Screened Out – Hidden Figures

By : Stephen Miller
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Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons

The three black women at the center of this true story broke new ground. This biopic itself doesn’t.

Instead, Hidden Figures tells its tale with standard structure, arcs, and pacing. But it does it so well! The acting is phenomenal, the scenes are tight and relevant, the photography is sumptuous, and the art direction is joyous. This means the movie is simply a pleasure to watch.

So what if the plot never sends us into orbit. It’s still a well-made film.

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Screened Out – The Divergent Series: Allegiant

By : Stephen Miller
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Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts

In the beginning, Woodley’s character Tris says, “We’re going to be okay” just before the feces hits the fan.

Woodley’s career has also hit the fan, especially after she signed up for this watered down YA science fiction with too many special effects and a wimpy story. This third installment of four in the Divergent series is the absolute worst – action sequences and clunky voice-overs giving way to slow, confusing speeches about genetic purity.

There’s nothing pure about Allegiant. It’s all chewed up and crapped out ideas from better books and movies.

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