REVIEW: Bushwick [2017]

“We’ll make it one block at a time” The circumstances are horrific, but Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott‘s Bushwick couldn’t have picked a timelier week to hit limited theatrical release. We’re just barely ten days out from the tragic death of a counter-protestor by a white supremacist and the viral footage of so-called “alt-right” militias strapped with automatic weaponry while adorned in full camouflage. These are the Nazis who scream racial epithets and lament about taking “their” country back, the men and women who truly believe America is a nation…

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REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2 [2015]

“And there are the props” A surprise hit from 2012, Pitch Perfect was more than hype. It was good. Good enough for a sequel? Sure. I was excited to see what might happen until the trailer dropped. Boy did that thing look like a train wreck attempt at capturing lightning in a bottle by mimicking the original with supposedly higher stakes (but really just bigger scale/budget). Why deal with a capella at a collegiate level again when you can expand internationally? Because small was a proven success, that’s why. It…

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REVIEW: Always Woodstock [2014]

“Don’t love anyone that makes you hate your art” The feature debut of writer/director Rita Merson is mired in convention. Think to yourself about five cinematic tropes that could be found in a romantic dramedy and I’ll bet you at least four are present in Always Woodstock. But that’s not telling you anything you wouldn’t already guess from a plot centering on a young wannabe songwriter stuck in a dead-end, soul sucking job meant to help get a foot into the music industry who finds herself escaping to the country…

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REVIEW: Pitch Perfect [2012]

“He is a hunter” Anything trying to capitalize on the now waning “Glee” craze and Step Up‘s surprising staying power probably should be dismissed sight unseen. How could a film dealing with the catty rivalries of the a cappella world be anything but an eye-rolling waste of celluloid? This is probably exactly what Universal Pictures thinks we’ll assume because they are throwing all their weight behind Pitch Perfect with an early release in select cities and a Twitter campaign putting one of its stars in the end credits to thank…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, the campiness, and the transvestites are present—and what work based on a John Waters film wouldn’t—but everything is displayed out of context. Soundbytes and visuals are shown without explanation and believed to just be a…

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REVIEW: Prom Night [2008]

“Should I be worried?” After a Halloween season of watching some pretty good horror films, mostly high concept, visually interesting ones, I decided I needed to take a break and check out one of the tween travesties released every year to huge box office numbers. So, in comes the 2008 remake of Prom Night—you don’t get much lower on the drivel scale than this one folks. Pretty much all the killing is done off-screen, the prom in question looks as though it cost a million dollars in order to appear…

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