‘Nightshooters’ is One of the Best Action Films This Year

The trials and tribulations of indie filmmaking are taken to their absurd, action-y, lengths in Marc Price’s Nightshooter, a story about a film crew finding themselves at the scene of a harrowing gang (mob?) execution at an abandoned and soon to be demolished business center on the last night of shooting a zombie film.

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‘You Can’t Kill Meme’ is a Genuine Attempt to Pull the Curtain on Meme Magic

Chaos Magic, 4chan, the 2016 election, and Egyptian gods were not the things I ever thought I would experience all at once but in You Can’t Kill Meme, a documentary film by Haley Garrigus that explores the idea of memes being magic and the magicians who use them. My third eye has been opened and I am looking deeper into the images I find funny and retweet on the internet.

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‘The Advent Calendar’ Proves to be Fun Holiday Horror

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s a moment to reflect on one’s life for the past 12 months with the family and friends you cherish, and celebrate another year together. Patrick Ridremont’s new film, The Advent Calendar, however, delivers a deliciously macabre statement that rejects the Yuletide sentiments for horror and gore sensibilities wrapped lovingly in beautiful cinematography and terrible people. This French film gifts the audience with an Advent calendar of terror, each scene opening up to reveal heightening anxious dread, that will leave horror fans happy this holiday season.

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NOC Review: ‘West Side Story’ is a Beautiful Retelling Worth Seeing

Directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, West Side Story revives the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. Now, fans of the Broadway show and original film might be wondering not only why it was remade, but if it’s worth going to see or if it does the story justice. With the stellar performances and amazing musical numbers, West Side Story has all the elements that make the story a classic and is definitely worth a trip to the movies.

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NOC Review: ‘Hawkeye’ Hits the Bullseye for Holiday Fun

Controversial opinion: After 13 years of storytelling, we simply didn’t get enough time with Clint Barton. I know Hawkeye was never anyone’s favorite Avenger back in 2012. And over the years, particularly starting with Age of Ultron, the avenging archer started to get some much needed attention. But he was always going to rank sixth on everyone’s list of favorite OG Avengers.

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‘Don’t Try To Understand’ Invites Fans on a Personal Journey Through the Life of DMX

Earl Simmons obtained critical success in the hip-hop world with his first major label single, “Get At Me Dog.” It was released and certified gold in February of 1998 — a month after this writer was born and, more importantly, three months before his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot released. By May of 1998, the world was officially in the hands of “DMX.”

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Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Poor Clare’

To be watching plays again inside a theatre after 18 months was certainly a strange experience considering that Poor Clare, now playing at the Echo Theater Company, was something I was supposed review right before the pandemic shut everything down and drastically altered our lives for many months to come. To finally be able to watch this play (written by Chiara Atik and directed by Alana Dietze) was made all the worthwhile in how utterly fantastic it was and how much its themes struck even harder after everything we experienced during this chaotic time.

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‘Alan Wake Remastered’ Brings a Brilliant Cult Classic to a New Generation

It started like a dream. I never thought I would be playing Alan Wake again after 10 years. Most of the plot, gameplay, and characters felt like mere shadows of a half remembered dream I had. Moments of the sequences I enjoyed mixed with the frustrated “eh” feelings I had for the combat, left me wondering if revisiting this game now that I am closer to the age of the titular character would change the shape my thoughts from what I thought of it before.

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NOC Review: ‘Encanto’ is Mostly Enchanting

First of all, score one for Walt Disney Animation for putting out two releases in one year that celebrate different stories from different cultures! With the terrific Raya and the Last Dragon earlier this year, and now the charming Encanto, it’s refreshing to see that the House of Mouse has been more proactive in telling stories that aren’t just rooted in Western European fairy tales. I think Moana really opened the door for this, and as far as our site is concerned, we couldn’t be happier.

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NOC Review: ‘Cowboy Bebop’ is a Mixed Bag That Will Test the Purists

So much like my review for Snake Eyes, I will set a disclaimer about the fact that I’m by no means a hardcore Cowboy Bebop fan. I’ve seen the full series once through in my life, and I do like it. And I’ve rewatched some of my favorite episodes numerous times, particularly in preparation for the release of this series. But I’m not as emotionally attached or invested in the series as many out there are.

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‘Home Sweet Home Alone’ Has a Moral Compass and a Happy New Year

The holiday season is underway yet again. As some of us prepare to celebrate with our loved ones, let’s keep in mind the folks who may be spending this season apart. Hopefully none of us are getting into any ridiculous, mischievous, or downright zany shenanigans that might earn you a mark inside the old “Maybe” box on the naughty/nice list. If that’s the case, at least there are now six movies that explain in cartoonish detail what to do if you find yourself riding the sleigh solo during a ho-ho-home invasion.

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Padma Lakshmi’s ‘Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition’ is Wonderful and Moving

We obviously look forward to the holidays for the food. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Passover, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Diwali, Día De Los Muertos, Seollal (Korean New Year), Nowruz (Persian New Year), or some other holiday, we always enjoy diving into a scrumptious feast with our loved ones to commemorate these occasions. But how exactly did some of these food traditions develop here in the United States, and what were the specific contributions of Immigrant and Indigenous communities?

