Monthly Archives

March 2018

by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New Directors/New Films 2018 – Dispatch 1

March 30, 2018
Ava

The 47th edition of New Directors/New Films runs from Wednesday, March 28th, to Sunday, April 8th. For our first of two dispatches from the festival, we look at the FIPRESCI Discovery Prize winner at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (Ava); the late Chinese director Hu Bo’s sole film, a 4-hour “exacting depiction of depression”; the “precisely controlled” second feature from Valérie Massadian (Milla); a Taiwanese independent filmmaker’s “meditation” on a “bleak sociopolitical system” (The Great Buddha+); and others. Look for our second dispatch from the festival next week. An Elephant…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Pacific Rim: Uprising | Steven S. DeKnight

March 22, 2018
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Picking up 10 years after the events of Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim: Uprising follows Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost from the first film, as he does that thing where he finally confronts and accepts his destiny and his father’s legacy by doing the same thing the old man did, which in this case means saving the world from gigantic invading alien monsters by punching them with a giant robot. And that’s pretty much it. Uprising rockets through the bare minimum…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Unsane | Steven Soderbergh

March 22, 2018
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Unsane is a nifty little movie, a cheeky, intelligent thriller shot in secret on an iPhone and slipped into theaters in the space of a few months. That’s not to say that it’s anything other than another of Steven Soderbergh’s genre-infused larks. Claire Foy stars as Sawyer Valentini, a troubled young woman who finds herself involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, where she discovers that one of the nurses is the creep (Joshua Leonard) who previously stalked and threatened her. Or is it all…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Tomb Raider | Roar Uthaug

March 15, 2018
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What’s the use of rebooting a successful video game franchise if you can’t reboot the mediocre film series that it spawned? That appears to be the motivation behind the new Tomb Raider, which resembles nothing so much as a perfunctory early 2000s action programmer except that it has much nicer special effects. Alicia Vikander replaces Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, heiress to an incredible fortune and daughter of Lord Richard (Dominic West), who disappeared on a treasure hunt seven years ago. When Croft discovers…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

A Wrinkle in Time | Ava DuVernay

March 9, 2018
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Madeline L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle In Time is, if you haven’t read it lately, short on incident and quite long on dialogue and metaphysics. L’Engle used her early iteration of YA fantasy as a foundation for a treatise on spirituality and self-actualization aimed at kids. So there’s a lot to root for with Disney handing a black female filmmaker an enormous budget for a movie version. Sadly, Ava DuVernay’s adaptation mostly replaces the book’s broad ideas with a stale “believe in…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Death Wish | Eli Roth

March 2, 2018
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There’s probably a good remake to be made of 1974’s Death Wish, a seminal bit of vigilante-themed violence porn from the late, great sleaze-peddler Michael Winner. The story of a wealthy white man (Charles Bronson in the original, Bruce Willis here) who takes the law into his own hands after a brutal crime committed against his wife and daughter would certainly take on a host of complicated dimensions in a climate of mass shootings, economic inequality, white/male privilege, sexual assault, and…

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