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Home » Articles »   By Ryan Syrek
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Thursday, January 8,2015

The burden of actual Christianity

‘The Overnighters’ is brutal

By Ryan Syrek
The first shock-and-awe moment comes early: People are moving to North Dakota on purpose. The town of Williston is one of many North Dakotan locales blessed and cursed with the “oil boom.” They call it an “oil boom” because “fracking the planet into oblivion” doesn’t sound as fun.
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

Winter camp

‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ is a melodramatic avalanche

By Ryan Syrek
If you were weaned on John Waters, you’ll gobble up every cheese-tastic second, from a horny housewife lusting towards her daughter’s boyfriend to Christopher Meloni’s Yosemite Sam mustache. If you’re intolerant of goofy tomfoolery, you won’t survive dialogue like, “In the blink of an eye, my virginity was gone.
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

15 for 15

Upcoming movies worth surviving the holidays to see

By Ryan Syrek
Channing Tatum plays an alien wolfman trying to rescue the queen of the universe (Mila Kunis) while fighting lizard people. I’m in. It’s not an encouraging sign that the studio moved this wacky space opera from July 2014 to February, but Edge of Tomorrow.
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Tuesday, December 30,2014

Ending in the Middle Earth

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ sticks the landing

By Ryan Syrek
Mountain. Except, the head dwarf in charge of said mountain, Thorin (Richard Armitage), has become a total dwarfen prick. The cursed treasure is (Ian McKellen), so it becomes a massive battle orgy that lasts for the majority of the film’s entire second half.
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Tuesday, December 30,2014

I’ll miss you, 2014

The film year in review

By Ryan Syrek
From a purely fiscal standpoint, 2014 sucked. Box office totals are likely to finish at the lowest amount since 2008, which I’m sure makes everyone feel real bad for the billionaires in Hollywood.
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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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