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Megan Bianco’s articles

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IT Chapter 2 can float, too...right into the garbage

It’s interesting when a popular novel with a longstanding fan base just can’t figure out how to garner decent screen adaptations. The most famous example would probably be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” a book which for some reason still struggles to get a proper cinematic portrayal, even 84 years later. A modern...

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Brittany Runs a Marathon isn’t just another romcom about an overweight woman – it’s a good film, too

At a time when pop culture is expected to be politically sensitive, we have one extremely offensive thing that seems difficult to get rid of: the fat suit. Though there have always been overweight characters played by overweight actors, in many cases, fat characters in film have been played by average built actors donning...

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette? isn’t the worst film of the year, but it’s one of the most frustrating

Richard Linklater’s new dramedy, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” is about a suburban housewife in the Pacific Northwest who has a nervous breakdown and then intentionally checks out of her everyday life – without warning or notice to anyone – to rediscover who she is as a person. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be...

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Hobbs and Shaw: an unimpressive addition to the Fast & Furious catalog

If one franchise could safely secure the title of most unexpected longevity in film history, it would most likely be the “Fast & Furious” series. The original film, titled exactly that in 2001, was a moderate success. It did well with audiences, but to critics it was essentially a “Point Break” (1991) remake if you...

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Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood may be one of the better summer films

Quentin Tarantino’s new film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is pretty much what one would expect from Tarantino rewriting 1960s history for his own art, much like he did with WW2 in “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) or the Civil War in “Django Unchained” (2012). If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if real life, and...

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Jakob Dylan’s Echo in the Canyon is a documentary tribute to Laurel Canyon musical pioneers

The biggest counter-culture movement in modern history arguably occurred in the 1960s, both as a society and in pop culture. As most who lived during that decade or have extensively researched it can attest to, though, it was also a period that ended on a sour note, thanks to the violence and addiction issues that ran rampant...

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Ari Aster’s Midsommar is a relationship fever dream on film

Last summer marked the debut of filmmaker Ari Aster with his critical hit “Hereditary.” Following the film’s debut, movie fanatics and insiders were almost instantly predicting that Aster would be the next big thing in the horror genre. But while critics and fans may be pinning Aster as the new horror god, the director...

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Yesterday should be a stellar movie, but it’s just OK

Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” is the second film this summer season to feature a classic rock soundtrack, and it hits theaters one month after “Rocketman,” and a month before “Blinded by the Light.” As someone who’s considered the Beatles her favorite band since high school, it’s been really hard for me to buy into Hollywood...

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Elton John’s Rocketman has a lot to sing about

Elton John is one of those music artists whose songs you just like, even if you’re not big on his genre or era. While watching Dexter Fletcher’s musical biopic, “Rocketman,” which is based on Elton’s life, I found myself singing (or rather lip-syncing) along to every song, even though I’ve never considered myself a huge fan....

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Wilde’s “Booksmart”: A coming of age tale we’ve heard many times before

United Artists’ “Booksmart” is the latest raunchy R-rated teen comedy to hit theaters. For the past couple of weeks, the movie’s been received with overwhelmingly positive reviews across the board. The director is former starlet Olivia Wilde, who currently fancies herself a filmmaker. Fortunately for her (and her film’s...

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The Hustle: A gender-swapped version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

There is a fine line between taking influence for your own original idea from another source and just plain ripping off another artist. Chris Addison’s “The Hustle,” a new comedy starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, is being described as a modern, gender-swapped version of Frank Oz’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (1988) –...

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Endgame might be easier to follow with a Marvel refresher course

Despite all the criticism Marvel gets for playing it safe and not taking many real risks with their storytelling and character development, there are a couple of things they get right: taking their films seriously and being dramatic without coming across as bleak. The ending of the previous Avengers feature, “Infinity War,”...

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