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MaryAnn Johanson Posts

this week at flick filosopher

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Thu Dec 06
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movies by or about women opening US/Can from Thu Dec 06
Bridey Elliott directs dramedy Clara’s Ghost; Alexis Bloom directs documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes; more…
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new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Fri Dec 07
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movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Dec 07
Lola Arias directs documentary Theatre of War; Mélanie Laurent and Alicia Vikander costar in historical romances; and not much more…
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new Patreon tiers and rewards (and a note to current PayPal donors)
I’m afraid it means more hassle for some of my most devoted, most supportive readers. I wish it didn’t have to be like this…
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say hello to the “movies for the resistance” and “on Netflix globally” pages
Two big new sections arrive on the site today, both excuses for me to review more — and more different kinds of — movies.
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Anna and the Apocalypse movie review: it shuffles along like the undead [pictured]
A zombie musical comedy set at Christmas should be a can’t-miss. But this one isn’t scary or funny; its characters are one-note, and the whole shebang — blah songs included — is emotionally flat.
read the review…

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, from Dec 04-07
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 03-07
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top secret report on Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (EYES ONLY!)
NOTE: THIS REPORT IS FOR S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENTS, AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N. ASSOCIATES, AVENGERS, AND OTHER APPROVED PERSONNEL ONLY. UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS IS SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION.
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movies for the resistance: Schindler’s List
The devastating cultural experience Spielberg’s masterpiece presented to us 25 years ago felt then like a piece of history. Today, from the bowels of 2018, it feels like a warning, a premonition, a harbinger.
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this week at flick filosopher

Family in Transition documentary

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Thu Nov 29
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movies by or about women opening US/Can from Thu Nov 29
Jennifer Westcott directs animated family comedy Elliot the Littlest Reindeer; Dava Whisenant directs documentary comedy Bathtubs Over Broadway; more…
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2018’s films ranked
I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.
see the list…

Family in Transition documentary review: weathering change at home (#DOCNYC2018) [pictured]
Frank and bittersweet, this is a quietly remarkable portrait of one father and husband’s gender transition, and how the family coped — and didn’t — with dramatic upheaval in the most intimate of settings: home.
read the review…

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Thu Nov 29
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movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Thu Nov 29
Sarah Silverman gives voice to a videogame character on an adventure; Shay Mitchell is a cop investigating a possessed corpse; more…
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Creed II movie review: a bout of familiarity
Can’t quite manage to continue the first film’s smart, unsentimental examination of male emotion and men’s relationships. At best achieves a draw with a genre path that is already extremely well worn.
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curated: teaching cinema in the age of #MeToo
Good nuanced take on a complex issue.
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Mirai movie review: and baby ruins everything
This tenderly animated Japanese film about sibling rivalry is lovely with its fantasy, but too convoluted for children and too slight for adults.
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The Christmas Chronicles movie review: the Kurt Russell–as–Santa Claus movie you didn’t know you needed (#Netflix)
Kurt Russell’s hot biker Santa is naughty and nice, but this otherwise discount holiday schmaltz is only half onboard with him.
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, from Nov 27-30
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, from Nov 26-28
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this week at flick filosopher

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Wed Nov 21
Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz in the midst of high intrigue in the court of Queen Anne; Alba August portrays Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren; more…
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movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Wed Nov 21
Claire Foy and Tiffany Haddish headline big new wide releases; Erika Cohn directs documentary The Judge, about a female pioneer of jurisprudence in the Middle East; more…
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new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Wed Nov 21
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new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Wed Nov 21
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2018’s films ranked
I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.
see the list…

The Girl in the Spider’s Web movie review: an itsy-bitsy reboot [pictured]
A rote crime action thriller — very car chase! such gunshots! — that drains its protagonist of much of the raw power that has made her so fascinating in the past.
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, from Nov 20
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, from Nov 19-23
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Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is coming to London!
Woo-hoo! I’ll be checking out Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. next week and will report back forthwith.
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Robin Hood (2018) movie review: it should be outlawed
Ugly, garish, anachronistic like a small mean child playing with matches, and completely lacking in anything Robin Hood–y: there’s no fun, no romance, no virtue. Instead? Bizarre “aesthetics” and even worse
read the review…

