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Month: November 2016

AFI Film Review: SPLIT

sychological suspense thriller is a phrase that ought to be banned from movie reviews, but not while director of the creepy M. Night Shyamalan has anything to say about it. In his latest such production, Split, he has created a tense story about a man with multiple personality disorder as he struggles to contain, and maybe release, the sum total of those personalities’ parts. Anchored by a tour-de-force acting clinic by James McAvoy at its center, Split is arguably Shyamalan’s strongest movie in a decade. (*Note: This review is spoiler free, though there have been rumors about the ending...

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Dramatic Hollywood takedowns of maligned professions—big bad lawyers, banks, politicians—tend to be overdone portrayals that are good for a thrill yet bad as a civics lesson. But in our truth-is-stranger-than-fiction world, one where reality TV and government have merged, all bets are off. In this new universe, the otherwise metastasized film Miss Sloane, focused on vilifying the profession of lobbying, is unavoidably relevant and eerily prescient. The titular character, played powerfully by the talented Jessica Chastain, is a ruthless lobbyist hired to take on the grandest lobby of them all: the gun industry. Chastain’s Sloane is so manipulative, so...

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AFI Film Review: MOANA

“If you wear a dress and have a cute sidekick, you’re a princess.” So says the demi-God Maui to the unwitting Moana in the latest Disney princess film of the same name. You must appreciate the reflective sense of humor—Disney has moved decidedly away from the doting princess formula and into the realm of strong young women forging their own paths. But while Moana herself, like the execs, may resist the label of royalty, her pal Maui’s astute observation that she is still some sort of purported role model feels appropriate. The self-awareness by the studio is, as always,...

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