Movie Review – Tusk

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Tusk (2014)
Written & Directed by Kevin Smith

tusk film

Wallace Bryton is a cruel man. He co-hosts a podcast, The Not-See Party where he and his partner Teddy mock whatever viral videos are currently fresh in the collective psyche. His most recent acquisition, The Kill Bill Kid (an allusion to The Star Wars Kid) brings him to Manitoba in search of an interview. That opportunity goes bust, and he scrambles for a replacement, a touch of the strange to return to his listeners. A posting in the men’s room at a bar leads Wallace to the large manor home of Howard Howe, a reclusive man with stories to tell. Howe was a sailor for many years who regales Wallace with meeting Hemingway days before D-Day and his own eventually shipwreck in the waters of the North Atlantic. It was in those waters he befriended a walrus, nicknaming him Mr. Tusk. This friendship is the motivation behind Howe’s twisted plans for Wallace.

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Movie Review – Suburbicon

Suburbicon (2017)
Written by Joel & Ethan Coen
Directed by George Clooney

suburbicon

It’s 1959 in the city of Suburbicon, USA, and the first black family has moved in. This event is causing quite the stir, and the “well-meaning” people of the town just don’t that black people are ready to live in their neighborhood yet. When The Mayers don’t seem to get the message the citizenry begin to escalate matters. Meanwhile, the next block over Nicky Lodge’s life is turned upside down when two strange men barge into the house in the middle of the night. They end up killing Nicky’s mother leaving his father, Gardner, a widow. Thankfully, Nicky’s aunt and his late mother’s sister Margaret is there to help.

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Movie Review – Life After Beth

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Life After Beth (2014)
Written & Directed by Jeff Baena

life-after-beth

Beth has died and her grieving boyfriend, Zach is stuck in a permanent depression. He is hanging out with her parents, Maury and Geenie trying to revive what it felt like for his late love to be alive. And then out of nowhere, Beth’s parents box out Zach, refusing to answer the door or his phone calls. He eventually busts in and finds Beth, alive and well, but a little confused about where she has been. Zach wants to start their relationship back up, but Maury and Geenie would prefer to keep her locked up in the house. As time goes on, Zach learns that the Beth that came back may not be precisely in the best of shape.

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Movie Review – Obvious Child

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Obvious Child (2014)
Written by Anna Bean, Karen Maine, & Gillian Robespierre
Directed by Gillian Robespierre

obvious child

Donna Stern is an amateur stand-up comedian in New York City whose life, while not the greatest of successes, is comfortable and stable. Then her boyfriend breaks up with her admitting he was cheating with one of her friends. The bookstore that provides her primary source of income announces it is closing. And then she meets Max, a young businessman who happens to stop by the bar/club where she performs stand up. After a night of drunken fun, she parts ways with Max and begins to move on with her life. The bombshell that hits Donna is that she is pregnant. Right away she knows she has to have an abortion, her life is in no way prepared for a child. However, Max keeps walking into her life, and Donna feels like she has to break this news to him.

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TV Review – The League of Gentlemen Series 3

The League of Gentlemen Series 3 (2002)
Written by Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith & Jeremy Dyson
Directed by Steve Bendelack

league of gentlemen series 3

With two series under their belt, the League of Gentlemen desired to inject freshness into their show. They accomplished this by upending the format of the first twelve episodes and making series 3 a succession of spotlights. This allowed for a greater depth of character development, something they were already good at but hindered due to the need to fit so many character bits and sketches into single entries. The more significant challenge was how to choose from such a broad catalog of creations that the group had created over the years. The chosen few were Pauline, Lance, Geoff Tipps, Alvin, Stella & Charlie, and a mysterious new character.

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Movie Review – The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin (2017)
Written by Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Peter Fellows, and Fabien Nury
Directed by Armando Iannucci

death of stalin

In 1953 Moscow, General Secretary Josef Stalin is riding high. He is in the midst of The Great Terror, a purging of intellectuals and dissidents he suspects of being disloyal not just to the Communist Party but to himself. Aiding him in these exploits is head of the NKVD Lavrentiy Beria, Deputy General Secretary Georgy Malenkov, local Moscow party leader Nikita Khrushchev, and Foreign Secretary Vyacheslav Molotov. One night while listening to a performance of Mozart on Radio Moscow while writing up a new list of citizens to be abducted and tortured, Stalin phones the station and demands a recording of the performance. When he receives the pressing later that night a note inside from the pianist rails against him as the cause of her family’s deaths. He has a sudden aneurysm and is found on death’s doorstep the next morning. What ensues in the backstage machinations of his corrupt cabinet of officials. They jockey and scheme, all trying to be the one person who comes out on top during this power vacuum.

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Movie Review – The Bling Ring

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The Bling Ring (2013)
Written & Directed by Sofia Coppola

bling ring

For almost a full year between October 2008 and August 2009, homes of celebrities in Los Angeles were being robbed while their owners were absent. The culprits were a group of teenagers from Calabasas who used celebrity blogs, looking for notices that a celeb was going to be out of town for an event, to pick their marks. Led by Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo, they managed to steal $3 million in cash and belongings. Fifty homes in all were hit, with public figures like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom among them. Their eventual arrests and trial made for a moderate media circus and led to one of the gang getting her own reality show on the American channel E! This is the absurd pseudo-celebrity of The Bling Ring.

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