alienation

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler crawls over the line where news eats itself, not just blurring the report and the reporter but selling a kind of news that is self-creating, like reality television, with hapless unpaid actors forced to play out scenarios of some network

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By The Sea

The Brangelina vanity pic really isn’t that bad. However its punchline is straight out of that famous picture starring Burton and Taylor, which sadly then makes everything else about By The Sea seem familiar – the soon-to-be-divorced-in-real-life actors, the younger

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By The Sea

The Brangelina vanity pic really isn’t that bad. However its punchline is straight out of that famous picture starring Burton and Taylor, which sadly then makes everything else about By The Sea seem familiar – the soon-to-be-divorced-in-real-life actors, the younger

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Alien: Covenant

As has been observed before regarding Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is trying to build conceptual sci-fi on the burial grounds of what began as a simple, stylish, terrifying horror story. This alleged prequel to the Alien saga, now in its second

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Alien: Covenant

As has been observed before regarding Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is trying to build conceptual sci-fi on the burial grounds of what began as a simple, stylish, terrifying horror story. This alleged prequel to the Alien saga, now in its second

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Ex Machina

According to the movies, programming your AI is apparently indistinguishable from a contract with the devil. Inevitably there is a hidden catch in the wording of the contract, or a clause that hubris encourages you to overlook. And the outcome for

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Ex Machina

According to the movies, programming your AI is apparently indistinguishable from a contract with the devil. Inevitably there is a hidden catch in the wording of the contract, or a clause that hubris encourages you to overlook. And the outcome for

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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Captain Fantastic

Drop-out survivalists are forced to re-enter mainstream society when a tragedy strikes. They’re like a family of doomsday preppers with a positive, if fortress, mentality and leanings toward Mao and Chomsky rather than the NRA (was this written in the 70s?). The

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Mad Max : Fury Road

Max is back. The story hits the road early and stays there. The elevator pitch might be “Ellen Ripley vs Boko Haram on wheels”, with Max as the benevolent Michael Biehn or Lance Henriksen character. Since the second instalment the

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Mad Max : Fury Road

Max is back. The story hits the road early and stays there. The elevator pitch might be “Ellen Ripley vs Boko Haram on wheels”, with Max as the benevolent Michael Biehn or Lance Henriksen character. Since the second instalment the

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American Sniper

American Sniper’s apparent banner message is that America needs to move on. Troops are coming home to live among civilians again; understand their experience. But a lot of the time it seems to forget this intention, or even to have one. It

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American Sniper

American Sniper’s apparent banner message is that America needs to move on. Troops are coming home to live among civilians again; understand their experience. But a lot of the time it seems to forget this intention, or even to have one. It

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Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Under The Skin

A disappointing adaptation that barely scrapes the surface of Michel Faber’s masterful and understated alien-incursion novel. The initial scenario is the same but Faber’s themes of class and industrial ethics are discarded in favour of more familiar gender politics, alien

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Under The Skin

A disappointing adaptation that barely scrapes the surface of Michel Faber’s masterful and understated alien-incursion novel. The initial scenario is the same but Faber’s themes of class and industrial ethics are discarded in favour of more familiar gender politics, alien

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Performance (1970)

An art movie, a drug movie, a Mick Jagger acting debut, Nicolas Roeg’s directing debut, a late, post-swinging 60’s bohemian manifesto, but underpinning all that one of the best British gangster flicks around. It features a foulmouthed, thuggish, head kicking

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Performance (1970)

An art movie, a drug movie, a Mick Jagger acting debut, Nicolas Roeg’s directing debut, a late, post-swinging 60’s bohemian manifesto, but underpinning all that one of the best British gangster flicks around. It features a foulmouthed, thuggish, head kicking

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Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

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Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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World War Z

The zombie genre’s relentless advance achieves infection of the upper hollywood echelons as Brad Pitt goes the way of the axe and the head shot. Zombiedom’s transmutation from resurrection to viral plague now seems complete (when was the last time

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World War Z

The zombie genre’s relentless advance achieves infection of the upper hollywood echelons as Brad Pitt goes the way of the axe and the head shot. Zombiedom’s transmutation from resurrection to viral plague now seems complete (when was the last time

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Oblivion

If you don’t mind your futuristic production design looking like an off the plan real estate brochure, Oblivion is a watchable post-catastrophic sci-fi. Humanity appears to have moved out of home, Tom Cruise and his assigned companion (Andrea Riseborough) are ensconced in

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Oblivion

If you don’t mind your futuristic production design looking like an off the plan real estate brochure, Oblivion is a watchable post-catastrophic sci-fi. Humanity appears to have moved out of home, Tom Cruise and his assigned companion (Andrea Riseborough) are ensconced in

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Chronicle

This found-footage mashup of X-men and Akira is another meeting of low production values and teen movie cliches, the kind where the low budget is a means to break into the mainstream rather than break out. Its premise of alien-artifact-sourced

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Chronicle

This found-footage mashup of X-men and Akira is another meeting of low production values and teen movie cliches, the kind where the low budget is a means to break into the mainstream rather than break out. Its premise of alien-artifact-sourced

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Grey Gardens (2009)

Thankfully not the grotesque vanity project one might have feared, this unflinching yet respectful biopic offers some worthwhile context and understanding of the Beales phenomenon, even if Barrymore and Lange’s evocation of the two Edies can never hope to entirely

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Grey Gardens (2009)

Thankfully not the grotesque vanity project one might have feared, this unflinching yet respectful biopic offers some worthwhile context and understanding of the Beales phenomenon, even if Barrymore and Lange’s evocation of the two Edies can never hope to entirely

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Man Of Steel

This latest reboot posits a moral conflict over Superman’s earthly versus Kryptonian loyalties, yet it manages to extract little from them but a lot of brawling, and does nothing new with the character. The invading Krypto-fascists seem like a broad church.

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Man Of Steel

This latest reboot posits a moral conflict over Superman’s earthly versus Kryptonian loyalties, yet it manages to extract little from them but a lot of brawling, and does nothing new with the character. The invading Krypto-fascists seem like a broad church.

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On The Road

Kerouac’s tale of his friendship with Neil Cassady (nee Dean Moriarty) plays like a journey of the apostles, as a lost tribe of disaffected youths pursue this charismatic narcissist back and forth across America. Rarely does a film let you

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On The Road

Kerouac’s tale of his friendship with Neil Cassady (nee Dean Moriarty) plays like a journey of the apostles, as a lost tribe of disaffected youths pursue this charismatic narcissist back and forth across America. Rarely does a film let you

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The Master

This is a masterfully crafted example of whatever it is. There’s some controversy regarding whether it’s really just a litigation-proofed L. Ron Hubbard:The Early Years, but if it’s not, then what is it? At face value, there isn’t nearly enough

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The Master

This is a masterfully crafted example of whatever it is. There’s some controversy regarding whether it’s really just a litigation-proofed L. Ron Hubbard:The Early Years, but if it’s not, then what is it? At face value, there isn’t nearly enough

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Cosmopolis

A one percent It boy accompanied by intermittent aides and associates takes a stretch limo across Manhattan as the wave of financial speculation he’s been riding begins to break. Cosmopolis is a road movie in a traffic jam. Most of

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Cosmopolis

A one percent It boy accompanied by intermittent aides and associates takes a stretch limo across Manhattan as the wave of financial speculation he’s been riding begins to break. Cosmopolis is a road movie in a traffic jam. Most of

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