Screened Out – Suicide Squad

By : Stephen Miller
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Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delvigne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ben Affleck, Jay Hernandez, Karen Fukuhara

Comic book fans are aching for their favorite DC villains to make a great film. Sure, by standards set by comic nostalgia, Suicide Squad may be good – witnessing these characters together on screen. However, as a stand-alone movie, Suicide Squad doesn’t cut it.

I am not a comic book fan, though I do admire the art and the medium. I am a fan of plot, character, and theme, and how they play out in good film. Despite how good the comic books are, movies should be able to stand on their own.

Suicide Squad – a flick full of less-than-good people – is a less-than-good film.

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Screened Out – Focus

By : Stephen Miller
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Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney

You can feel Focus trying to be as debonair and romantic as the Oceans films and as character-driven as American Hustle. Despites its sites, it never reaches those heights.

It’s not that Smith isn’t an expert at playing slick – he’s less appealing at the romantic banter required here. It’s also not that Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) isn’t sexy. In fact, her glamour and comic timing are the best things about this flick. The complications are entertaining. Although this is pure escapism, it’s just slight on memorable moments and sexual chemistry.

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Screened Out – Annie

By : Stephen Miller
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Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale

Are you asking yourself why anyone would choose to update the movie musical Annie? Well, keep asking.

Even with a new streetwise patina, this dusty story is about a rapscallion child (Wallis), who keeps hoping her parents are alive. A rich tycoon wants to adopt her. In this version, Foxx plays the moneybags (his name changed from Daddy Warbucks to Mr. Staxx) – a cellphone entrepreneur running for mayor of New York City. After Foxx spits some food on a homeless man, he needs photo ops with this cute kid to get his campaign back on track.

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