Movie Review – Lean on Pete

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Lean on Pete (2018)
Written & Directed by Andrew Haigh

lean on pete

Charley is a boy with a rough, uncertain life. His mother ran out on him and his Dad when Charley was young, and now Dad shuffles them around from place to place, never staying long enough to plant any roots. Charley loved when they lived with Aunt Margy, but there was an argument and another move. Now the duo has settled in Portland where Dad is fooling around with a married woman and failing to keep food in the house. Sixteen-year-old Charley discovers a horse racing track nearby and gets a job helping Del with his racehorses. Charley feels an instant bond towards Lean on Pete, an aging quarterhorse whom Del seems eager to get rid of. As the boy and his horse’s relationship grows, and life at home falls apart, Charley feels an urge to run.

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Movie Review – The Last Movie Star

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The Last Movie Star (2018)
Written & Directed by Adam Rifkin

last movie star

Vic Edwards (played by and loosely based on Burt Reynolds) has passed his prime as an A-list actor in Hollywood. His glory days were the 1970s, and now he’s a frail old man living alone in his gated estate in 2018. A letter comes from Nashville inviting him to a film festival where he will be awarded a lifetime achievement honorific. Vic debates going and finally gives but arrives to find the event is not prestigious but operated out of a bar. The organizers are enthusiastic fans of his work, but Vic feels lied to and humiliated. He eventually strikes up a friendship with one of the organizer’s sisters, Lil, a troubled young woman who reminds Vic of his daughter. Together they journey back to Vic’s childhood home so he can account for some of his past mistakes.

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Movie Review – Suspiria (2018)

Suspiria (2018)
Written by David Kajganich
Directed by Luca Guadagino

suspiria 2018

In 1977, Suzie, a young American woman arrives into the heart of political strife igniting Berlin. She has come to join the prestigious Markos Dance Academy, hoping to work under the tutelage of Madame Blanc. Suzie slowly becomes aware of interpersonal conflicts that happened between the matrons of the academy and former student, Patricia. Patricia fled the school and sought out the help of psychologist Dr. Josef Klemperer. She tells him that the women of the school have eyes and ears that can see her no matter where she goes and that she is a marked woman. Klemperer becomes further convinced when he reads the girl’s diary detailing her discoveries of a cabal working beneath the surface of the Markos school. All the while, revolutionary groups sow chaos throughout Berlin, dredging up guilt from the war and forcing a confrontation.

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Movie Review – The Vanishing of Sidney Hall

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The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2018)
Written by Shawn Christensen & James Dolan
Directed by Shawn Christensen

vanishing sidney hall

The film opens with the title character, Sidney Hall clacking away at a short story for his high school English class. We cut to him reading said story, interspersed with images of a faceless cheerleader. The story ends up being a piece of self-indulgent misogyny, all about boiling a depersonalized crush into a figure of adolescent masturbation. This is our…protagonist. Sidney Hall. In a flurry of scenes that follow we find Hall becoming a famous published author and finally into a homeless recluse, announcing that this film will be about the search for who this man is and why he is doing what he does. I can’t emphasize how horrible this movie is.

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TV Review – Channel Zero: The Dream Door

Channel Zero: The Dream Door (2018)
Written by Nick Antosca, Alexandra Pechman, Lenore Zion, Lisa Long, Mallory Westfall, Isabella Gutierrez, Justin Boyd, and Angel Varak-Iglar
Directed by E.L. Katz

dream door channel zero

Jillian has just married her childhood sweetheart Tom, and they have moved into his family home with plans to renovate it. One day they discover a door in the basement that wasn’t there before and appears to be impossible to open. Using saws, sledgehammers, and even a shotgun they find the baby blue door won’t open. Finally, Jillian realizes she can open it without a key, it only responds to her touch. Hidden on the other side of the door is something from Jillian’s past, dredged up by her anxieties over her new marriage and questions of her husband’s faithfulness. A new neighbor is there to comfort her. Her psychiatrist is skeptical of her claims and tries to help her. However, this evil thing is awake, and it is leaving the basement.

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Movie Review – Lincoln

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Lincoln (2012)
Written by Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner
Directed by Steven Spielberg

lincoln spielberg

The American Civil War has been slogging on for four years. Hundreds of thousands are dead, and many in the North want it to end. President Abraham Lincoln has been elected to a second term by a landslide and has one thing he wants to spend his political capital on The 13th Amendment. Members of his cabinet and the Republican party are highly skeptical of betting all their chips on this risky Constitutional move. Lincoln is steadfast and works every angle possible to garner the votes. Meanwhile, a peace commission has been sent by Confederate leader Jefferson Davis to end things, but Lincoln knows if peace without the freedom of slaves is on the table the legislators will likely go with peace and nothing else. Time is running out, more than even the President realizes.

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TV Review – The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Written by Mike Flanagan, Meredith Averill, Jeff Howard, Charise Castro Smith, Rebecca Klingel
Directed by Mike Flanagan

haunting of hill house

Hugh and Olivia Crain bought Hill House in the summer of 1992 with grand plans to renovate & flip the house as the final stepping stone on their way to building a dream home of their own. The Crains brought their five children to live with them and over the course of the next few months, their lives descended into a nightmare. Twenty-six years later the Crain children are dysfunctional and distant, each attempting to make his or her way through life with little hope. Steve is a famous horror author who lives in denial while Shirley runs a funeral home and always seems on the verge of exploding in anger. The rest don’t fare any better. An event occurs one night that forces them all back together, forces beyond their control as moving them towards a moment of confrontation with their family’s past and their horrors. It is time to come home.

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