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The Hate U Give Review: Starr Power

Opening in wider release this weekend is the film adaptation of The Hate U Give, the bestselling novel by Angie Thomas.  Director George Tillman Jr (Soul Food, Barbershop) brings to the screen the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is the only eye-witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at …

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A Star is Born Review: 4th Time’s a Charm, but Just as Tragic

There are some movies that have been done enough, or so I thought, when I heard actor Bradley Cooper had chosen to reinterpret the thrice-released A Star is Born.  Loving the actor and lead actress, the mega-star Lady Gaga, as well as co-star Sam Elliott (who proves for what must be the hundredth time he …

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Crazy Rich Asians movie review: Represention Matters but Charisma Sells

Coming to theaters is the much anticipated movie Crazy Rich Asians, the first all-Asian cast film sent into wide release since 1993’s Joy Luck Club has taken over the entertainment news, which may mean impressive box office numbers.  Great. It deserves them. Based on the best-selling Kevin Kwan novel, this Cinderella tale is filled with …

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Incredibles 2 review: Worth the Wait and Super Satisfying

It’s been over a decade since Pixar’s The Incredibles charmed and entertained audiences, with its whirlwind of snappy graphics, fast-paced story,  and delightful characters, rendering it a studio favorite to many.  Now, after much waiting, comes Incredibles 2.  Clearly it can’t match the quality of the first, right? Sequels almost never do.  Almost.  Prepare to be …

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Cinema Siren Interviews on MPAA’s TheCredits

The Credits, an arm of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), is a group that facilitates in-depth analyses of what makes film-making great. By partnering with many great writers and interviewers, The Credits provides insightful glimpses into a myriad of subjects and figures within the film industry. As one of these interviewers, Leslie Combemale …

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The Seagull Movie Review: Russian Classic as Counter-programming

There’s a new version of one of playwright Anton Chekhov’s most famous plays, The Seagull, being released on film this weekend. With Anette Bening, Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Moss heading up a great ensemble cast, this incarnation is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award for directing Spring Awakening on Broadway, from as interpreted …

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A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review: So Centered in Joy, Cynics Need Not Apply

Sparkle alert!  If you’ve seen any of the trailers for the highly-publicized cinematic rendering of Madeline L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time, you know sparkle figures prominently. Director Ava DuVernay, who has the distinction of being the first women of color to direct of live action film with a budget over 100 …

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Oh Lucy! Film Review: Messy Change Makes for Great Film

The new indie release Oh Lucy, from Japanese-American writer/director Atsuko Hirayanagi, examines the life of Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a lonely, chain-smoking woman of a certain age.  It’s the sort of film that captures well-crafted characters undergoing real change, with all the messiness, hilarity, and unpleasantness attached to it. After being confronted with mortality, Setsuko says …

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