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Review

Pig Review | A Surprisingly Hinged Nicolas Cage

Pig Review | A Surprisingly Hinged Nicolas Cage

Michael Sarnoski’s directorial debut, Pig, is quite misleading when you notice that Nicolas Cage is involved with it. You would think it is about a man seeking revenge for his lost swine in the style of John Wick or something like Mandy (2018), but it is a different movie than that. It is a character-driven drama about the little things that help remember people of their pasts. Even though it touches on emotional and all-embracing themes, it feels bland and incomplete in its first two acts.  Nicholas Cage in Pig The story is simple to follow; it centers around an…
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Small Axe: Education Review

Small Axe: Education Review

A heartbreaking tale about injustice and systemic racism in its most insidious form-- that form which affects the youth and tries to sweeten the bitter taste of oppression by disguising it as a “good deed”. Kenyah Sandy as Kingsley Smith (left) and Nigel Boyle as Mr. Hamley (right) in "Education." Photo Credit: Will Robson-Scott / Amazon Prime Video. Kingsley is a 12 year old boy with dreams of being an astronaut who gets sent to a "special school" after being disruptive in class. This school, they say, is more suited to his needs. Kingsley soon learns that this new school…
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Small Axe: Alex Wheatle Review

Small Axe: Alex Wheatle Review

Alex Wheatle is a heartfelt tale that will frustrate you to your core because it is, undeniably, incomplete. A true story depicting the life of award winning writer Alex Wheatle, from his childhood through his formative years as a young adult trying to find his way in Brixton. Sheyi Cole as Alex Wheatle (center, black leather jacket) in "Alex Wheatle." Photo Credit: Will Robson-Scott / Amazon Prime Video. Listen, I love what Steve McQueen has achieved by making the Small Axe series. Five stories, all true or inspired by such, about the struggles of the black West Indie community in…
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Half Brothers Review | A Fun Tale Muddled by Waring Tones

Half Brothers Review | A Fun Tale Muddled by Waring Tones

Half Brothers is a fun take on the road trip narrative that simultaneously tackles some very serious issues plaguing immigrants in the U.S. today. This fact, unfortunately, muddles the tone of the film and causes it to bounce back and forth between absurdist humor and a heartbreaking social injustice drama rather than living in a happy middle ground. I found myself both amused and emotionally rocked by it but neither ever felt like they belonged in the same film, though I’m sure they could. Luis Gerardo Mendez (left) stars as "Renato" and Connor Del Rio (right) stars as "Asher" in…
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Chicago International Film Festival Reviews | Part 1

Chicago International Film Festival Reviews | Part 1

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival is underway and we here at MR could not be happier. I mean, how lucky am I that two of my favorite seasons land at around the same time of year? Film Festival season AND football season! ‘Tis the season to be a cinephile! Along with the MASSIVE and heartbreaking complication that COVID has been this year, film festivals have been among the businesses impacted. Two difficult choices were on the table: Cancel or the three "R"s. Reduce, reformat, restructure! Much to our benefit, Chicago was one of the ones that went with the…
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The Haunting of Bly Manor Review

The Haunting of Bly Manor Review

The Haunting of Bly Manor is intoxicating! Like sitting around a campfire, or perhaps in an attic, as a child being told a ghost story. Wherever you were, do you remember how your heart would flutter filling your stomach with excitement and… worry? Wanting to listen but knowing that maybe you shouldn’t for the fear of knowing is what we knew, even then, gave life to the monsters lurking in the dark. Waiting in the empty hallways of our homes at night, or in the closets, or maybe dwelling in the uncharted space underneath our bed. But “monsters don’t exist…
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NYFF 2020 Highlights | Making Film Fests Look Good Amid A Pandemic

NYFF 2020 Highlights | Making Film Fests Look Good Amid A Pandemic

I know we’re all tired of hearing it but what a strange year it has been. We’ve all felt the impact; individuals, businesses, bank accounts and, of course, the world of film festivals. 2020 has been relentless on the festival circuit causing numerous festivals earlier in the year to cancel their event and slate of films, as happened with Cannes and SXSW. As if this wasn’t painful enough for cinephiles, much of the selection of films expected to release this year began vanishing from the calendar and finding a new home next year while some persisted, opting instead to test…
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Lovecraft Country Review | Non-Spoiler

Lovecraft Country Review | Non-Spoiler

Lovecraft Country is revisionist history with a fantastical twist. Familiar and unfamiliar American truth explored through a new lens. One of horror and imagination. Placing supernatural monsters in the center of terrible human acts and taking us for an adrenaline filled ride you won’t soon forget. Jonathan Majors in Lovecraft Country An African American war vet sets out on the road of Jim Crow Era America in search of his father. The search soon becomes more than he and his companions anticipated as they unknowingly find themselves in the center of H.P. Lovecraft's most horrifying imaginings. The series has been…
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Mangrove Review | NYFF

Mangrove Review | NYFF

Mangrove is soulful! A film about oppression, injustice, and the will to fight for your human rights to community & life free of persecution… and guess what? It's based on a true story that doesn’t take place in the US. Though true, don’t celebrate. The film hits too close to home and proves that abuse of power runs in the veins of humans and that acts like this are doomed to continue if we don’t learn from history. Class is in session with Mangrove. Shaun Parkes as Frank Crichlow in Mangrove The first of five Steve McQueen films in the…
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The Trial of the Chicago 7 Review

The Trial of the Chicago 7 Review

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is an incredibly poignant tale about the power of protesting and of the injustice people are subjected to for doing just that. A powerful historical courtroom drama that rocks you to your core and makes you question our justice system, laugh at the fallacy of men, and fear the possibility of ever having to face a judge yourself. What was supposed to be a peaceful protest at the Democratic National Convention of 1968 turned violent as a tens of thousands of demonstrators come head-to-head with the full Chicago Police Force and the Chicago National…
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