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review: the crimes of this movie, though…
It certainly is MORE than the first movie: more incoherent, more confused about who its protagonist is, more crammed with contrivance and coincidence. Even the title is more nonsensical this time.
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this week at flick filosopher

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Fri Nov 16
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movies by or about women opening US/Can from Fri Nov 16
Nijla Mu’min writes and directs teen drama Jinn; Angela Shelton writes and directs boxing drama Heart, Baby!; more…
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new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Fri Nov 16
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movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Fri Nov 16
J.K. Rowling writes another Harry Potter spinoff; Emily Atef writes and directs a portrait of European film star Romy Schneider; more…
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2018’s films ranked
I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.
see the list…

3 Days in Quiberon movie review: a star is torn
A raw and uneasy film about tortured celebrity — mid-20th-century European film star Romy Schneider — and the endless female struggle to break free of the small boxes our culture tries to confine us to.
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Green Book movie review: a road frequently taken, but a lovely trip nevertheless (#LFF2018)
The tune may be familiar, but it is performed with virtuoso style, its central characters drawn with wit, charm, and complexity and brought to life via the absolutely gorgeous performances of its stars.
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Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) movie review: the dying isn’t easy (but the comedy is)
This unexpectedly gentle black comedy about depression and suicide gets the tone just right, and could prompt as many empathetic conversations as it does compassionate laughs.
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Under the Wire documentary review: journalists under fire in Syria
A harrowing portrait of the slaughter of civilians and the urban destruction that was the siege of Homs in 2012, and a terrific honoring of journalist Marie Colvin, who died getting the story out to the world.
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, from Nov 13-16
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, from Nov 12
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A Private War movie review: this is not fake news (#LFF2018) [pictured]
A moving and important portrait of legendary Times of London foreign correspondent Marie Colvin. We need more movies like this, about fearless, badass women this outrageously good at their vitally necessary work.
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They Shall Not Grow Old documentary review: more museum exhibit than movie (#LFF2018)
There’s a poignant eeriness to this modernization of WWI footage: we are looking into a past that feels touchably close and immediate like never before. But this is a novelty. A solemn one, but a novelty nonetheless.
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this week at flick filosopher

movies by or about women opening US/Can from Wed Nov 07
Claire Foy takes over as the dragon-tattooed Lisbeth Salander; more…
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movies by or about women opening UK/Ire from Tue Nov 06
Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo go a-heistin’; more…
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new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Tue Nov 06
get the full rundown…

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Tue Nov 06
get the full rundown…

2018’s films ranked
I rank films on the fly as I see them for the 2018 awards year.
see the list…

Widows movie review: the women left to clean up men’s messes (#LFF2018) [pictured]
A heist movie that is gripping and badass, elegant and assured. You could ignore all the social-justice-warrior stuff and just enjoy this as a popcorn thriller. But what makes this so special is how it reexamines the genre’s clichés.
read the review…

Overlord movie review: underwhelmed
This Nazis-with-supernatural-weapons horror schlock drags its feet getting to its fantastical elements and then does absolutely nothing interesting with them, just wallows in dull, rote gore and grue.
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The Grinch movie review: he’s not much of a mean one, actually
Candy-colored slapstick and kindergarten-level humor make this perfectly suitable for small children, and perfectly bland and inoffensive to the adults accompanying them. Somehow, I don’t think Dr. Seuss would entirely approve.
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, from Nov 06-09
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new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, from Nov 05
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The Front Runner movie review: when politics turned tabloid (#LFF2018)
Snappy Sorkin-esque banter, 80s nostalgia, and Hugh Jackman in a bad wig yet still hot as hell. But also an enraging, ironic look at how a reality-TV resume ended up becoming a legit qualification for the American presidency.
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