Author: Sean K. Cureton

Finding America in Almost Famous

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to the Audiences Everywhere staff: What movie best represents your understanding of America and your experience as an American? The current moment is a complicated moment to live in America, and a bit of introspection and cultural self-evaluation seems in order for everyone. So, starting on July 4th and continuing through the entire month, we will be running essay responses to this inquiry in an attempt to understand who we are as a nation. If you’re interested in participating, send your essay or pitch to submissions@audienceseverywhere.net. Next in the series, a look...

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Baby Driver Lets You Ride Shotgun for the Feel Good Hit of the Summer

Overview: A getaway driver with a troubled past falls in love with a waitress and attempts to leave his life of crime behind him. TriStar Pictures; 2017; Rated R; 113 minutes. Keep the Car Running: Serving as Writer-Director Edgar Wright’s first feature film since The Cornetto Trilogy wrapped up with The World’s End in 2013, Baby Driver comes screeching into theaters at the behest of what are sure to be wildly high-set expectations. The English filmmaker has long been a cult favorite among genre enthusiasts and cinephiles in general, thanks in no small part to such masterful early 20th century opuses as Shaun of...

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New on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Deathgasm Offers Buckets of Gore and Fun

Originally published on October 1, 2015. Deathgasm is now available on Amazon Prime’s instant streaming service. Overview: Best friends Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) and Zakk (James Blake) bond over their mutual appreciation of Death Metal in suburban New Zealand, form a band, and perform an ancient black magic hymn that releases a force of evil. Dark Sky Films; 2015; Not Rated; 86 minutes. Splatter-Fun: A self-proclaimed fan of such low-budget, splatter-fest classics as Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead and Peter Jackson’s cult-favorite horror comedy Bad Taste, writer and director Jason Lei Howden’s debut feature length film honors both sources...

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New on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Manchester by the Sea Is An Operatic Ode to Melancholy

Originally published on December 5, 2016. Manchester by the Sea is now available on Amazon Prime’s instant streaming service. Overview: A man wracked with a personal grief of his own is forced to care for his teenage nephew following the death of his brother. Roadside Attractions; 2016; Rated R; 137 minutes. Working Class Blues: At the heart of director Kenneth Lonergan’s stunning followup to the critically heralded – and notoriously delayed – release of his 2011 feature length effort Margaret is another heartfelt story of tragedy and grief. In the vein of that film’s unexpected heroine, Lonergan casts Casey Affleck as a man called upon...

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Why You Should Be Watching ‘Love’

Since premiering on Netflix last year, the Judd Apatow produced original series Love has asserted itself as the latest in a long line of tragicomic works from the tireless comedy super-producer. Co-created by the husband and wife duo comprising lead actor Paul Rust and former Girls writer Lesley Arfin, Love tackles its eponymous subject with an especially abrasive tone. As the two central figures of mutually semi-exclusive attraction, Gus Cruikshank (Rust) and Mickey Dobbs (Gillian Jacobs) flirt with a reckless abandon. Gus and Mickey don’t fall in love with one another so much as they offer backhanded compliments ironically...

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Jackin’ It: ‘About Schmidt’ Pulls Back the Mask of Jack Nicholson Caricature

Jack Nicholson turns 80 years old on April 22. To celebrate, we’ll be discussing our favorite Jack Nicholson performances through the preceding week in our Jackin’ It series, a collection of critical love letters penned to Nicholson’s best characters. … Jack Nicholson made a name for himself by playing the part of the 1960s hippie nomad. In movies like Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, Nicholson roams across the spacious expanse of an America full of hope and optimism. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, he finds himself at home yet again in another character of the Beat...

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New on Netflix Instant: Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Story

Originally published on August 16, 2016. Pete’s Dragon is now available on Netflix Instant in the U.S. Overview: A modern day revisionist retelling of the classic Disney film of 1977 that manages to deliver a wondrous reboot that miraculously supersedes the original. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 103 minutes. Folklore: Starting with the opening sequence of David Lowery’s remarkable Pete’s Dragon remake, independent film actor and folk singer iconoclast Bonnie “Prince” Billy provides an original musical composition that serves to set the tone for the entire production. The strains and lyrics to “The Dragon Song” serve...

