CIVIL WAR – Review by T.J. Callahan

They shoot journalists don’t they? In Alex Garland’s Civil War they sure do…and everything else that moves within an inch of its life. This Civil War is not an historical drama, but a cautionary tale of what could lie ahead for the United States when democracy teeters on the brink of collapse. Set in the near future, Civil War is an almost documentary type chronicling of embedded war journalists on a road trip to Washington, D.C. trying to get one last interview with the President before he flees the White House. Civil War isn’t meant to be political. Garland doesn’t even give a reason for the unrest. All we know is California and Texas have seceded from the Union and have banded together to form the Western Federation in an attempt to take control of the dystopian government. There’s no right or wrong. No good or bad.

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MONKEY MAN – Review by T.J. Callahan

Monkey Man is an animal picture of a different kind. Dev Patel directs and stars in this dark and dingy, seedy and scheming, bloody and bombastic, knockdown, drag out fight fest filled with cultural and political undertones. Patel is Kid, a slumdog who’s out to infiltrate the millionaires of a make believe Mumbai to achieve revenge for family and his fellow CASTEaways. Monkey Man is inspired by the legend of Hanuman, a part human, part ape Hindu god who embodies strength and courage. Kid, who barely makes any money as a bare knuckle fighter in a monkey mask, takes beating after beating, finally realizing he needs to fight for a purpose instead of because of the pain of his past.

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THE LIE: THE MURDER OF GRACE MILLANE – Review by T.J. Callahan

21 year old British backpacker Grace Millane was murdered while traveling alone in Auckland, New Zealand in December of 2018. The only suspect in the case, her date Jesse Shane Kempson, used the “rough sex” defense when arrested. This documentary, from director Helena Coan, not only chillingly recounts the details leading to the death of the young and vibrant Grace, but also is meant to hold a mirror up to a society with a problem of violence towards women.

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IMMACULATE – Review by T.J. Callahan

Immaculate is a conception of the blasphemous kind that takes place in a convent where young women enter, but they never leave.. Set in a remote abbey in the picturesque Italian countryside, Immaculate tells the story of Sister Cecilia, an American nun who decides to leave the tragedies of her childhood behind to start a new life serving with a well established order. However, she soon learns “Satan himself often masquerades as an angel of light.”

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GHOSTBUSTERS: Frozen Empire – Review by T.J. Callahan

After an ancient relic unleashes an evil force, the original and the new Ghostbusters combine to turn up the heat on a tall, dead and horny villain named Garraka whose mission is to bring on the second coming of the Ice Age in Ghostbusters:Frozen Empire. This 4th installment of the Ghostbusters franchise means well, but tries to do too much. There are multiple storylines throwing a myriad of particles and Stay Puft Marshmallow men at us that only make for paranormal plot holes. There’s an abundance of sarcasm and over acting from the younger performers with plenty of mugging for the camera by all.

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REMEMBERING GENE WILDER – Review by T.J. Callahan

Director Ron Frank respectfully, lovingly and poignantly brings Wilder back to the big screen for old and new fans to enjoy him one more time. Frank tells the funnyman’s story through interviews with friends and fellow actors, mixed with movie scenes, mixed with family photos, mixed with reminiscences from Gene himself. We hear tributes from Alan Alda, Harry Connick, Jr, Rain Pryor (daughter of frequent Wilder co-star Richard Pryor), Carol Kane and, of course, Mel Brooks.

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ARTHUR THE KING – Review by T.J Callahan

Mark Wahlberg stars as the professional endurance competitor who puts his family in jeopardy to chase his dream of being a winner.. Even though Wahlberg basically plays the same character in all his films, he’s always likable and still believable as a doggedly determined midlife adventurer. Arthur The King is not the perfect movie, but really the only bone I have to pick with it is it leans on the sappy side. That’s ok though because the story is pawsitively inspirational.

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DUNE: Part Two – Review by T. J. Callahan

This sprawling, blockbuster was green lit for a sequel seconds after Part One hit the big screen in 2021. The sci-fi romantic adventure of warring families is The Ten Commandments meets Star Wars. Timothee Chalamet is the Moses of Arrakis riding sand worms in pursuit of a better life for his chosen people. Dune: Part Two is why we go to the movies. Read up on the legend beforehand, especially if you haven’t seen Part One, settle in with some popcorn and marvel at what masterful filmmaking is all about.

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CABRINI – Review by T.J. Callahan

Cabrini is a biopic that dramatically recounts the journey of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. The diminutive dynamo defied odds and the wrath of all the men who tried to stand in her way, including the Pope. She left her homeland of Italy determined to fight discrimination and put a roof over the heads of orphaned immigrant children everywhere. Mother Cabrini was expected to fail because she was a woman, but ended up doing things that, as she said, men could never do.

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DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS – Review by T. J. Callahan

Free spirit Jamie and buttoned up Marian set out on a spur of the moment trek to Tallahassee to break free from former relationships and start anew. Things quickly go wrong when they discover their rental car is carrying even more baggage than they thought…a highly sought after silver attaché. A pair of bumbling wannabe tough guys are soon assigned to the case of retrieving the case which puts the Dolls in danger. Audiences should make sure they buckle up for this barnstorming journey as Drive-Away Dolls takes us on a wild ride of not just criminal capers, but sexual exploration and the tools that can go with it. This film is a phallic farce full of dings and dongs that may make even the uninhibited squirm.

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