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NOC Review: ‘Eternals’ is a Daring, Bold, Different Direction for the MCU

I’ll get this out of the way now. If you’re expecting Eternals to be standard fare for the MCU, it’s not. This is going to be a divisive movie. And it’s because it’s heavy, it’s out there, it’s a bit slower paced, a bit more disconnected from the established films for now, and it covers a ton of ground.

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‘Tales of Arise’ Review: Rising to the Occasion Never Felt So Good

I have spent most of my life playing Japanese role playing games. From the Final Fantasy series to the Shin Megami Tensei series, I have enjoyed several different JRPG titles from Japan. But one in particular was always hit or miss for me, and that was the Tales series. I bounced off of Abyss and Beseria, never owned a Gamecube to play Symphonia, finished Vesperia and liked it, but never felt the pull of replaying it. So to say that Tales of Arise is one of the best JRPGs to date is an understatement. Tales of Arise captures what makes JRPGs timeless while evolving and creating a new vocabulary of play through its storytelling and combat that I hope other studios take note of. 

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‘Ouija Japan’ Summons Greatness but is Cursed with Being Decent

Something that has always fascinated me in horror movies is that through the sheer bombastic embrace of all things repulsive in society, it can often be the best mirror image society has of itself. Whether it be through nightmare dream logic, campy visual stylization, or an over abundance of gore, when you strip the horror genre to its core there is a meaning behind the madness.

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NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season

“The Bullet Blondes” shows our heroes in a dire place. When we left our lovable band of time-traveling misfit superheroes at the tail end of Season 6, the unthinkable happened. Their precious Waverider ship was blown up by another Waverider that simply appeared and left! Now stranded in 1925, the Legends must figure out how to time-travel out of this period and make sure they don’t mess up history along the way.

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NOC Review: ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is Fun Enough But Toothless

So Venom happened. Back in 2018, the movie came out. And it was fun. Dumb, for sure. But fun enough. It was a movie that benefitted off Tom Hardy’s charisma and greater understanding of what this movie franchise really should be — a ‘00s era tongue-in-cheek, Army of Darkness-toned camp fest released in 2018. And for the most part it was a success with audiences. But for comic book movies in a post-Dark Knight, post-MCU era, I can honestly say it doesn’t register high among my list of greatest superhero films. It frankly doesn’t register at all. While I had fun with the film, to me, that first film set a relatively low bar for its own franchise. So imagine my surprise and disappointment to see that Venom: Let There Be Carnage barely even attempts to clear that bar.

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NOC Review: ‘No Time to Die’ is Capital Closure for Craig

It’s a bittersweet experience walking into the final installment of a film franchise you’ve enjoyed for 15 years. Something about the finality of a series you’ve seen grow and develop over the years hits you in the feels. Yes, I know Bond’s been around for close to 60 years. And yes, I grew up watching Bond movies like everyone else. I was nine when Goldeneye came out, and saw all of the Brosnan films as well when they hit theaters too. But to be honest those just didn’t register on any emotional level for me. I simply didn’t care about the character or the franchise unless I was playing as him on N64. That was until Daniel Craig came along.

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Steve McQueen Highlights Necessary Histories with New Documentaries

Director Steve McQueen’s newest Prime Video documentaries on West Indian and Caribbean life in 20th century London are necessary viewing. In a style similar to Ava DuVernay’s 13th, the Academy Award-winning director stitches together archival footage and thoughtful interviews that spotlight the violent history of some of London’s most vulnerable communities. Subnormal: A British Scandal, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, and Uprising document the racially motivated atrocities that plagued black and brown neighborhoods across London in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and captures the delicate maneuverings of McQueen’s cinematic eye.

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‘When I’m A Moth’ is Beautiful but Doesn’t Say Anything

Waking from a dream never felt so unfinished as it did when I reached the end credits of When I’m A Moth, an independent film directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak, written by Cotler. It’s a film that on paper has all the markings of being an arthouse darling — a small cast, eerie poetic dream visuals, pontifications on choice and fate with a going nowhere protagonist and yet, as I rose from my seat afterwards, it felt as if I was remembering a half dream. Unable to finish the thought of what it wanted to be but fascinated by the parts I could remember.

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NOC Review: ‘Malignant’ is a Bloody Bonkers B-Movie Blast

Recently during a roundtable discussion with director James Wan, Wan went on the record to say he thought Malignant would be polarizing. And if you were to take into account the films Wan has done post-Insidious, as well as the marketing campaigns that have been released for the film, it’s clear to see why he’d think that. Based on trailers and the past 10 years of Wan’s filmography, you’d think you were walking into a creepy jump-scare fueled haunted house film. But that’s not the film Wan wanted to create, nor is it the one he created.

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‘Language Lessons’ Is A Lesson To Behold

Two people from across different continents use webcams to build a beautiful friendship rooted in understanding each other, both linguistically and emotionally in Language Lessons. Natalie Morales directs, co-writes, and stars alongside Mark Duplass in a film that is both incredibly simple in production execution and completely captivating through its narrative and strong performances.

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NOC Review: ‘Dune’ is Decent

Sometimes there are movies that just come into your life, and live rent free in your brain days or weeks after you’ve seen them. That’s how you know you generally love them, and they make a profound impact on you. Either you replay or relive scenes that made you smile or blew you away. Furthermore, when you see them again, you still smile, or laugh, or get goosebumps. The Matrix in 1999. The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. The Dark Knight in 2008. The Avengers in 2012 and Endgame in 2019.

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