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Booksmart: Funny, Fearless, and Feminist AF

Olivia Wilde is proving to be the blueprint for successfully segueing from acting into directing with the buzzy new coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, releasing wide this weekend through patron saint indie studio to female filmmakers, Annapurna. If any film should bring the indie studio solidly into the black, this hilarious, heartfelt celebration of feminist teenage badassery …

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review-Wasted Wizardry

The latest foray into the magical wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is brought to us by J.K. Rowling. As the film’s screenwriter, it might be proof positive that she is indeed a muggle, and not a witch in disguise.  It’s not the acting or the world-building, the beasts, or the special effects …

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A SIMPLE FAVOR review: This Great Noir Throwback is Anything but Simple

Sometimes a torrid thriller is just the thing, but they’re so rare these days. Do you miss Joan Crawford and Hope Lange and all those trashy melodramas of the 50s, even though you weren’t alive back then?  Me, too.  Thank the cinematic gods for director Paul Feig, who helms A Simple Favor, a film based …

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THE BOOKSHOP review: Indie Film Royalty Acting Together

What can one say about The Bookshop, a movie that stars Emily Mortimer, and cinematic treasures co-stars Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson? It’s a bit like PBS version of a superhero movie…The Bookshop is directed by Isabel Coixet, who wrote the screenplay from the classic 60s novel by Penelope Fitzgerald. In 1959 England, widow Florence …

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post Review and Interviews: Real Life Horror with a Splash of John Hughes

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Emily Danforth, is directed and co-written by queer American-Iranian filmmaker Desiree Akhavan.  This Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning indie tells a story that takes place in 1993 chronicling the misadventures of Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz), a teen placed in a …

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Cinema Siren Reviews: Ant-Man and The Wasp & Sorry To Bother You

There are two wonderful movies coming to theaters this weekend, one by a huge studio, Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, and the other by a first time writer/director, being distributed by independent company Annapurna called Sorry To Bother You.  Both will take you to a completely other world, and both are great diversions depending on …

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RBG Review: This Doc Shows Ruth Bader Ginsburg Giving Superhero Realness

I’m sure you all have heard about how audiences assembled for Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel superhero movie has broken the record for the biggest opening weekend ever.  This weekend, another film, which features the closest thing to a real superhero we have in the US, is opening, and will make a great companion piece, …

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Lean On Pete Review: Elegiac, Heartbreaking, and Great

Lean on Pete is by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years), and is based on the novel by Willy Vlautin. The story is centered on fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer), who is new to Portland, Oregon, having been brought by his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel). Ray’s life starts falling apart, but Charley’s starts looking up …

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