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‘Marcel The Shell With Shoes On’ is Truly Delightful (Review)
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‘Marcel The Shell With Shoes On’ is Truly Delightful (Review)

Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate's online phenomenon of Marcel The Shell earns his first big screen adventure in 'Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.' A24's first foray into family films is a feature-length adaptation of the short films that the former couple posted on YouTube over a decade ago. In the years since, the duo fell in love, got married, got divorced, and still managed to make this truly delightful film together. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (the original YouTube video) https://youtu.be/VF9-sEbqDvU Marcel's Big Screen Adventure Marcel (voiced by Slate) is not a snail - he's a walking and talking (and often rolling) seashell with one googly eye. His family gets whisked away into a suitcase during a fight between the humans in the house where they lived. N...
Tribeca Film Festival 2022 Dispatch (Reviews)
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Tribeca Film Festival 2022 Dispatch (Reviews)

The 21st annual Tribeca Film Festival has been been going on since June 8. The in-person portion of the event has ended, but the online "at home" programming continues through this weekend. I haven't had as much time as I would like to dive in to everything. I've focused so far on some of the excellent documentaries on the lineup. All of the films featured below had their World Premiere at Tribeca and are available to rent online for $15/each and are viewable through the Tribeca At Home app until Sunday, June 26. This was the 21st year of the Tribeca Film Festival. 'Butterfly in the Sky' Directors Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb follow-up 'Jasper Mall' with this loving portrait of the long-running PBS series, 'Reading Rainbow.' Host LeVar Burton is interviewed along...
‘Lightyear’ is a Summer Blast for Kids and Adults (Review)
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‘Lightyear’ is a Summer Blast for Kids and Adults (Review)

Pixar's 'Lightyear' marks the beloved animation company's first feature film in nearly two years to be released theatrically. 'Soul,' 'Luca,' and 'Turning Red' were all sent straight to Disney+ for streaming during the pandemic. This film, with its connection to an existing film series that is the fourth-highest-grossing animated franchise in history, finds the company back on the big screen where they belong. And when I say big screen, let me encourage you to see this in IMAX if you can. Many large-format screens are sticking with 'Jurassic World Dominion' this weekend. 'Lightyear' should at least get matinees in most areas. This is the first time that Pixar has ever crafted a film with the full IMAX screen in mind. The full IMAX aspect ratio is used in multiple sequences. Those ...
‘Crimes of the Future’ is Frustratingly Inert (Review)
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‘Crimes of the Future’ is Frustratingly Inert (Review)

Let's get one thing absolutely clear - David Cronenberg's 'Crimes of the Future' was my most anticipated film of the year. To prepare for it, I rewatched 'eXistenZ' and 'Crash.' Those turned out to be the two closest parallels in his oeuvre to this, but the concept here is better than the execution. The storyline is frustratingly inert, succeeding mostly on the strength of the incredible cast. Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux star in David Cronenberg's 'Crimes of the Future' (Neon) Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux star as Saul and Caprice. In a strange not-so-distant future they're performance artists. She's a former trauma surgeon and Saul has the unique ability to form new organs in his body. Not just any organs, but unknown organs that may or may not serve an evolutionary...
‘The Northman’ Seeks Revenge (Review)
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‘The Northman’ Seeks Revenge (Review)

Maverick filmmaker Robert Eggers ('The Witch,' 'The Lighthouse') returned to the theaters earlier this Spring with his breathtaking third feature, 'The Northman.' Expanding far beyond the independent and intimate vibe of his earlier work, 'The Northman' is a full-scale, big budget Viking saga based on a legend that actually inspired Shakespeare's 'Hamlet.' The powerful script was co-written by Eggers and Icelandic author and songwriter Sjón, which explains how Eggers was able to get Björk out of cinematic retirement for a brief role here. She is just a small part of an epic tale that is aided by a top-notch cast. Alexander Skarsgård in 'The Northman.' (Focus Features) As a young child, Prince Amleth (played as an adult by Alexander Skarsgård) watches as his father King Aurva...
Dive in to ‘George Carlin’s American Dream’ on HBO (Review)
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Dive in to ‘George Carlin’s American Dream’ on HBO (Review)

