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  • A Dark Song

    A Dark Song

    ★★★½

    This atmopsheric, two-handed occult procedural rarely shows its low-budget seams as it slow burns its way into semi-familiar genre territory (e.g., Jacob's Ladder (1990), 1408 (2007)).  Whether the ending works may just depend on what kind of person you are.  That said, these days I'm grateful for any horror film that's not from James Wan (or the James Wan School).

  • The Wizard of Lies

    The Wizard of Lies

    ★★½

    Barry Levinson's Wizard of Lies is rather underwhelming, much like the scope of the post-arrest revelations by its subject matter, fraudster Barry Madoff (Robert DeNiro).  One of the principle hurdles I have with biopics in general arises when I know a bit too much about the subject matter - that is, I often have a hard time accepting the premises of a dramatic retelling.  In the case of Wizard of Lies, the difficult premise Levinson wants us to accept (as…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★½

    It's 2016. Among our prime A-listers, we don't have a Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers; hell, we don't even have an Olivia Newton-John or John Travolta. What we do have is Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), Gangster Squad (2013)) and a talented director (Damien Chazelle) who has the audacity to create an original musical in 2016 (as opposed to adapting/stewarding a Broadway franchise). With Chazelle's invocation of nostalgia for a once dominant cinematic form and generous…

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★½

    After an unnecessary remake, an above-average biopic, and an adaptation of a half-baked short story, it’s damn good to see director David Fincher back on his game – or I should say, The Game (1997), because that’s Gone Girl‘s closest touchstone to any of his other films. That said, Gone Girl works much better as exercises in role-playing go, and the difference is Gillian Flynn – the author of the best-selling novel and sole writer of the screenplay. Together, they craft pulp fiction of the highest order ... aflixionado.com/gone-girl-2014/.