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Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ will make you want to stand up and cheer

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If you look closely, you’ll notice that The Post is a Mr. Show reunion.

Image: NIko Tavernise

It’s no accident that Steven Spielberg’s The Post feels timely. The whole thing came together in about eight months, making it one of the first studio pictures to directly respond to the Trump presidency.

With such a rushed schedule, you might expect The Post to suffer in quality. But that’s not the case at all, at least according to the reviews, which range from mildly positive to raving. Here’s what the critics are saying about The Post:

It’s more thrilling than you’d expect

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:

An unofficial prequel to All the President’s Men 41 years after the fact, The Post stirringly dramatizes the tale of how The Washington Post and its equivocating owner rose to the occasion by publishing the Pentagon Papers in June of 1971. Punchy and quick-pulsed, it’s a fine example of that now-rare species, the big-city newspaper melodrama.

Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice:

Spielberg connects with the derring-do at the story’s heart. Beyond being one of our greatest filmmakers, he’s also one of our most self-aware, and understands that he’s crossing the streams a little: He shoots this political drama like a long-lost Indiana Jones movie.

It’s maybe a little heavy-handed – but it works

Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast:

The script is chockful of the kinds of platitudes that would ordinarily arm critics with enough artillery to eviscerate a movie for being corny, heavy-handed, or unforgivably maudlin. But with towering, bonafide movie star performances by Streep and Hanks—respectively the best they’ve been in years—and an assured, almost dutiful directorial energy from Spielberg, The Post becomes less a movie than a mission.

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:

Spielberg pushes these moments right to the brink of corniness, but you wouldn’t want it any other way, particularly as the ink-stained romance of the newspaper business plays up to his sentimental streak. There is a glorious sequence in which one of the key reporters, played with hangdog nobility by Bob Odenkirk, is tapping at his typewriter late at night when the printing presses rumble into action down below. He feels the building shudder and allows himself a satisfied smile: his words have literally caused the earth to shake. 

It’s probably gonna win an Oscar

Kristy Puchko, Pajiba:

You’ll watch The Post and think of movies like All The President’s Men, The Paper and Network. And then maybe you’ll realize those movies are all decades old. And that maybe why you’re thinking of them is because this movie feels like it could be decades old. It’s a good, reliable drama. It’s also safe, predictable Oscar bait with nothing new to say.

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:

Spielberg’s film is rousing and cannily made. It’s a straight-down-the-middle Hollywood liberal picture that might drop a big studio bomb on the year’s smaller Oscar hopefuls. The Post just hits so many of the right buttons, so effectively, that it seems like something made in a lab to win big showbiz awards handed out by happily comforted and inspired Democrats.

The Post is in theaters December 22.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/06/the-post-movie-review-roundup/

New Movie Reviews

Captive State review ambitious sci-fi thriller offers up uneven intrigue

Charmaine Blake

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“A jumble of themes and ideas jostle for space in an audacious, but often messy, film that takes a familiar alien invasion set-up and goes for broke

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Buried somewhere underneath the wreckage, theres a smart little sci-fi film pulsing at the centre of Captive State, a scrappy, unwieldy curio with plenty on its mind, coherence not necessarily included. Shot over two years ago and pushed around the release schedule, its a troubled project that feels troubled, with confused editing and clear structural issues clueing us in on its difficult journey to the screen. Its a frustrating experience but one that remains worthwhile because theres just enough of a glimmer of the film it could have been to make it worth watching the film it turned into instead.

Were presented with a familiar set-up: aliens have invaded Earth leading to destruction, division and plenty of dust. But unlike the majority of similar films that have come before, were then presented with an idea of what comes after. What if aliens stuck around? What if an uneasy arrangement was made with Earths governing bodies? And what if the invaders were now seen as the main legislative force whose presence had actually led to a statistically safer society? Its a fascinating conceit and one that raises a string of intriguing questions, some of which the film answers with skill.

Pitched somewhere between District 9 and The Purge, writer-director Rupert Wyatt, whose 2011 prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprisingly urgent and necessary blockbuster, focuses the action on Chicago and how the new world order affects a city already struggling with crime and economic disparity. His lead is Gabriel, played by Moonlights Ashton Sanders, existing in one of the poorer districts and working in a factory tasked with wiping data from digital devices, which have been outlawed. His brother Rafe (Jonathan Majors, a rising star after his charming turn in Sundance darling The Last Black Man in San Francisco) was leading a resistance against the state but after his death, Gabriel finds himself scrambling for an escape………………………………………………………………”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/mar/14/captive-state-review-ambitious-sci-fi-thriller-offers-up-uneven-intrigue

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New Movie Reviews

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ demands to be watched and watched again

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There’s a reason this lady has an Oscar.

Image: Universal

“When the credits rolled on Us, I realized I needed a minute.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like the film – quite the opposite. It was that the film, written and directed by Jordan Peele, is so rich, so layered, so diabolically clever and emotionally astute, that it felt an enormous undertaking to process in a single sitting.

Several hours and many conversations later, I’m still convinced this film has secrets I haven’t uncovered yet, and I’m just eager for my next chance to go digging through it again.

Which is not to say it’s without surface-level pleasures. Moment to moment, Us is a film designed to make you react – to get you to giggle at Winston Duke’s extreme dad-ness (“You don’t need the internet. You have the outernet!” he tells his exasperated teenage daughter), or scream at a villain silently materializing in the corner of a frame. And it shapeshifts so frequently, and so deftly, that it’s a fool’s errand to guess at any moment what might happen next.

But it quickly becomes obvious that Us has a lot more on its mind than making you jump. Every detail here seems carefully considered, down to the amount of dust gathered on a coffee table in a rarely used living room. In the hands of a filmmaker this precise, much of the fun is in waiting to see just how his intricate puzzle will come together.

Family bonding time can be sweet *and* sinister.

Image: Universal

Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Evan Alex are instantly winning as the Wilson family, whose beach vacation is cruelly interrupted by funhouse-mirror versions of themselves. These strangers – clad in blood-red jumpsuits and armed with gleaming gold scissors – are hell-bent not just on killing them, but on explaining exactly why they’re doing so…………………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/us-jordan-peele-review/

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New Movie Reviews

Fighting With My Family review, Stephen Merchant has all the right moves

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The writer-directors story of a British female wrestler striving to make it big in the US winningly balances oddball humour with affection for the antics of the WWE

“These are big movies, insists Michael Lerners studio boss in the Coen brothers 1991 hit Barton Fink, about big men in tights, both physically and mentally! Hes trying to explain to John Turturros angsty writer the inherent parameters of a wrestling movie, insisting: We dont put Wally Beery in a fruity movie about suffering. Yet just as William Faulkner reportedly did uncredited rewrites on Beerys 1932 picture Flesh, so writer-director Stephen Merchant here manages to subvert the genre and inject some of that Barton Fink feeling into this uplifting romp. Inspired by Max Fishers similarly titled Channel 4 documentary about a Norwich wrestling clan, Fighting With My Family is a hugely likable underdog tale, packing plenty of crowd-pleasing comedy wallop, and boasting a smack-down turn from the indomitable Florence Pugh.

Building on her brilliantly modulated performances in Carol Morleys The Falling and William Oldroyds Lady Macbeth, Pugh gets physical as Saraya (AKA Britani), punchy daughter of wrestlers………………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/mar/03/fighting-with-my-family-review-stephen-merchant-florence-pugh-dwayne-rock-johnson

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