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Greyhound

Tom Hanks continues his role as a WWII historian with “Greyhound,” an intense Aaron Schneider film that barely plays longer than an episode of the Hanks-produced HBO series “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” At just over 80 minutes if you skip the end credits, fans of this war movie will be drawn to its …

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Home Entertainment Guide: July 9, 2020

10 NEW TO NETFLIX “Airplane!””Cloud Atlas””The Firm””Full Metal Jacket””I Am Not Your Negro””The Naked Gun””Poltergeist””Schindler’s List””Spaceballs””Total Recall” 2 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD “Come and See” (Criterion) Elem Klimov’s 1985 epic is one of the most acclaimed war films of all time, unsparing in how it captures the saga of a teenager (Alexei Kravchenko) who joins the …

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The Beach House

With echoes of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” and Stephen King’s “The Mist,” it’s pretty easy to pick out the influences on Jeffrey A. Brown’s stellar debut “The Beach House,” but it’s also a film that stands on its own two injured feet. Boasting sweaty, shaky camerawork and a firm grasp on tone, …

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J.G. Quintel Wants You to Snuggle Up to HBO Max’s Close Enough

J.G. Quintel’s “Regular Show” was a huge hit for Cartoon Network, running for eight seasons and over 250 episodes. When it was over, it made perfect sense that the company would want to continue the relationship, and Quintel delivered a different kind of show, a surreal comedy about those hazy years in the thirties when …

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Leave It All on the Dance Floor: Cristin Milioti on Palm Springs

Cristin Milioti has developed a following on stage and on television, but the film world hasn’t really given her the same chance, until Friday. That’s when “Palm Springs” drops on Hulu. After audiences flipped for the film at Sundance back in January, a bidding war ensued that saw the film net a record price. Yes, …

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The Outpost

Director Rod Lurie’s first film in almost a decade is also one of his best, and the first movie since our national nightmare began in 2020 that I really regretted not being able to see in a theater. While I would always prefer a theatrical exhibition, the truth is that films like “The King of …

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Family Romance, LLC

After its premiere at Cannes in 2019, the press around Werner Herzog’s “Family Romance LLC” centered on the unique, experimental nature of the film, but it’s really very much in keeping with themes that the master filmmaker has explored for decades. A director who has often analyzed the presence of artifice in society and has …

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Money Machine

Director Ramsey Denison clearly cares a great deal about his home city of Las Vegas. His film “Money Machine” seeks to expose inept leadership that at least exacerbated the pain following the worst mass shooting in the history of the country, arguably rushed to cover up what happened with a Sin City sheen, and maybe …

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Netflix Wants to Shake You with the Brutal Ju-On: Origins

Few horror franchises have been as resilient as “Ju-On,” which faded in popularity stateside, at least until the release earlier this year of Nicolas Pesce’s take on “The Grudge,” but has been persistent in its home country of Japan. From 2000 to 2020, there were a stunning 13 films in this series that originated as …

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Sweetly goofy and joyous, “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” could be considered a comeback film for Will Ferrell, even if his co-star steals it from him. Once one of the comedy genre’s biggest stars, Ferrell hasn’t had a hit in a years —his recent comedy “Holmes & Watson” nearly killed the critic we …

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Director Liz Garbus was faced with a big challenge when hired to adapt Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark into a six-part docuseries. It has to tell the true crime story of the Golden State Killer, a monster of a human being once known as the East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker …

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Jordan Peele’s Take on The Twilight Zone Struggles to Find its Purpose in Season Two

The first season of Jordan Peele’s update of the Rod Serling classic “The Twilight Zone” started with a bang, releasing several of its best episodes to start the season before sadly falling back into a more-typical-for-an-anthology inconsistency. Kumail Nanjiani’s Emmy-nominated work in “The Comedian,” a new take on “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet,” the series-best “Replay,” …

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Home Entertainment Guide: June 25, 2020

10 NEW TO NETFLIX “Baby Mama””Before I Fall””Charlie St. Cloud””The Darkness””An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn””Frost/Nixon””The Nut Job””Okko’s Inn””Orgazmo””V For Vendetta” 6 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD “The Cameraman” (Criterion) There are a healthy number of Charlie Chaplin films already released on Criterion Blu-ray but it took until June 2020 for a Blu-ray Criterion release of a …

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Great Cast Holds Together Thin HBO Version of Perry Mason

HBO’s version of “Perry Mason” is closer to “Boardwalk Empire” or “L.A. Confidential” than what fans of the Raymond Burr hit may be expecting. The most popular version of the Erle Stanley Gardner character was played by Raymond Burr from 1957 to 1966 on CBS, forever changing the television courtroom drama. If you’re surprised that …

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Wasp Network

Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network” is a lot of movie. It tackles enough narratively to hold up a season of television, maybe two, chronicling nothing less than the state of Cuban espionage and immigration in the ‘90s. As he has been before in films like “Something in the Air” and “Carlos,” Assayas is interested in the …

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You Should Have Left

There should be reasons to celebrate “You Should Have Left.” Not only does it mark the underrated Kevin Bacon’s first film role since 2016, but it reunites him with director David Koepp, who helmed the star’s “Stir of Echoes.” And Koepp may still be licking his wounds from the critical drubbing that greeted his last …

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7500

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was probably attracted to “7500,” premiering on Amazon Prime today, as an acting exercise. How much can an actor convey in a very limited space, almost exclusively in close-up and with few of the tools of production like design, costume, even movement to assist? Gordon-Levitt takes “7500” as far as he can, but …

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The Last of Us Part II Redefines the Horror Video Game Experience

In 2013, Sony and a developer named Naughty Dog released “The Last of Us,” a game that would become one of the most beloved of its generation. Taking the treasure-hunting formula of Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted” series, “The Last of Us” redefined post-apocalyptic gaming, delivering an experience that worked with emotion as much as action. Like …

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Into the Dark: Good Boy

The second season of the original monthly series of Hulu horror films under the banner of “Into the Dark” has tended more to quirky humor than genuine scares, and this has been mostly for the better. Chapters like “A Nasty Piece of Work,” “Crawlers,” and “Pooka Lives!” certainly aren’t going to keep anyone up at …

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Home Entertainment Guide: June 11, 2020

Note: The weirdness of the COVID-19 pandemic is catching up to home entertainment. Films delayed from March like “Mulan” would normally be coming out on Blu-ray now. And it’s probably going to be like this for a few months. We will press on with the bi-weekly column, which will mostly have to be informative about …

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