Shevenge (2019)

In this anthology inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, producer Staci Layne Wilson brings together a dozen shorts with themes and content about abuses of power, sexual abuse, and issues affecting women in particular. The stories range from a woman in therapy to a ghost attacking men in a public restroom. Here the shorts all contain storylines that will make viewers think with styles that entertain, scare, and even amuse. The talent in this anthology is of high quality and some of the shorts will be familiar those film festival regulars.

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Five Great Movies You Can Watch in lieu of “The Hunt”

Universal Studios pulled a very controversial and polarizing move recently by pulling their survival thriller “The Hunt” from its release schedule amidst the recent mass shootings, once again proving that Hollywood just doesn’t get it. In either case while many folks (me included) were excited for the film and are now angered at its being pulled and most likely shelved indefinitely, I thought I’d recommend five great films in the vein of “The Hunt.”

Films (and media) revolving around men hunting other men and or people have been in the medium since the silent era. I even read “The Most Dangerous Game” from 1924 by writer Richard Connell back in 1998 for high school. Here are merely five of dozens of great films in this sub-sub-genre.

What are some of your favorites in this ilk? Let Me Know.

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

“Stories Hurt. Stories Heal.”

Although “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” has gone down considerably well with audiences it might remain one of the most misunderstood movies of the year. The original books from Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell were compilations of urban legends, urban folklore, and original tales, the former of which had been shared for generations by many people. They began life as morality stories and then became campfire tales. Sure André Øvredal could have turned the books in to a normal anthology, but in the end he opts for something of more substance. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is about stories. The stories of the past. The stories we tell one another. The stories the characters tell each other to survive. The stories that can ultimately destroy us.

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)

Nickelodeon has been in a tricky scenario over the last five years, in where the audience that once watched their hit shows is now becoming adults. Now they’ve scrambled for ways to appeal to a new generation, even aging their banner characters a bit. With “Dora the Explorer,” Nickelodeon has taken great pains in allowing her to blossom with her audience, and then revert back to the original formula that made her such a hit. With this feature film adaptation, they manage to pull off what is a loving tribute, a fun action adventure film, an adaptation that is never afraid to poke fun at itself every now and then, and a spotlight for latinx movie heroes we can root for.

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5 More Great Minority Movie Heroes

As we’ve learned over the last few years, representation means a lot and Hollywood is finally catching on to that fact. Minorities and People of Color are no longer gangsters, criminals and thugs. They’re now the everyman hero, the good guys, and yes, even the blockbuster superheroes. With “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and “Hobbs and Shaw” out in theaters now, I thought it’d be a great time to continue the list of Great Minority Movie Heroes.

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Ever After (Endzeit) (2019)

Director Carolina Hellsgård wears her heart on her sleeve with “Ever After,” a movie that’s mired in the influence of femininity and women and offers up a lot of metaphysical ideas about mother Earth, nature, and our state of being. Although “Ever After” has been marketed as a zombie movie, the zombie element is mostly a background dressing for something more meditative and complex. While I adapted to what screenwriter Olivia Vieweg was leading us in to after the first half hour, “Ever After” still manages to be a mixed bag and doesn’t quite re-invent the wheel.

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The Tough Ones (Rome Armed to the Teeth/Roma a Mano Armata): Deluxe Edition (1976) [2 Blu-Ray/CD]

“The Tough Ones” is one of the pair of films that Umberto Lenzi directed that spotlighted the character Tanzi, a man almost driven mad by his need to thwart crime at every corner.  Tanzi is something of a great scale anti-hero who spends a lot of his time tracking down a petty thug who is very much a creep and noting very spectacular. Tanzi inspects this crime and chases the criminals like his life depends on it. He spends a majority of the film talking through gritted teeth and shouting at just about everyone and he almost always is on the verge of hurting someone. Tanzi is not meant to be a hero or even a heroic vigilante so much as he’s the corrupt law that’s hell bent on taking down the larger criminal element including Tony Parenzo (Ivan Rassimov) and his efforts to create an underground criminal network.

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