REVIEW: Inheritance [2020]

The truth must stay buried. Simple questions rarely have simple answers. Take the one that’s posed to Lauren Monroe (Lily Collins) upon the death of her father Archer (Patrick Warburton): Are you loyal to your family or justice? Most would probably say both since they have it in their minds that their family is on justice’s side. Despite her desire to be one, however, Lauren isn’t that person. She partly worked to become District Attorney precisely because her family’s name was more aligned with money and murky morality than lawful…

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FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Better Watch Out [2017]

“U LEAVE U DIE” It’s Christmas and songs of carolers are in the air of a quaint suburban neighborhood populated by houses big enough to list four bedrooms yet safe enough to not need alarms. Perfectly imperfect families live inside them like the pulls-no-punches Deandra (Virginia Madsen) and affably self-deprecating Robert (Patrick Warburton) showing how love can take and sometimes excel with a little argumentatively sarcastic friction. They may drink and swear, but they’d do anything for twelve-going-on-thirteen year old son Luke (Levi Miller)—and he knows it. A sensitive kid…

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REVIEW: Ted 2 [2015]

“Fresh cakes” Something Steve Harvey said on a recent episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” really struck me: “Tragedy strikes. I got news for you—we have the jokes that night. We know that we can’t bring this to the public yet cause we’ll get hammered. But in a room alone, when it’s just us, we have the jokes already ready.” He’s right. If the joke is funny—no matter what the circumstance is—it’s funny. Your finding it offense or “too-soon” isn’t a comment on the joke itself, but on your…

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REVIEW: Mr. Peabody & Sherman [2014]

“But that’s not fair! All my friends are fighting the Trojan War!” It’s been a decade in the making but director Rob Minkoff has finally brought Mr. Peabody and Sherman to theaters. He tried with Sony in 2003, got the ball rolling again with Dreamworks in 2006, and saw the latter studio’s purchase of the Classic Media library in 2012 as the clincher to guarantee it’d come to fruition. With characters known from segments of the 60s television series “The Bullwinkle Show”, they’re virtually a brand new property for today’s…

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REVIEW: Ted [2012]

“Thanks for creeping up my night” If you looked at the trailers for Seth MacFarlane‘s Ted and thought it would be a full-length, live action riff on his popular animated television show “Family Guy”, you wouldn’t be wrong. However, if your assumption also carried the thought such a result would end up overlong, obnoxious, and too weak to sustain its one-note joke, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. I won’t say this crude, R-rated fantasy about a teddy bear come to life will be for everyone, but MacFarlane and “Guy”…

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REVIEW: Men in Black II [2002]

“I see you neuralyzed another partner” There’s nothing like a lost memory trope to allow lazy screenwriters the opportunity to explain their film within the construct of its plot. Despite an inventive, tongue-in-cheek reenactment program hosted by Peter Graves about mysterious conspiracy stories ushering us back into the Men in Black universe, Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro‘s subversion of their expository prologue is wasted. No one enjoys disembodied voices and scrolling text to describe backstory in a Kindergarten teacher’s tone of superiority, so why not poke some fun at the…

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REVIEW: Get Smart [2008]

“Chuck Norris and a BB-gun” It’s always nice to leave a theatre thinking how much better the film you just saw was compared to what you expected it to be going in. I’m not saying that the big screen version of Get Smart is a classic work of cinema history, but when you go in thinking that the overall piece will be boring, asinine, and a waste of time only to come out with a smile on your face knowing that you’ve been entertained for two hours: it is a…

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