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Home » Articles »   By Ryan Syrek
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Thursday, December 18,2014

Happy, little clouded

‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ brushes greatness

By Ryan Syrek
Writer/director Isao Takahata adapts a Japanese folktale called “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.” While unsurprisingly out cutting bamboo, the Bamboo Cutter discovers a surprise inside of one stalk: a tiny fairy creature that turns into a baby. Just go with it.
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Thursday, December 4,2014

News-sploitation

‘Nightcrawler’ is a character-based crime porn indictment

By Ryan Syrek
The film wastes no time in telling us that we are to despise this man, who will do whatever he needs to in order to succeed. He is harassed by a security guard as he is stealing copper and wire, sees that the guard has a nice watch and beats him and takes it.
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Monday, December 1,2014

Leni Riefen-stalling

‘Mockingjay’ mocks propaganda

By Ryan Syrek
Because Katniss sucks at acting, they send her into the field accompanied by a director, Cressida (Natalie Dormer), and cameramen.
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Thursday, November 20,2014

What we talk about when we talk about ‘Birdman’

By Ryan Syrek
Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, the washed-up former star of “Birdman,” a blatant Batman analog. After years spent squandering his celebrity, Riggan is a fame junkie trying to get his fix of public adoration and respect.
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Thursday, November 13,2014

Awful, not full of awe

‘Interstellar’ is stunning…ly bad

By Ryan Syrek
Cooper follows said coordinates and discovers a secret NASA facility that intends to shoot a spaceship into a wormhole to find a planet that can sustain humanity. The leader, Professor Brand (Michael Caine), asks Cooper to pilot the ship, accompanied by three other astronauts, including Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), the professor’s daughter.
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Thursday, October 30,2014

Yes, they mean you

‘Dear White People’ is a must-see for us all

By Ryan Syrek
Thrill-seekers live for the rush that comes from defying death; adrenaline is the body’s chemical “thank you” for keeping it alive. Somehow, that’s the sensation I got watching Dear White People, writer/ director Justin Simien’s declaration that he didn’t come to half-ass it. Audacious, overly ambitious, challenging and understandably flawed, Dear White People may be the most important conversation about race you’ve never seen, heard or had.
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Thursday, October 23,2014

‘Fury’ is missing fast

War is hella slow

By Ryan Syrek
The film’s opening text sets hopes impossibly high for self-awareness, describing the timing near the end of  World War II and the superiority of the German tanks.
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Thursday, October 9,2014

Everyone is awful

‘Gone Girl’ does not recommend marriage

By Ryan Syrek
Nick’s only allies are his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), and high-profile defense lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry).
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Thursday, October 2,2014

Swimming in the Laika

‘The Boxtrolls’ is more stop-motion fun

By Ryan Syrek
From Ray Harryhausen’s Medusa to Henry Selick’s Jack Skellington, stopmotion animation is just frickin’ cool, yo. Maybe it’s the meticulous nature of the art form, with each tiny gesture by a character necessitating dozens of miniscule movements and hours of work from animators.
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Thursday, September 18,2014

Get Fassbent

‘Frank’ is proof Michael Fassbender can’t be stopped

By Ryan Syrek
So the whole time, Michael Fassbender wears this giant, papier-mache-style head and mumble-sings gibberish lyrics about things like snags in the carpet while other people play instruments they created out of things like toothbrushes. Welcome to Frank,.
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