more by MaryAnn

this sucker’s nuclear | by maryann johanson

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latest reviews

Hector and the Search for Happiness movie review: unhappymess

A rich white man tours the misery of others to learn about happiness. Yes, it is as offensive as it sounds.

Dinosaur 13 documentary review: long Black Hills road

A bittersweet reminder that while the scientific method may be coolly rational, the people who do science are deeply emotionally caught up in their work.

The Expendables 3 movie review: like you care what I think

In the vast conspiracy of stupidity that has overtaken pop culture, the disparagement of this movie by a film critic becomes an endorsement of a sad sort.

God’s Pocket movie review: rot in the city

The cast is amazing and the film has a certain grim visual beauty. But ultimately there is little here but ugly senselessness.

Welcome to New York movie review: the rampage of uncivilized men

One of the most repulsive movies I’ve ever seen. Also an important movie, laying bare the farce of equality and justice in the face of power and privilege.

Lilting movie review: when words fail

A heartbreakingly lovely film about the seemingly insurmountable distances between us when sharing grief is too painful.

Around the Block movie review: to teach, perchance to inspire

Appealing performances, a few tweaks to genre clichés, and a sincere desire to counter outrageous racism go a long way toward making this worth a look.

Mood Indigo movie review: mood disrupted

Delightfully bonkers stop-motion vacuumpunk madness comes to an abrupt halt in this mysteriously truncated version of Michel Gondry’s latest romantic whimsy.

A Promise movie review: the waiting is the hardest part

This dreary, drippy period romance is sorely lacking in juicy melodrama and some sizzle among supposed stifled lovebirds.

Step Up 5: All In (aka Step Up All In) movie review: dance fever

Astonishingly athletic dancers express crazy-hot modern choreography, strung together by a flimsy narrative. Kinda like old-school Hollywood musicals did.

what to watch

new in cinemas Aug 22: US/Can

  
wide

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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If I Stay

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When the Game Stands Tall

  
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The One I Love

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To Be Takei

new in cinemas Aug 20-22: UK

  
wide

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Lucy

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Deliver Us from Evil

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Into the Storm

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What If

  
limited

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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God Help the Girl

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The Police Officer’s Wife

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Two Days, One Night



new on dvd Aug 19: US/Can

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A Brony Tale

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Go for Sisters

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Manakamana

new on dvd Aug 18: UK

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The Last Days on Mars

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also in US/Can cinemas

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The Grand Budapest Hotel [trailer]

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Obvious Child

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Lucy

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also in UK cinemas

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The Grand Budapest Hotel [trailer]

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T.S. Spivet

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Joe

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decipher

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worth paying multiplex prices for
yellow for maybe
worth a look, but wait for DVD, unless your favorite actor is in it
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give it a miss
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my reaction under consideration
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my reaction under gag order for now
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not yet seen by me

rants and commentaries

even The New York Times has given up on quality film journalism

Two well-off white men on class warfare, what’s good for women in Hollywood, and — most importantly — some movies they haven’t even seen yet.

why do women wear sexy cosplay costumes, anyway?

Um, why are you asking me? I’m not a cosplayer. You should be asking cosplayers. But since you insist, I’ll make a few guesses…

the magic bullet for improving the number of women directors working in Hollywood

It’s pretty goddamn clear that the “magic bullet” is this: Hire more women.

spoiler alert: what’s really going on in Inside Llewyn Davis

We need to talk about Llewyn Davis. Cuz there’s a thing that no one else has been talking about when trying to interpret this film…

the Force is with white men, and hardly anyone else [update]

Star Wars is stuck “a long time ago”: in a 1950s mindset that was already outmoded when the first film was released in 1977.

why movies like Under the Skin and Nymphomaniac are not feminist

These films act like what it means to be a woman is purely about sex and bodies, purely about interacting with men in no other way than a sexual one.

what it means to be a woman who loves movies

It requires an extra suspension of disbelief beyond what men have to engage in…

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