Film

Blockbuster Beat by Lawrence Garcia Film

Unfriended: Dark Web | Stephen Susco

July 20, 2018
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It could be that Stephen Susco, the first-time director of improbable horror-sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, is just a previously-undistinguished virtuoso, here aided by a team of tech wizards. More likely, it’s that the film’s text (i.e., the “dark web” of the Internet) is so generative — and the corresponding tools so under-explored in cinema — that the result is just riveting. The hacking at the outset here is its own self-contained joke, serving not just as sleek exposition, but as…

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Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

The Equalizer 2 | Antoine Fuqua

July 20, 2018
The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer provided a perfectly serviceable delivery device for bloody violence. The 2014 film starred Denzel Washington as former C.I.A. assassin-turned-neighborhood do-gooder Robert McCall, who memorably carved up, blew up, dismembered, or otherwise mangled a dozen or so bad guys in a hardware store during the film’s climax, all guided by the mostly competent if unspectacular action hand of Washington’s longtime collaborator, Antoine Fuqua.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Asian Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 2

July 18, 2018
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The 17th edition of the New York Asian Film Festival came to a close last Sunday. We already published one dispatch from the fest, focussing on some of its “Main Competition” films. For our second and final dispatch, we look at a handful of other notable selections from this year’s program, including a new film from recent Palme d’Or-winning Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda; Hong Kong filmmaker Dante Lam’s latest, which has become a juggernaut at China’s box office; a South Korean indie that won a pair of prizes at…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Asian Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 1

July 13, 2018
NYAFF1

The 17th edition of the New York Asian Film Festival comes to a close this Sunday, and as usual the program offers a massive, sprawling slate that we’ve tried to navigate selectively. Our first of two dispatches from the fest focuses on five titles from NYAFF’s “Main Competition,” and includes one film from China, one from South Korea, two from Japan, and one from Hong Kong. Check back next week when we look at some of the more high profile titles at NYAFF this…

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Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

Skyscraper | Rawson Marshall Thurber

July 12, 2018
skyscraper

Nearly 30 years on, to the day, from the release of Die Hard — the movie about a guy fighting terrorists in a really tall building that spawned dozens of knockoffs that people continue to refer to using the construction: “Die Hard on a…boat/spaceship/rollercoaster, whatever — finally, we have Skyscraper, which is, you guessed it, Die Hard in a really tall building.…

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Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

Ant-Man and the Wasp | Peyton Reed

July 12, 2018
Ant-Man-Wasp

Just as 2015’s Ant-Man felt like a welcome respite after world-exploding Avengers entry Age of Ultron, so too does its sequel come as a balm after Infinity War killed pretty much everyone. Almost completely ignoring the whole thing with that purple alien man conducting intergalactic genocide, Ant-Man and the Wasp also corrects most of the stuff that wasn’t so interesting in its own franchise’s first installment. This time,…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film Year in Review

Top 10 Films of 2018 (So Far)

July 10, 2018
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Yesterday, we presented our Top 10 Albums of the Year (So Far). Today, we do the same for film — which also gives us the chance to offer takes on some films that haven’t been covered in our regular Blockbuster Beat reviews. (In fact, not a single “blockbuster” made the list, unless you count that dog movie we failed to review during its release.) Generally speaking, our best films of 2018 are actually from 2017: festival premieres from Toronto, Cannes, Sundance, etc. that took…

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Blockbuster Beat by Daniel Gorman Film

The First Purge | Gerard McMurray

July 9, 2018
The First Purge

Just in time for an ironic Independence Day release, The First Purge is another meaningless prequel that answers questions no one asked or needed answered. While it seems undeniably important that the film’s action/survival narrative revolves around an oppressed African-American population rising up against a government that is systematically and unapologetically eradicating them — and that it bothers to show how the ‘scientific’ basis of The Purge is immediately skewed by lack of a control group and confirmation bias…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

BAMcinemafest 2018 – Dispatch 2

July 2, 2018
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The BAMcinemaFest wrapped its 10th edition earlier this week. We already covered some of the festival’s selections here. For our final dispatch, we look at a handful of strong documentaries from up and coming filmmakers, as well as a major new film from American indie film veteran Andrew Bujalski.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

BAMcinemafest 2018 – Dispatch 1

June 22, 2018
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The 2018 BAMcinemaFest, the 10th edition of the annual festival, kicked off Wednesday and runs until Sunday, July 1st. It has, over the last decade, established itself as one of the best, most daringly curated selections of American independent filmmaking that moviegoers could ask for, undoubtedly the borough’s perennial apogee for new cinema. This year’s slate is, unsurprisingly, replete with excellent films from exciting filmmakers, both neophytes and veterans, culling highlights from less consistent smorgasbords like Sundance (Madeline’s Madeline, Sorry to Bother You, Leave No Trace) and South…

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Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom | J.A. Bayona

June 21, 2018

The first and certainly most beloved of the Jurassic Park films sums up the entire franchise with a single line, when Sam Neill’s Grant first sees a dinosaur and exclaims, “It’s a dinosaur!” Even when directed by a genuine master like Steven Spielberg (and especially when they’re not), these films always have a pretty low bar to clear. One can pine all they want for the sense of awe and wonder in the face of nature that was maybe evoked by…

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