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Cry Macho: Clint Eastwood Movie Not Quite Tough Enough

Cry Macho is the 39th feature film directed by Clint Eastwood, coming almost exactly 50 years after he made his directorial debut in 1971 with Play Misty for Me. It’s also Eastwood’s first time onscreen since 2018’s The Mule, which he also directed; he did not appear in his last effort behind the camera, 2019’s Richard Jewell. We mention all this simply because those last two films were far superior to this one, so it’s difficult to say if Cry Macho represents a decline in the 91-year-old filmmaker’s abilities or is just a more casually produced effort than those last…
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Will Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Reignite Love for Movie Musicals?

The musical genre has made a remarkable recovery in the 21st century. Once relegated to one of the “relics” of pop cultures past, and often put in the same neglected box as Westerns and biblical epics, genuine toe-tappers that were both original and based on Broadway shows surged to new popularity in the 2000s and 2010s. This began with the one-two punch of Baz Luhrmann’s decadent Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Rob Marshall’s more traditional Oscar winner Chicago (2002). Yet fans of the revived art-form should be watching how Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is received this December very carefully. Judging…
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Nightbooks: A Kids Movie That’s Too Scary?

I’m not quite sure who Nightbooks is for. As marketed, the latest Netflix original film appears to be a fantasy-driven horror film for kids and tweens. But the movie itself, which deals with themes of child abuse and features some objectively terrifying monsters, may be too dark for that demographic. This can be an issue with book-to-film adaptations. What works for kids in a literary format can sometimes be too scary once brought to life on-screen. That being said, for adults and kids who have a high tolerance for horror, the Sam Raimi-produced Nightbooks is definitely worth a watch. A gorgeously…
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Last Night in Soho Review: Edgar Wright Horror Movie Haunted with ’60s Style

The incredible trailer for Last Night in Soho dropped in the middle of the pandemic like an oasis in a desert for cinema-starved folks longing for bold, original films. Looking back, it seemed impossible that Edgar Wright’s latest creation would be able to live up to the impossibly high standards set for it. But Last Night in Soho manages to be part charming and part chilling in its exploration of a very specific 1960s, giallo-inspired aesthetic. It’s a kaleidoscopic flurry of colors and images, and even as it perhaps loses the thread when it’s asked to make sense of itself,…
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The Many Saints of Newark Trailer Cements Dickie Moltisanti as The Movie’s Tony

“I want to do a good deed,” Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) says in the second The Many Saints of Newark trailer. From the looks of the rest of it, it’s only partially out of contrition. The prequel movie to The Sopranos series is set in the gangster heyday, and centers on Tony’s (Michael Gandolfini) uncle, series creator and co-screenwriter David Chase insists. It is not a Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) origin story. Dickie is Tony here. You got a problem with that? “Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a…
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Once Upon a Time in America Is Every Bit as Great a Gangster Movie as The Godfather

This article contains Once Upon a Time in America spoilers. The Godfather is a great movie, possibly the best ever made. Its sequel, The Godfather, Part II, often follows it in the pantheon of classic cinema, some critics even believe it is the better film. Robert Evans, head of production at Paramount in the early 1970s, wanted The Godfather to be directed by an Italian American. Francis Ford Coppola was very much a last resort. The studio’s first choice was Sergio Leone, but he was getting ready to make his own gangster epic, Once Upon a Time in America. Though…
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Shang-Chi Box Office Sets Record, Shows Viability of Movie Theaters in Fall

After a weekend like this, one might wonder if folks huddled around a Disney conference table are giving the whole “Premier Access” thing on Disney+ a rethink. They should since the Shang-Chi box office obliterated previous Labor Day weekend records and is currently on track to earn upwards of $85 million over the four-day holiday in the U.S. The superhero origin story, which introduces a new masked avenger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe—a first for the studio since Captain Marvel back in spring 2021—posted the third best opening day during the COVID-19 pandemic by grossing an estimated $29.6 million on…
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Could Green Lantern Enthusiasm on Netflix Finally Will a DCEU Movie Into Existence?

It’s a miracle akin to the ring itself: 2011’s Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, has shot up to the top of Netflix’s Top 10 U.S. Movies list just two days after dropping on the streaming service. It’s at #3 as of this writing, with way more viewers likely to stream it over the weekend. While this may come as a surprise to those who first watched the film in theaters in 2011, interest in a Green Lantern movie has never been stronger. Despite his much maligned debut on the big screen, Green Lantern remains one of the…
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Shang-Chi Soundtrack List: Every Song From the Movie Album

One is likely to have many thoughts flit through their head while watching Marvel’s latest epic origin story Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. “Wow, Tony Leung really is handsome.” “I didn’t realize [REDACTED] was going to be in this!” But chief among those thoughts is sure to be: “Am I crazy, or does this soundtrack slap?” Well dear, reader, you are not crazy. The soundtrack for Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings does, in fact, slap. Marvel apparently agrees as it was sure to release the 18-track album the moment the film premiered in theaters…
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School of Rock Still Shows Why We Need a Jack Black Movie Musical

School of Rock is back! On Netflix, that is. This is excellent news. If we can ignore the fact that Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn does some seriously illegal, borderline sociopathic stuff in the film’s story, while also tanking an entire school year for a classroom full of precocious kids, Richard Linklater and Mike White’s family film absolutely rocks our socks off. It’s a modern classic that has spawned a Broadway show, TV adaptation, and countless click-baity “What are the kids from School of Rock doing now?” articles. Of course the chief reason why this movie goes so hard is…
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Candyman Review: Horror Movie Update is a Missed Opportunity

In 1992, I begged my father to take me to see Candyman. He had already turned me into a horror fanatic so he needed to follow through and take me. After the film was over, I was terrified for weeks. My brain would manifest Candyman in the shadows of my room while I slept. As an adult, I don’t fancy the film as much, but I realized the allure of Candyman was that he was a terror specific to the Black community despite the circumstances of his death. I knew as a child that housing was an issue for poor…
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