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“Dolemite” is his name. Get used to it.

Film includes some Oscar-worthy performances
Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key and Mike Epps

“Dolemite is My Name”, the new film from the immensely-talented Craig Brewer, is a pleasant surprise and certainly one of the most entertaining and emotionally satisfying films I have seen this year. The wildly-vulgar character of Dolemite was the brainchild of struggling seventies comedian Rudy Ray Moore. Moore's material was too raw for the major record labels of those days, but the success ... more >

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Brad Pitt sets off in search of a father in mesmerizing “Ad Astra”

The universe is big, lest we forget
Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga
Directed by James Gray

“Ad astra,” the new film by James Gray, is more meditation than story. The title (one half of the latin phrase “per aspera ad astra” or “through hardships to the stars”) is apt given the amount of time travel and the fascinating hardware that allows it, though the tale meanders, causing some confusion. With various stellar transportation modes, it takes us from one distant planet to the next ... more >

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“The Lighthouse,” a mind-bending, psychologically-intense thriller

Two men's descent into madness
Willem Defoe, Robert Pattinson and Valeriia Karaman
Directed by Robert Eggers

A devious and creepy psychological film in the horror/thriller genre has made its way into cinemas in the form of Robert Eggers’s second feature, “The Lighthouse.” His first film “The Witch” was a masterpiece of tone and tension and staked its claim as one of the finest horror films of the past twenty-five years. Now comes Eggers’s latest film, one that is sure to shock, enthrall, and ... more >

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“FIRST LOVE” (this is why I go to the movies!)

映画ニュース Crazy, fun and gorey 初恋
Becky, Sakurako Konishi, Masataka Kubota and Sakurako Konishi
Directed by Takashi Miike 三池 崇史

A Takashi Miike film. Don’t be afraid. Jump into his cinematic world. While he isn’t always perfect, good or bad, his films hold unique and fascinating wonders for cinephiles. “First Love” ("Hatsukoi" in the original Japanese, is Miike’s best film since 2010’s “13 Assassins.” This is a wild ride but just wild enough. Being a Miike film, we are treated to scenes of the bizarre and macabre, but ... more >

TALKING WITH Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, co-filmmakers of “The Elephant Queen”

Film will play in select theaters on October 18th and begin streaming on November 1st

When making a documentary out in nature, sometimes the story will find the filmmakers along the way. Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble spent four years solidly with a small team on the African savanna following an elephant pack led by a female named Athena for their new documentary, “The Elephant Queen,” but they always wanted to do it their own way, and not have financiers dictating the direction of ... more >

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“Joker,” a morality-defying, two-hour drop down a man’s impaired psyche

This is Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips's first collaboration together
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy
Directed by Todd Phillips

I’m always skeptical when a film receives too much hype. With the on-again, off-again quality of American fare, I try not to set my hopes too high, especially when it comes to a film about the D.C. Comics's The Joker, by the director of “The Hangover” series. It is with great pleasure that I report that, while the film itself isn’t the cinematic masterpiece that some have christened it, Todd ... more >

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IN CONVERSATION with THE LAUNDROMAT’S Scott Z. Burns and Jake Bernstein

The Panama Papers investigation revisited for the screen

The scandal surrounding the revelations contained in the Panama Papers is labyrinthine. So complex, in fact, that Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Jake Bernstein spent years unearthing the intricacies of the enmeshment of the financial system and Russian interests for his book, “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite,” ... more >