Screened Out – The Hollars

By : Stephen Miller
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John Krasinski, Margo Martindale, Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, Sharltoe Copeley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Charlie Day, Josh Groban

So, with The Hollars, John Krasinski has directed his first film…

Essentially, it’s a little indie flick about a quirky family hitting the skids. So, we can remember Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Wish I Were Here, and a whole host of other films…all of which did this slightly better.

Firstly, the plot isn’t anything spectacular. Dad Jenkins is losing his business; he’s fired his first son Copeley, so the son has moved back home. Momma Martindale has a nasty brain tumor. And then second son Krasinski is in NYC. He is a failed graphic novelist in a wobbly relationship to the very pregnant Kendrick.

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Screened Out – 10 Cloverfield Lane

By : Stephen Miller
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Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.

It’s unfair to call this fun thriller a sequel to Cloverfield, the 2008 monster movie where four idiots did almost everything wrong as a creature ravaged Manhattan. Those morons had a handheld camera to record their stupidity; this film is more traditional, and better. Mainly, we couldn’t root for vapid people making bad choices in Cloverfield; here, we feel for Winstead’s Michelle, as a woman trapped in an impossible situation.

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Screened Out – Kill the Messenger

By : Stephen Miller
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Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Barry Pepper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Robert Patrick, Andy Garcia, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta

The C.I.A.’s complicity in America’s crack cocaine problem is a great, true story. Yet Kill the Messenger uses the most common film narrative possible – treating it like it’s an actual mystery. The acting is really great, the art direction is impeccable, and the storytelling is just dull dull dull.

I believe journalist Gary Webb – the man this movie is about – would definitely object.

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