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The Discovery Ponders the Afterlife

Overview: The son of an infamous scientist who discovers the existence of an afterlife returns home to unravel the mysteries of his own life and others. Netflix; 2017; Not Rated; 110 minutes. Worldwide Suicide: Two-time director Charlie McDowell initially turned heads with his 2014 Sundance science-fiction drama The One I Love. That film’s legacy resumes in The Discovery, a Sundance follow-up that continues an ongoing thematic investigation into a philosophy of human intimacy jointly established by McDowell and returning screenwriter, Justin Lader. In a world where the discovery of life after death has resulted in a worldwide suicide phenomenon,...

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Beauty and the Beast Is A Nostalgic Misfire

Overview: To save her father, a young woman agrees to live with a prince who was cursed with a beastly appearance, and the two begin to fall for each other. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2017; Rated PG; 129 minutes. A Tale As Old As Time: For many moviegoers who still hold fond memories of watching the 1991 animated feature–which introduced the set of iconic musical numbers penned by returning lead composer Alan Menken for the first time–Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is indeed a tale as old as time. As yet another adaptation of the well-worn French fantasy fable by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont–which was...

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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore Is A Lynchian Maze

Overview: After her house is broken into and robbed, a desperate woman enlists the help of her neighbor to seek retribution in an unfeeling world. Netflix; Not Rated; 2017; 93 minutes. “Everyone Is An Asshole”: Macon Blair surprised audiences with his startling turn in Blue Ruin just four years ago. Last year he turned heads yet again in a supporting role in Green Room. While working in close collaboration with writer and director Jeremy Saulnier on both films – in addition to their self-funded debut Murder Party from 2007 – Blair has managed to carve out a small corner of mainstream popularity and acclaim for himself...

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Netflix Hidden Gem #94: Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills (2014) Director: E.L. Katz Genre: Comedy Drafthouse Films Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck, wannabe writer struggling to scrounge up enough money to keep his wife and infant child off the streets comes across a childhood friend and a pair of deranged good samaritans. Overview: Cheap Thrills is a wildly subversive independent comedy in the same vein as the very best theatrical works of Bobcat Goldthwait. Serving as the directorial debut for E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills stars two of the most under-appreciated character actors of the past twenty-plus years. As former high school friends Craig Daniels and Vince, Pat Healy and Ethan Embry offer two...

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Elle Offers Captivating Condescension

Overview: An affluent French businesswoman is violently assaulted in her own home and subsequently mounts her own private revenge against her unknown attacker. Sony Pictures Classics; 2016; Rated R; 130 minutes. Violence & Condescension: Isabelle Huppert is an undeniable screen performer whose remarkable presence makes the entirety of Elle worth watching. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Elle is about an indecent act of sexual congress with repercussions that extend decades into the past. As the sole living daughter of a local serial killer and cultural monster of folkloric proportions, Huppert plays Michèle Leblanc with an unmistakable distance from and tacit disdain for the people...

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Watching Barry In Trump’s America

In director Vikram Gandhi’s new film Barry, American citizens who have been waking up in fear every morning are offered the hope of a communal solution. Some context that you already know: A man with no prior political experience has been elected to become the Leader of the Free World, despite losing the popular vote. Donald J. Trump, a notorious philanderer, real estate developer, and reality television star, will unseat current president Barack Obama in fewer than two weeks. After eight years of social progress and liberal civility, the very worst monsters have emerged from the closet of American history. Bigotry,...

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Beavis and Butt-head Do America: Still On the Couch 20 Years Later

Based on the hit MTV animated series, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was the feature length directorial debut of Middle America provocateur Mike Judge. After several offers were made and turned down by Judge for a motion picture production based on his original cast of characters, a Beavis and Butt-Head movie finally began to go into production in 1994, with co-writer Joe Stillman attached to develop the an original screenplay. Eventually, Stillman and Judge developed what became one of the most successful December releases of all time, making back $20,114,233 on a $12 million budget. Taking the form and...

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Office Christmas Party Offers By the Numbers Holiday Cheer

Overview: A gang of corporate misfits and wannabe executives come together to throw the office holiday party to end all office holiday parties. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 105 minutes. Who’s Been Naughty: Sporadic studio comedy filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck have come together for the third time to offer a feature film that aims to please general movie-going audiences. Office Christmas Party stars second-time lead performers Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston–who previously co-starred in Gordon and Speck’s unfortunately under-seen sophomore effort The Switch in 2010–who portray dueling executives of a national tech company facing the imminent closing of its flagship Chicago...

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