October 2019

“Joker” Reviewed: Predicting the Punchline

Few films in recent years have generated as much excitement, controversy and, yes, fear as “Joker,” director Todd Phillips’ dark and twisted origin story about the infamous DC Comics villain. Scrutinized for its potential to inspire real-world violence, “Joker” details one lonely man’s transformation from outcast to killer — all from a highly subjective (and arguably dangerous) point of view.   The fact that “Joker” has elicited such scrutiny, igniting a debate over the moral responsibilities of...

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“Ad Astra” Reviewed: Ambling into the Unknown

The future looks strangely familiar in “Ad Astra,” director James Gray’s space drama about mortality, legacy and familial disturbances.   From the airline-esque accommodations on a shuttle to the moon to a lunar base’s neon Subway sign, there are many times in “Ad Astra” in which we’re left with an uncanny feeling of time periods intersecting, of futuristic facilities being saturated with present-day ephemera.   In other words, what we deem familiar becomes strange. Out of place.    So it goes...

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