New Releases

Suicide Squad (2016)
The Dirty Dozen, Comic Book Style

David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is an uneven, overstuffed, ugly film punctuated by individual scenes that actively held my interest. That isn’t much of a compliment, I know, but it’s the best I can manage for a comic book adaptation that, despite its warped undercurrent of humor, shows little interest in the “comic” part of the equation, since many of the characters and situations are so noxious that the intention seems to have been not to entertain, but to make one’s skin crawl.
Exactly How Does It Go Beyond?

It’s bad enough having to see Star Trek Beyond with a heavy heart, the deaths of Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin casting shadows that make getting into the film difficult. But it’s even worse that their legacies are irrevocably tied to a rebooted franchise in which Gene Roddenberry’s utopian, socially aware vision of the future is stripped away and replaced with action sequences and special effects.
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"I Hear It Likes the Girls"

After all the backlash – the trailer becoming YouTube’s most disliked ever, the controversy over the black Ghostbuster being the only one to not be an academic or a scientist, YouTube commenters accusing Sony Pictures of deleting comments and altering video statistics, the preference for fan-made trailer recuts, the observation that several of the negative comments had anti-feminist overtones – Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, a remake of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 film of the same name, turns out to be funny, exuberant, visually spectacular, a stupendous IMAX 3D experience, and tremendously entertaining.
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The Benefits of Writer's Block

Café Society is an unstructured, unfocused compendium of writer/director Woody Allen’s favorite musings, examinations, and narrative devices. Though consistent in terms of the characters involved, the film freely veers from one thematic subtext to another, so much so that by the end, we’re utterly at a loss to determine whether or not Allen has been making a point or even telling a story.
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They're Not Allowed to Love

Equals, a dystopic science fiction film, might have made more of an impact forty-five years ago, when The Future was truly a concept filmmakers were willing to explore. Back then, the twenty-first century seemed so far away, so full of possibility, and so indicative of whatever direction artists of the time felt we were going in. But now we are in the twenty-first century, and futuristic visions, both positive and negative, seem so passé.
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He Plays Everyone Except Himself

I left The Infiltrator wondering if there really is any great difference between actors and undercover agents. In either case, it’s all about putting on a performance and being convincing. The film dramatizes the true story of Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs special agent best known for infiltrating the money-laundering organization of drug lord Pablo Escobar and bringing down the corrupt Bank of Credit and Commerce International in the 1980s.
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No Service for King's Zombie Apocalypse

When Stephen King’s novel Cell was published in 2006, the zombie apocalypse it described read like a warning against society’s growing dependence on cell phones. Perhaps it would have been better had a film adaptation been made around that time, while there was still a glimmer of hope. Alas, it was shot in 2014 and released now, and in that ten-year period, cell phones have become so ubiquitous and psychologically ingrained that any narrative warning against them would fall on deaf ears.
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Dahl and Spielberg – A Natural Combination

I watched Steven Spielberg’s The BFG enchanted, amused, thrilled, awed, and with a full heart. It reminded me of how I felt the first time I saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001, witnessing a fantasy brought to life so convincingly, and so entertainingly. But The BFG does more than that; it makes it okay to feel and easy to empathize.
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Borroughs' Apeman Swings Back into Theaters

The Legend of Tarzan gives us everything we have come to expect from a Tarzan movie, not just in terms of what the title character does – swinging on vines barefoot and with no shirt on, communicating with jungle animals (apes especially), letting out his trademark yell – but also in terms of being true to the spirit of the jungle adventure movie, in which characters have exciting encounters in exotic locations.
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We Waited Twenty Years for This?

At the end of Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence, I came to the conclusion that, in some cases, twenty years just isn’t long enough to wait for a sequel. Or thirty years. Or forty. Or fifty. This movie, much like the destruction it depicts, is an unmitigated disaster – flimsy of plot, unmotivated of character, devoid of imagination, deprived of substance.
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From The Movie Vault Archives


Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)
This Is Why B-Movies Develop Cult Followings

Voyage of the Rock Aliens is as hilariously incompetent as the title suggests – a film made from the spare parts of disparate genres that have no business being forced to share the same space. It shows not the slightest indication that anyone involved was ever trying.
The Dirty Dozen, Comic Book Style
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Exactly How Does It Go Beyond?
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"I Hear It Likes the Girls"
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The Benefits of Writer's Block
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They're Not Allowed to Love
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He Plays Everyone Except Himself
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No Service for King's Zombie Apocalypse
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Dahl and Spielberg – A Natural Combination
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Borroughs' Apeman Swings Back into Theaters
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We Waited Twenty Years for This?
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This Is Why B-Movies Develop Cult Followings
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New Adaptation, Old-School Tricks
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A Plant Sings for Its Supper
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Baum's Vision Gets Urbanized
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A Camp Horror Movie, Minus the Camp
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Why we should never judge a film, remake or otherwise, before actually seeing it
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Chris Pandolfi makes his picks for The Best Films of 2012. See his full list of favorite films right here!
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Chris Pandolfi makes his picks for The Worst Films of 2012. See the full list of dispicable films right here…
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Chris Pandolfi Talks with the Author of Enemies, A Love Story
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San Diego's Biggest Convention as Seen Through the Eyes of The Massie Twins
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