'George Carlin's American Dream' is a new HBO docuseries from directors Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio that chronicles the life and career of one of the greatest comedians of all time. Split into two parts and totalling nearly 4 hours, it pays loving tribute to a comedy legend. He was a man who evolved from a very safe mainstream comedy career in the early 1960s into a controversial comic with prophetic routines. It's fascinating that material he performed decades ago regarding abortion rights have gone viral again in 2022. That's how observant and ahead of the curve he was. https://youtu.be/M-bLf4F0PM4 Breaking Down the Life of a Comedy Legend Apatow and Bonfiglio dissect his life more or less in chronological order. Carlin was interested in comedy and becoming a D...
Travel with Sandra Bullock to ‘The Lost City’ (Review)
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Travel with Sandra Bullock to ‘The Lost City’ (Review)

The acting career of Sandra Bullock has taken a bit of a back seat in recent years with only a handful of starring roles since 2018's heist caper 'Ocean's 8.' While doing press for 'The Lost City,' she revealed that she's going back on a hiatus to spend time with her children. Presumably that will go into full effect again once she promotes 'Bullet Train' later this year. As proven with films like 'Miss Congeniality' and 'The Heat,' Bullock is at her best when given the space to be funny. Her spot-on comic timing is on display in this ridiculously over-the-top adventure that pairs her with Channing Tatum. Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in 'The Lost City' (Paramount Pictures) Bullock stars as Loretta Sage, a burnt-out author who specializes in historical rom...
‘Happening’ is a Searing Reminder of Life Before Roe v. Wade (Review)
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‘Happening’ is a Searing Reminder of Life Before Roe v. Wade (Review)

'Happening,' released by IFC Films from director Audrey Diwan, could have just been an emotionally charged look back at what life was like for women when abortion was illegal. This 1960's-set drama stands poised to be not just be a look back at the past. It's also a terrifying look into what the future may hold in America if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade. Louise Orry-Diquéro, Anamaria Vartolomei, and Luàna Bajrami in 'Happening' (IFC Films) Based on a True Story 'Happening' takes place in 1963-era France. Based on Annie Ernaux’s semi-autobiographical novel, Anamaria Vartolomei gives a César award-winning performance as Anne, a vibrant young Literature student. Her life becomes derailed after a one-night stand leads to pregnancy. Diwan divides the film up int...
Hulu’s ‘Crush’ is a Charming Queer Rom-Com (Review)
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Hulu’s ‘Crush’ is a Charming Queer Rom-Com (Review)

Hulu's 'Crush' is part of a growing batch of films and television series that focus on young queer people finding love. Following Netflix's 'Heartstopper' series, which is one of the most charming love stories in recent years of any orientation, this heartfelt and comic debut feature from director Sammi Cohen follows a young artist named Paige (Rowan Blanchard) who would do anything to get close to the girl she has a crush on at school. Rowan Blanchard and Auli'i Cravalho star in 'Crush' (Photo by: Hulu) For Paige, being gay has just been a fact of life. She's been out at school for years and has an overly supportive mother (Megan Mullally) who tries to show her how much of a cool mom she is by gifting her vibrators and dental dams. The target of her affection is Gabriela (I...
Michael Bay Returns With Action-Packed ‘Ambulance’ (Review)
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Michael Bay Returns With Action-Packed ‘Ambulance’ (Review)

The new film from maverick director Michael Bay will stand the test of time with audiences despite its lackluster showing at the box office. The action-packed thriller is a remake of a 2005 Dutch film called 'Ambulancen' about brothers who risk it all to pull off a bank robbery to cover some massive medical bills. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Will, an unemployed veteran with a newborn baby and a wife in need of a costly experimental surgery. He is struggling to find a job that will pay him enough to help his family when he gets a proposition from his half-brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal). Without much time to consider the implications of his decision, he agrees to join Danny and his nefarious crew to pull off a bank robbery that could solve all of his problems. As is o...