Author: Sean K. Cureton

The Little Prince Examines the Impermanent Idleness of Youth

Overview: An inventive take on the eponymous Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book for children adapted and re-imagined as a contemporary animated fable. Netflix; 2016; Rated PG; 108 minutes. Idleness: Beginning with director Mark Osborne’s opening frames to his thrilling theatrical adaptation of The Little Prince, it becomes apparent that this is a movie about growing up. More precisely, it is a morality play on the presumed impermanence of idle youth. The movie opens with a brief introductory narration from Jeff Bridges as Saint-Exupéry’s infamous character The Aviator, who laments the literal mindedness of adults. Osborne then whisks the viewer away...

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Ellen Page: From Juno To Tallulah

It’s an affliction of the contemporary Hollywood actor who came to prominence during their relative adolescence that has occurred several times over. Known primarily for her star-turning and eponymous role in director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody’s 2007 indie drama turned mainstream pop-cultural sensation Juno, Nova Scotia native Ellen Page became an instantly recognizable sweetheart for a very specific class of theatergoer. Her irreverent mock-sophistication in Reitman’s career-launching production put the Canadian actress on the map, yet the years that have followed her Oscar-nominated introduction to the larger movie-viewing public has not been quite as renowned. Ever since Cody’s...

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Weekly Clickables: Movies for Kids & Donald Trump On Set

Welcome back to another installment of our Weekly Clickables! This week we’ve got a number of movies for younger viewers (and their content-minded parents), and a couple of other choice options. If you’re a young parent and need to know which movies are not only suitable but must be seen by children of all ages, then look no further than the top five movies that your kid has to see. If you were wondering what directing Donald Trump might entail, look no further than this personal recounting by director Oliver Stone on his brief encounter on the set of...

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Star Trek Beyond Charts Familiar Territory

Overview: The intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise answers a mysterious distress call, only to become embroiled with an enigmatic new enemy hell bent on destroying the United Federation of Planets. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 120 minutes. The Journey: Following director J.J. Abrams’ game changing franchise reboot in 2009, the current generation of films based on the classic science-fiction property created by Gene Roddenberry in the late 1960s continues on its grand journey with Star Trek Beyond. Handing the reins off to Fast & Furious franchise rejuvenator Justin Lin, the latest adventure starring Captain James Tiberius Kirk (Chris...

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Maron On IFC In Review

Marc Maron isn’t for everyone. More accurately, and as the stand-up comedian, podcast pioneer, and personable interviewer has told his fans on more than one occasion, he’s barely for himself. Before starting his now infamously well regarded bi-weekly podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Maron was a struggling comic, twice divorced, who had seemingly burned down more bridges than he had established connections within the entertainment industry. His was a well regarded and respected voice of the stand-up comedy racket for several decades, but as an individual he was marked by an insatiable neediness that left many would-be friends and...

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence: A First Viewing 15 Years Later

Originally published June 26, 2016. I didn’t expect to like A.I. Artificial Intelligence very much when I watched it for the first time this past weekend. Growing up I remember the film primarily for the novelty of how a copy of it first entered my family household, when my father procured a used copy of the special edition DVD from Blockbuster Video, and I was astounded by the sheer amount of content that could fit onto what looked like a compact disc. A.I. became the signifier of something that I had been denied access to temporarily, and perhaps stands as...

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The Lobster, Love, and Life in the 21st Century

NOTE: The following piece may contain spoilers. Standing as the first English language film from Greek writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster is a beguiling and enthralling experience unlike any other. Taking certain implied thematic cues from the absurdist and philosophical literature of German writer Franz Kafka, Lanthimos’ latest directorial effort is as alienating as it is intimate. The characters who populate the dystopia of The Lobster are akin to characters in a fairy tale. Their outward personalities are muted by a world oppressively orchestrated by archaic and utilitarian laws. Everyone must form a couple in the world of The Lobster, and...

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What If the Ghostbusters Reboot Is Bad?

As we approach the theatrical release of writer/director Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot later this July, many fans of the seminal paranormal-comedy of 1984 (and its immediate sequel from 1989) are still scratching their heads as to how to feel about the new film. Feig’s new movie will appropriate the name of the original film co-created by original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis, while transporting the original movie’s central roles onto the shoulders of four new leads. With Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones filling out the newly established and eponymous team of paranormal...

