PLUS ONE – Review by Susan Granger

To most 20-somethings, the forced gaiety of weddings is an inevitable agony: the emotion-clogged best-man/bridesmaid’s toasts, traditional ceremony and booze-drenched reception – including being seated at the lonely ‘singles table.’ Co-writers/co-directors Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, NYU graduates making their feature directorial debuts, have fashioned a grounded, yet somewhat uneven, familiar romantic comedy about defensively combative friends who become lovers after repeatedly teasing and tormenting one another.

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ECHO IN THE CANYON – Review by Susan Granger

In this documentary, veteran music industry honcho Andrew Slater (former Capitol Records CEO) recalls a bygone era, focusing on the folk rock bands of the 1965-67 Los Angeles music scene. In the early part of the 19th century, bucolic Laurel Canyon, nestled behind Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills, was known for its rustic cabins and hunting lodges.

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TOY STORY 4 – Review by Susan Granger

It’s been almost 25 years since the first Toy Story, and Pixar keeps coming up with lovable characters inhabiting relatable stories, culminating in a bittersweet conclusion. Now that Andy’s off to college, little Bonnie (Madeline McGraw) has inherited his beloved toys: Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), et al.

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MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL – Review by Susan Granger

Years ago, Will Smith used to brag that he (via his movies) “owned” the Fourth of July. No more! Without charismatic Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, this reboot is like a firecracker that barely fizzles.

The stand-alone story revolves around Molly (Tessa Thompson), a young Brooklyn woman whose love for Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and childhood memories of her parents being neuralyzed by MIB after seeing an alien has given her insight into what’s invisible to most Earthlings.

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TOMORROW MAN – Review by Susan Granger

For his first feature film, writer/director/cinematographer Noble Jones, whose background is music videos, concocts a quirky romance between two eccentric senior citizens, somewhere in rural America. Retired Ed Hemsler believes every conspiracy theory and/or doomsday prophecy he hears or reads. Determined to be prepared for the inevitable apocalypse, he buys enough food and emergency supplies to survive a disaster for an indeterminate length of time.

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