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  • ‘Isle of Dogs’ is doggone good
    ‘Isle of Dogs’ is doggone good

    Full disclosure: I’m in the bag for Wes Anderson. From “Bottle Rocket” right on through the years, I’ve been onboard with his quirky unorthodoxy. To my mind, he’s made solid contact with every film he’s ever made, even if he hasn’t necessarily hit a home run every time out.

    That being said, “Isle of Dogs” is in fact a home run.

  • Monster mash – ‘Rampage’
    Monster mash – ‘Rampage’

    Despite its best efforts, Hollywood remains unable to properly transition video game properties to the big screen. There are plenty of obstacles – some obvious, others not so much – and while studios have proven able to overcome many of them, they have yet to fully solve the problems inherent to the necessary shift in storytelling.

    So it should come as no surprise that “Rampage,” based on the essentially plotless arcade game of the same name, doesn’t present a particularly compelling narrative. What DOES come as a surprise, however, is that despite the presence of everybody’s favorite action star Dwayne Johnson and some big-budget CGI, “Rampage” isn’t even all that much fun.

  • What a girl wants – ‘Blockers’
    What a girl wants – ‘Blockers’

    Few have shaped the film comedy world in recent years like Judd Apatow. Even if not directly involved, his fingerprints are all over most of the more successful comedic outings of the past decade-plus.

    For example, he is not involved in “Blockers,” the new comedy directed by Kay Cannon and written by Brian and Jim Kehoe. However, the film is produced by - among others – Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who definitely cut their teeth beneath the Apatovian umbrella. It’s not a Judd Apatow movie, but it has some of that DNA.

    But don’t take that to mean that this is some tossed-off knockoff. “Blockers” is a sharp, funny and surprisingly thoughtful movie, featuring a well-balanced blend of raunchiness and sentimentality, with all of it executed by a talented cast.

  • Speak softly and carry a big stick – ‘A Quiet Place’
    Speak softly and carry a big stick – ‘A Quiet Place’

    One could make the argument that we’re currently in the midst of a horror movie renaissance. While the genre still offers up its share of misfires, horror has provided fertile ground for filmmakers looking to explore ideas big and small in sophisticated ways. It’s an arena where chances can still be taken. And when those risks pay off, you get some pretty great movies.

    Movies like “A Quiet Place.”

  • The absent truths of ‘Chappaquiddick’
    The absent truths of ‘Chappaquiddick’

    Truth is a funny thing.

    Some people view it as an absolute. Others regard it as a concept with some flexibility. And once you’re a deviation or two away from the center, things get even murkier. There’s what happened and then there’s the story about what happened. Sometimes, the two are close to the same. More often, they’re not.

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