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Brian Wilson Alone: The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Later

The eleventh Beach Boys LP, Pet Sounds, was recorded from July 12, 1965 through April 13, 1966. Released by Capitol Records on May 16, 1966, the record marked a turn in the career of the popular American rock group. Marked by the band’s penchant for glittery California pop, Pet Sounds was singular in its self-conscious appraisal of the appeal of popular music in general. Produced, arranged, and largely written and composed by central band member Brian Wilson while on leave from touring with the rest of the band, Pet Sounds proved divisive among general audiences. Despite peaking at #2 in the...

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Two Bucks, a Bottle of Booze, and an Interview with Cash Only Director Malik Bader

Cash Only is the third feature length motion picture from director Malik Bader, whose past work on the 2006 mock-documentary Street Thief cemented his status as a contemporary auteur of metropolitan crime. Violence and depravity wend their way throughout both forceful efforts on the big screen, but with Cash Only Bader has moved from the streets of Chicago to the dilapidated infrastructure of the dangerous Albanian underworld in Detroit. Featuring a screenplay written by lead actor Nickola Shreli, Cash Only combines taut spiritual revelation with a harrowing drama, and we were more than honored to speak with Bader about...

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Born to Be Blue Offers an Impressive Drama

Overview: A dramatic reimagining of the late return from seminal Jazz trumpeter Chet Baker in 1960s California. Entertainment One; 2016; Rated R; 97 minutes. Let’s Get Lost: With echoes of the real life musician scattered throughout writer-director Robert Budreau’s latest, Born to Be Blue lives up to the grandeur and allusion of its title. Starring Ethan Hawke in the lead role, Baker appears simultaneously innocent and volatile throughout. Despite persistently declaring his intentions to stay off heroin, the notorious recluse often dives back into hard and soft recreational activities. Engaged with some level of dedicated decorum to his latest...

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Why I Still Watch Girls

After five seasons on the air, Girls has become a bit of joke. Initially praised for its overt ties to that other acclaimed HBO drama about well-to-do young women living in the Big Apple, showrunner/writer/actor/director Lena Dunham’s cast of millennial New Yorkers has become every bit as entitled and odious as Sex and the City. Hannah Horvath as a stand-in for Dunham herself is often dragged through the proverbial mud, as her preening self-aggrandizement often seems to echo that of the actress who portrays her in real life. In 2014, Dunham published her memoir Not That Kind of Girl:...

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Togetherness In Memoriam

A couple of weeks ago HBO cancelled the original series Togetherness in the middle of airing its second season, and the entire program ended without ceremony and in the midst of its depicted drama. Written and created by show-runners Mark and Jay Duplass, Togetherness was a bold experiment in dramatic screenwriting for television that upheld much of the subtle understatement characteristic of the two directors larger cinematic oeuvre. Having partially contributed to what is now well known as the Mumblecore sub-genre of independent films from the 2000s, the Duplass Brothers are certainly not hurting for acclaim and attention. With...

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The Jungle Book Is Wholesome and Heartfelt

Overview: A marvelous retelling of Walt Disney Studios’ musical take on The Jungle Book based in part on Rudyard Kipling’s eponymous collected works. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 105 minutes. An Animated Classic Revisited: Director Jon Favreau’s task in re-adapting The Jungle Book for Walt Disney Studios in the twenty-first century was no easy or enviable task. Taking obvious musical cues, set pieces, and thematic inspiration from the classic Disney cartoon of 1967, Favreau has recast the hand drawn work of the past into a fully-realized digital world teeming with life despite its overt cinematic trickery. Developed...

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Netflix Hidden Gem #73: He Never Died

He Never Died (2015) Director: Jason Krawczyk Genre: Comedy Vertical Entertainment Synopsis: The biblical character Cain is made manifest in surly metropolitan loner Jack (Henry Rollins), an immortal protagonist at constant odds with his baser nature that drives him to feed on human flesh. As a result, he must force himself into self-imposed isolation from others, and bribe a local medical student to supply him with human blood. But all of the sobriety that Jack has been able to establish for himself over the course of recent years is put to the test when a former employer and local...

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