Moonlight: A Revelation


I’ll start by admitting that my viewing was long overdue. A confluence of factors contributed to this (not the least of them being that my roommates saw it without me and we’ve seen something else whenever we’ve gone to the theaters since), but that’s no excuse for someone who claims to be a cinephile.

So, Moonlight. Where to start. At the most superficial level, someone might describe it to you as the journey of a young black man growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood, all the while struggling with his sexuality. But this film is so much more than the buzzwords that pepper the previous line. It’s a story of self-discovery. A story of human connection. And a story of otherness.

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The Reel 2016: Best Of


Yes, I know. Nearly everyone has already completed, posted, and fought over their year-end lists. And I’m sure many people would like to forget 2016 as soon as possible.

But, because society loves lists, and I don’t feel like writing a real post, I’ve decided to share my favorite films of 2016 – and there were some great ones!

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – A Magnificent Menagerie & Astonishing Adventure


Before Rubeus Hagrid took over Care of Magical Creatures class, and no doubt ignored any and all warnings laid out in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” textbook, magizoologist Newt Scamander first had to travel the world and document all the exotic fauna he could find.

The year is 1926. The Tilt-A- Whirl, power steering, and restaurant drive-throughs are new inventions. The dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has mysteriously disappeared. The Great War is comfortably in the rearview mirror (or so No-Majs think). And the New Salem Philanthropic Society and Second Salemers (anti-magic) are out in full force.

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Captain America: Civil War – Whose Side Are You On?

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You’re welcome, Marvel.

As of the time this post went live, Captain America: Civil War had garnered the 5th best domestic opening ever, surpassed $200 million at the domestic box office, and posted over $700 million in worldwide ticket sales. Having seen the film twice on opening weekend, I feel confident in taking partial credit for the overwhelming success the film has already experienced, not to mention the millions the film is sure to reap as a result of my review. Just make the resulting thank you card and accompanying reward out to ‘Cash,’ Marvel.

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10 Cloverfield Lane: Prepare for Discomfort

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Are you prepared? Originally the headline referred strictly to the film, but then I decided I’m going to change up these posts a little bit. And then I realized that might also result in some discomfort. Hopefully a bearable amount.

Now generally speaking, I’ve never been one to actively seek out scary movies. But even with that being the case, there’s no way I was the only audience member who was simultaneously tense, squirming in my chair, and suffering from shallow breathing throughout the entire film. While veteran horror fans may try to convince me they were unfazed by 10 Cloverfield Lane, I don’t buy it. The film is a full-on assault.

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Creed: A Hit That Packs A Punch

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No matter how much you jab, duck, and weave, you can’t punch your way out of a fight against your toughest opponent. So remember, “it ain’t about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Call it Creed, Pacquiao, McGregor, or anything you want — while the perspective may change, the Rocky message remains the same.

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Brooklyn: Home Is Where The Heart Is

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Most of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. Maybe it hit you when you went away to summer camp for the first time. Maybe it hit when you moved into your dorm at college or set out on your own after graduation. When homesickness strikes, you do your best to ride it out. Eventually, it gets better.

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Sicario: A Hitman In Mexico, A Thriller On The Big Screen

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The U.S.-Mexico border is 1,989 miles long. It’s one of the most frequently crossed international boundaries in the world, with an estimated 300+ million legal crossings annually.

Yet it’s the illegal, unseen cartel traffic through the tunnels and border gaps that should be truly astounding, as it drives much of the strife along our southern border. So, how can a problem this widespread, but concealed, be attacked? The only way to eradicate it is to cut the head off the snake and watch it die, right?

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Sleeping With Other People: As Fun As It Sounds, And Just As Messy

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Yes, when it boils down to it, this is a rom-com. And yes, as a result, it uses some common rom-com tropes to reach the conclusion audiences have come to expect from the genre. But let me make this very clear from the get-go: as much as it uses these cinematic devices and bridges dialogue with well-timed, cringe/laugh-inducing sexual innuendos, Sleeping With Other People has a good amount of heart and offers a lot of truth. In fact, I’d say that the biggest stretch from reality comes not at the end but at the very beginning, when the audience is asked to believe that Alison Brie’s character is having difficulty getting a boring TA to sex her up. I don’t buy it.

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Paper Towns: It’s (Mostly) Better On Paper

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Paper towns, full of paper people, living in their paper houses – brought to life.

The latest on-screen adaptation from John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) introduces the uninitiated to Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) – the coolest, prettiest, and inarguably most popular girl in your average suburban Florida high school. Her free-spirited reputation precedes her by miles, whether or not the stories of traveling in a circus or with a rock band are ultimately true. She’s the type of enigmatic character you’d love to go on an adventure with, but are instead left chasing.

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