movie review

First things first. This is not a horror film in the true sense of the genre. It’s masquerading as a horror movie because it defies any kind of traditional category other than “carnival ride.” I haven’t had this kind of “WTH” response to a movie since Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” which in the end, I decided, was an elaborate practical joke executed purely by the filmmaker for his own pleasure.

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It must be in the genes because Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the director of “Home Again,” is also the daughter of Nancy Meyers, otherwise known as the queen of romantic comedies — albeit upper middle class and beyond. Everything about a NM rom-com is pretty — pretty people leading pretty privileged lives in pretty homes — and now her daughter offers the same heaping helping of unreality.

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Taylor Sheridan is probably best remembered as the deputy in “Sons of Anarchy” who didn’t make it past the second season. It’s best to think of him as a writer and director now, and in his two previous films, “Sicario” about the drug trade and “Hell or High Water” with two bank-robbing brothers, Sheridan has solidified his credibility as both.

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It’s not easy revisiting the past, but sometimes it’s necessary. At least that’s how director Kathryn Bigelow felt about the epic Detroit riot of 1967. Ignited by an afterhours raid on a black nightclub by the Detroit police force, it lasted for days.

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Where were you when the wall came tumbling down? In the fall of 1989, Reagan was in the Oval Office and Eastern Europe was in a free fall. Frankly, I don’t remember where I was when the Berlin Wall finally fell, but as the premise for this movie, it intrigued me from the beginning.

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Talk about a hard sell: A comedy about a young woman in a medically induced coma near death is risky business. But what is it comedians always say? Comedy is nothing but mining your personal tragedies for laughs, and that’s what comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon have done in their touching, hilarious story.

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‘Baby Driver’

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Rated: R

 

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Once in awhile, a veteran actor will connect with a role that showcases them to the degree there is talk of an Oscar nomination — maybe a win. And it can revive a career, if needed. “The Hero” will not be such a role for Sam Elliott, although it seems tailor-made for him.

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What I hoped would be a yummy art house feature to relieve a long, hot summer fell far short of my expectations. Allow me to save you a needless trip to a Houston cinema to see “My Cousin Rachel” when you can just wait for cable pay-per-view. I’ll wager it will be available by August.

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Consider this a little in-between-seasons truffle before the summer movies hit theaters. Spring is always a mixed bag of movies that range from pretty good to awful and run the gamut of genres: horror, humor and animation. Some recent ones have been surprisingly good like “Life,” the sci-fi horror movie, and “Boss Baby,” the DreamWorks animated feature with Alec Baldwin.

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