REVIEW: ‘Antebellum’ suffers from poor plot execution

There are good ideas and a more than capable cast in “Antebellum,” yet the film as a whole is, unfortunately, a mess.

The picture follows Eden (Janelle Monae), a Black woman who appears at first to be a slave during the 1800s at the height of the Civil War. The plantation she and others appear to be at is surrounded and controlled by a unit of Confederate soldiers.

As the film progresses, more truths are learned about the plantation and additional background is provided about who Eden is. With tensions building, Eden begins considering an escape plan.

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REVIEW: ‘Thinking of Ending Things’ is solid thought-provoking cinema

I’m thinking this is a pretty damn good movie, but understand not everyone will feel that way.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” largely focuses on two characters, Jake (Jesse Plemons) and his girlfriend, played by Jessie Buckley. The couple are on their way to meet Jake’s parents for the first time time, but are unfortunately having to drive through a snowstorm to get there.

As they make their way over the snowy highway, the audience gets to learn more about how Jake’s girlfriend is considering the future of their relationship. Meanwhile, the audience is also introduced concurrently with a janitor character, who has a relation to the main characters that’s slowly revealed over the course of the film.

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REVIEW: ‘The Lighthouse’ is a captivating film creation

While “The Lighthouse” is simply centered on two men and a maritime structure, it also happens to be one of the best films of the year.

Director Robert Eggers returns with “Lighthouse,” his follow up to his feature debut, 2015’s “The Witch,” which earned a lot of acclaim. This time around, his latest movie follows Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), two lighthouse workers who’re tasked with operating an Atlantic coast facility for about a month.

The experienced worker, Thomas, takes the night shifts and operates the tower to guide ships, while Ephraim is given mostly maintenance work. The labor is tough but appears fairly routinely. However, strange occurrences start taking place and Ephraim begins questioning what’s real and what’s not.

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REVIEW: While ‘Joker’ is interesting, like it’s character, it’s somewhat lost

In just over a decade there have been three different versions of the Joker on screen. Considering that rate, we’re due for several more in the 2020s. Yay?

The most recent film featuring the Clown Prince of Crime stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role. However, he doesn’t start out as the Joker. Instead, the movie opens with Phoenix playing Arthur Fleck, a troubled man working as an entertainment clown who aspires to be a stand-up comedian.

On top of being a mentally ill person who lives in a community comfortable with slashing health services, Arthur is also responsible for caring for his sick mother. One of the only bits of happiness in his life comes from watching a show featuring comedian Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). Unfortunately, pressure Arthur experiences daily begins to crack him, setting him on a violent path.

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REVIEW: ‘Mother’ Is One Of The Year’s Most Extreme Films, And For The Most Part It Works

Perennial cinematic risk taker Darren Aronofsky, who’s previously helmed films such as “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream,” is at it again with this year’s “Mother!”

The movie opens rather mysteriously before introducing the audience to the two lead characters, named only Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem). Their married life is a simple one, Him being a writer and poet who’s trying to find his next breakthrough while Mother works on restoring sections of the house they live in.

Tensions begin to rise as two guests show up on their home’s doorsteps, though, played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. That tension only continues to build as the situation at the house becomes more and more unsettling.

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REVIEW: ‘Elle’ Is A Dark, Disturbing Piece Powered By Isabelle Huppert’s Performance

For the first time since 2012 Paul Verhoeven returns to the director’s chair with arguably his most twisted feature film to date.

“Elle” follows the title character who’s more commonly referred to as Michele. A CEO of a major video game development company, Michele is a wealthy and rather powerful business woman living in France.

Her life, already quite complicated, becomes shattered in the opening scene of the film, though, when she’s attacked and raped at her home. What follows is an exploration of how the character deals with such a disgusting act, how it influences her decisions and how it relates to her past.

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Halloween Horror Fest 2016: Honoring Anthony Perkins’ performance

Of all the horror/thriller performances I’m looking at this October, Anthony Perkins’ in “Psycho” is arguably the best.

Credit for the 1960 masterpiece also has to obviously go to the brilliant direction of Alfred Hitchcock as well as Janet Leigh who played Marion. However, it’s undeniable that Perkins’ acting was an integral part of making this a film for the ages.

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REVIEW: Lackluster Mystery, Dull Acting Sends ‘Girl On The Train’ Off The Rails

A complex murder mystery unravels in “The Girl on the Train,” a movie that starts off with a scene based on the title.

Emily Blunt plays a divorcee named Rachel, a woman struggling with alcoholism who rides a train through New York state on a daily basis in a sort of daze. On a day-to-day basis, Rachel passes by the home she used to share with her husband and reminisces while also watching another couple, Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans) with envy.

On one day in particular, Rachel happens to see something after getting off at a train stop, but because of her drunken state, she has trouble remembering.

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Ex Machina review

Director:
Alex Garland
Cast:
Domhnall Gleeson
Oscar Isaac
Alicia Vikander
Rated: R

Domhnall Gleeson plays Caleb in “Ex Machina,” a sci-fi film directed by Alex Garland. Caleb works for a company that is more or less the equivalent to Google in our world. The film opens with Caleb being invited to spend a week at the home of the tech company’s founder and owner.

Upon arrival, Caleb learns that the CEO Nathan (Isaac) lives in a subterranean type home and his residence is actually used for research and development.

Currently, Nathan is trying to create an artificial intelligence system and asks Caleb to test the A.I.

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Nightcrawler review

Director:
Dan Gilroy
Cast:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Bill Paxton
Riz Ahmed
Rene Russo
Rated: R

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Louis in “Nightcrawler,” a man who lives in a small apartment in Los Angeles and appears to just drift through life, staying up all night and working in whatever jobs he can get. One night while looking for a way to make some money, he comes across a horrific accident and sees a van full of photographers go to the scene and shoot video.

The event gives him the idea to try this himself and sell his videos to a news station. There are moments very early on, though, that show that Louis isn’t just an ambitious young man, he is a mentally unstable person and will stop at nothing for a good video to make the morning news.

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