russell+crowe+and+ryan+gosling+in+the+nice+guys review 

THE NICE GUYS – Losers Worth Rooting For

If you know who Shane Black is, you likely already know if you’re going to like The Nice Guys. For all the rest of you – As the creator of the Lethal Weapon series, Shane Black is basically the father of the modern buddy cop genre. (He’s also the first dude on screen to ever get offed by a Predator.) Almost two decades later, he reinvented his own take on “Two Wacky Dudes Solving Crimes” with his directorial debut, the wildly deconstructive, and constantly unpredictable, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, This film bears the distinction of simultaneously being the last thing Val Kilmer was in that anybody cared about, and the device that rebooted Robert Downey Jr.’s career post-drug abuse scandal. RDJ returned the favor by bringing Black in as the writer and director of Iron Man 3. Black returned that favor by giving Marvel its 3rd best selling, and by far most unpredictable film. 

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the+fart+that+killed+everyone review 

THE FART THAT KILLED EVERYONE Duology- A Literary Sensation Takes the World By Noxious Storm

It’s not often that Powerwolf reviews works of literature, but considering the overwhelming importance that The Fart That Killed Everyone collection has had on the social, cultural, and geopolitical landscape, we would be remiss not to discuss it. Since this duology burst onto the scene, both the Trump and Clinton campaigns have rallied around the perceived messages at play, while Sanders has largely ignored them in a move that will likely cost him the DNC nomination. Some have argued that, like a fart, the novels’ message is nebulous enough that it can be appropriated by any Dick, Jane, or Sally with an agenda to push. I would argue that while The Fart That Killed Everyone and its sequel do contain political elements, the potency of the story’s messages are in their human universality.

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keegan-michael+key+and+jordan+peele+rescue+keanu review 

KEANU – You Gotta be Kitten Me

Keanu, from the comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele seemed like a sure-fire comedy hit. During its five season run, their sketch comedy series Key & Peele was consistently hilarious – often brilliant social satire. The duo share a mixed race heritage. Both have black fathers and white mothers, and they have often leveraged this unique position to discuss things about race that few other comedians could speak to, much less get away with. Having spent a lifetime being seen as “shady” by whites and “domesticated” by blacks, their sketches regularly had them hitting either extreme. They poked fun of the social norms that divided their cultures, while showing how arbitrary it was to adopt them to fit in. In Keanu, they hit these same notes again, but to diminishing returns.

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When Harry Met Sally - Someone is staring at You top 25 

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… – “Someone is staring at you in Personal Growth”

When Harry Met Sally… is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s also incredibly misunderstood. Early in the film, an obnoxious and young Harry, fresh out of college, states that “Men and women can’t be friends, because the sex part always gets in the way.” What follows in the film is a long term friendship that falls into sex, and subsequently romantic love. The quote is even repeated at the film’s end when Harry does, in fact, fall in love with Sally. Many have argued that this is the film’s theme and overarching message. A 2014 blog post by Reuters’ Chlo Angyal and another from 2012 by SplitSider’s Blythe Robertson are two recent analyses that support this theory. Both writers argue that the film sends an unhealthy message. I would agree with them that the concept is bullshit. I’m a heterosexual man, and I’m probably friends with more women than men. That said, I strongly disagree that “Men can’t be friends with women” is the theme or the message of the film.

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Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator top 25 

THE GREAT DICTATOR – Bringing a Voice To the Silent

Charlie Chaplin’s THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940) is one of my favorite films of all time. This has little to do with the distinction of being his first full fledged “talkie,” and more to do with its audacity in having the gall to satirize Adolph Hitler during his rise to power. The film came about a year after the start of WWII, and a year before the Pearl Harbor attack, when the U.S. finally deigned to dirty it’s hands in the matter. But production started before all that in 1938, the year that Germany annexed Austria. This was a year before the start of WWII and during a period when American censors and businessman were still either defending Hitler, or at least adamantly insisting that nobody piss him off. Even United Artists, the production company that Chaplin co-founded urged him to avoid the subject, worried about Hays Code censors and the possibility that the film would never be allowed in theaters.

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Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot review 

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT – The Hottest Piece of Ass in the Middle East

Based on the autobiography of war correspondent Kim Barker, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT’s struggles are similar to those of every movie that’s “based on a true story.” It can’t quite find its theme and dramatic arc, because real life doesn’t have themes or dramatic arcs. In real life, stuff just happens, and we make sense of it as we go. It isn’t nearly as satisfying or succinct, but if WTF’s plot is merely a day-in-the-life, at least its subject is the constantly amusing and engaged Tina Fey as a fictionalized Kim “Baker.”

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Mei Ren Yu - The Mermaid - Police Sketch review 

MEI REN YU (THE MERMAID) – Better Than an All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry

MEI REN YU (THE MERMAID) is one of the best Comedies I’ve seen in a while and is a serious contender for my top films of 2016. Chinese comedy director Steven Chow (Shaolin SoccerKung Fu Hustle) is rare breed of artist who actually directs comedically. His use of the frame, of motion, and in perfectly landing beats in the edit are flawless to a degree of mastery that is rivaled only by Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson. But nobody does slapstick like Chow.

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George Clooney in Hail Caesar review 

HAIL, CAESAR! – “Divine Presence to Be Shot”

Why the hell would any sane person work in the film industry? This is the core question in HAIL, CAESAR!, a the day-in-the-life examination of the combination tenacity, talent, and madness it takes to be a successful Producer. It’s 1951. The Golden Era of film is coming to an end. The period showcases everything grand and absurd about the film business, and it’s in the balance of grandness and absurdity that the Coen brothers shine. Like much of their best work, the film is brilliantly precise and laugh-out-loud funny, with a nihilistic bite to the humor that makes you wish it didn’t feel so true. 

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Deadpool with drawing review 

DEADPOOL – Because Why the Hell Not?

DEADPOOL is not attempting to be a deconstruction of the superhero genre. It’s not a critique of the hero’s journey. It’s not trying to reinvent anything, and it’s certainly not trying to be a masterpiece of cinema. DEADPOOL’s just happy to be here, have a good time, slice up some folks on his Naughty List while rattling off juvenile insults, profanities, and general silliness. He’s Spider-Man without the responsibility, the snark turned up to 11, and the rating clocked firmly to “R.” He’s Marvel’s SOUTH PARK, and he has no higher aspirations than to amuse you for a couple hours in his very own super revenge comedy.

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