Dunkirk Scribe (La mécanique de l’ombre)    opening Monday July 24th Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

now in cinemas The Beguiled Colossal Get Out It Comes at Night Lost in London The Midwife (Sage femme) Moana Moonlight My Life as a Courgette (aka My Life as a Zucchini) The Red Turtle Sing Spider-Man: Homecoming War for the Planet of the Apes Wonder Woman Beauty and the Beast The Boy and the Beast Despicable Me 3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 The Handmaiden Alien: Covenant »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Birthright: A War Story documentary review: how America hates women

21 July 2017 1:38 PM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… An enraging, essential documentary rundown of all the ways that women’s rights, agency, and bodily autonomy are under attack in the Us. It’s not just about abortion. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m a staunch and rabid feminist

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

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

Do you know what the landmark 1973 United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade is all about? It seems like an easy question, but as we see in the enraging and incredibly necessary documentary Birthright: A War Story, many young American women do not know that it secured their legal right across the country to have an abortion. Tougher question: Do you know that, if you’re a female patient at a Catholic hospital in the Us with a reproductive-related medical issue, a bishop may get »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie review: a brief look at the long and the shorts of it

21 July 2017 9:34 AM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… Sweet, subversive, and absolutely hilarious, at once a snarky superhero sendup and an unironically joyful celebration of friendship and imagination. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): not a fan of toilet humor

I have not read the source material

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

There is no bigger unfan of toilet humor than yours truly. So what the heck was I doing at a screening of a kiddie movie entitled Captain Underpants? Laughing my head off and being thoroughly charmed, to my very great surprise. I’m still trying to figure out precisely how this absolutely delightful little movie gets it right, but I’m zeroing in on how it somehow manages to engage a kindergarten-level sense of humor without pandering to it, and by mining huge glee out of its own amusement rather than what has generated that amusement. »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Scribe (La mécanique de l’ombre) movie review: all tapped out

21 July 2017 4:43 AM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… This would-be faux-70s paranoid thriller piles on too-obvious intrigue and embarrassing clichés, and lacks suspense, thrills, and a protagonist to care about. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

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

Unemployed accountant Duval (François Cluzet) takes a mysterious job with mysterious Clément (Denis Podalydès) that comes about after a mysterious late-night phone call and a mysterious Saturday-morning job interview (in a completely unmysteriously deserted Parisian business district, because it’s the weekend, but there’s nothing odd about that, nosirree). The job — transcribing recordings of conversations from tapped phones — comes with mysterious strict instructions about confidentiality and secrecy and mysteriously bizarre instructions about (among other things) the appropriate timing of the opening and closing of the blinds in the near-empty apartment he’ll be working in.

Such mysterious. Many intrigue.

Scribe piles on too-obvious intrigue, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Dunkirk movie review: the power of purpose

19 July 2017 2:32 PM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… Primal and exhilarating, full of dread and tension. Drops us right into the chaos of war to tell an intimate story about fear and intensity of purpose. I’m “biast” (pro): love Christopher Nolan’s films

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

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

What are movies? They are not just mere stories, not simply dismissable entertainments, not even the lowest, basest ones. They are our mutual dreams… and nightmares. They howl with our rage and scream with our pain and ache with our hopes. The best of them touch us in ways we sometimes cannot even pinpoint, probably because what has percolated up from the filmmaker’s heart and soul and mind is an expression of that same collective unconscious that is waiting in us to be spoken to. We don’t always know why these films resonate, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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City of Ghosts documentary review: how to tell a story that some don’t want told

19 July 2017 12:47 PM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… A devastating portrait of Syrian citizen journalists, of the sacrifices they make to tell of Isis occupation, and a cautionary tale for Western culture, too. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

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

For years, the only news we’ve had out of the Syrian city of Raqqa — besieged, occupied, and cut off from the outside world by the so-called Islamic State — has come via a small group of incredibly brave, driven citizen journalists known collectively as “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (Rbss). Anonymous reporters, armed with little more than digital cameras and unreliable Internet connections, send their footage out to their partners in Turkey and Germany, who then distribute their dispatches to the rest of the planet via Facebook, Twitter, and their Web site, where they eventually find their way into the mainstream media. »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, Us/Can, from Jul 18

18 July 2017 12:23 PM, PDT

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 Colossal Swallows and Amazons Unforgettable    I’m planning to watch… The Circle Shin Godzilla

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

recent releases After the Storm Certain Women Finding Kim A Good American Kong: Skull Island The Lost City of Z Personal Shopper The Promise Sour Grapes Their Finest T2 Trainspotting The Zookeeper’s Wife Aaron’s Blood The Bad Batch Beauty and the Beast Dough Aftermath The Autopsy of Jane Doe The Belko Experiment The Boss Baby CHiPs A Cure for Wellness The Fate of the Furious (aka Fast & Furious 8) Free Fire Ghost in the Shell »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Jul 17

18 July 2017 12:21 PM, PDT

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 Another Mother’s Son The Lost City of Z A Man Called Ove CHiPs The Eyes of My Mother The Levelling Life    I’m planning to watch… A Quiet Passion

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

recent releases Aquarius Certain Women Chasing Asylum Fences Finding Altamira Finding Kim The Founder Get Out The Great Wall Hidden Figures I Am Not Your Negro John Wick 2 Kong: Skull Island The Lego Batman Movie Letters from Baghdad Logan Loving Moonlight Personal Shopper Prevenge The Salesman Toni Erdmann 20th Century Women Beauty and the Beast Elle Gold Patriots Day »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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