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Thursday, August 27,2015

Myopic biopic

‘Straight Outta Compton’ flashes but fixates

By Ryan Syrek
Biopics are lies. Oh, don’t get me wrong, all storytelling is fundamentally fibbing. But it seems somehow more disingenuous to airbrush actual human histories, to select which warts to ignore and which redemptive moments to exaggerate. Documentaries exist for a reason and, while they too require editing, at least the filmmaker has to show his work.
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Thursday, August 20,2015

Cold War sizzle

‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ is a spy surprise%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
Ritchie’s hyper-stylized action fuses Saul Bass imagery with live-action. And the film is jam-packed with gleeful little moments, like Ilya and Solo having a pissing contest over whether Gaby’s belt must match her dress. TMFU.
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Thursday, August 13,2015

Reel meaning

‘The Wolfpack’ is profound%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
Oscar Angulo, a self-aggrandizing religious fanatic, kept his seven children and wife secluded inside an apartment in Manhattan for 14 years. As one of the brother’s explains, sometimes they would go out once a year; some years they wouldn’t go out at all.
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Thursday, August 6,2015

ILY IMF

What’s not to love about this ‘Mission Impossible’ series?

By Ryan Syrek
Bond moved from implausible ridiculousness to slightly-more-grounded cloak-and-daggerism, whereas Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is now climbing into airplanes by holding on to a door handle while it takes off. There’s room for both types of espionage spectacles, and Mission Impossible.
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Thursday, July 23,2015

No Wright, still alright

‘Ant-Man’ defies odds by being good%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
Lang tries it on, because that’s what you do when you find a weird suit and mask. He discovers the ability to shrink into ant-size, while retaining vast strength.
Thursday, July 16,2015

Talking twinkies

‘Minions’ is better than it should be, still not great

By Ryan Syrek
The Lego Movie being somehow good ruined our ability to completely dismiss a film’s concept upon first hearing it. Who knows, maybe Minions would be infused with the same cleverness, the same all-ages wonder and fun? In the first 10 minutes, a pillshaped living Twinkie lifts a block of ice over his head, farts and then gets smushed by it. So… nevermind.
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Thursday, July 9,2015

Hocus poking

‘Magic Mike XXL’ is an ode to the dry hump

By Ryan Syrek
The film then becomes a road trip movie without any adversity at all. They crash a car, but then immediately wind up at the mansion of a kind divorcee (Andie MacDowell) who loans them a ridiculously expensive convertible. They lose their announcing MC, Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), but pick up an even better one, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith).
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Thursday, July 2,2015

Mainline it

Dope will get you high

By Ryan Syrek
When the stunning Nakia (ZoŽ Kravitz) invites Malcolm to a birthday party for her on-again/off-again, dopeslinging boyfriend, Dom (A$ap Rocky), the nerdy good kids find themselves wading hip deep into shit creek.
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Thursday, June 25,2015

Emotion motion

‘Inside Out’ is busy, breezy and (kinda) blah

By Ryan Syrek
My second set of questions: So logic doesn’t exist in this world? I understand this is a kid’s movie but “you are a creature ruled solely by your basic emotions” is a horrifying message. Why go to school if you never apply knowledge and you just emotionally react to stuff?.
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Thursday, June 18,2015

Hot dino-on-dino action

‘Jurassic World’ is what you wanted

By Ryan Syrek
Hand a kid two dinosaur toys. Said kid will not use them to contemplate evolutionary biology. Said kid will smash the two of them together, simulating an epic dino-smackdown while emitting a likely annoying reptilian howl. Jurassic World is that but with a $150 million budget. Director Colin Trevorrow went from quirky indie Safety Not Guaranteed to blockbuster franchise revival faster than you can ask, “How many zeroes are on that check again?” Those hoping Trevorrow managed to retain the light, whimsical, creative tone of his former effort should remember this is a movie about dinosaurs eating people. When it comes to people eating, Jurassic World does it better than most.
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