‘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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‘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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Paging Dr. Yueh: An Interview with Chang Chen from ‘Dune’

Tonight’s the night! It’s been a long road for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and the country is finally going to see his faithful, epic, visually stunning adaptation hit the big screen, in the way it was meant to be seen! And to celebrate, we are finally going to reveal that were given the very exciting opportunity to speak with Dune star, Chang Chen, who plays the complex Doctor Yueh.

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‘Dune’ Comes to Life at Texas SandFest 2021

Your ship to Arrakis is almost here folks! Dune is at long last finally hitting theaters this weekend! And when you think about the epic, monumental scale of the film, and the hauntingly beautiful but harsh environments that create the desert planet of Dune, only one thing comes to mind — sandcastles in Texas!

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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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New Manga-Inspired ‘Dune’ Poster Debuts

The countdown for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is on! And though much of the world has seen the film already, a few territories are still waiting in anticipation for their journey to Arrakis. We in the US are still, of course, waiting for the film to hit theaters on October 22. However, Japan only has 11 days more, since the film hits cinemas there on October 15!

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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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‘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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‘12 Minutes’ Wasn’t Long Enough to Be Compelling

It has been four days, eight hours, fifty minutes and twenty-nine seconds since I played 12 Minutes and I’ve been perplexed as to how to write this review. Normally, this would be kind of a good thing. The moment of reflection that comes after seeing something that feels profound, provoking an introspection as to why it resonated so much doesn’t happen with 12 Minutes.

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‘War for Wakanda’ is Proof Black Panther Needs His Own Game Already

War for Wakanda — Marvel’s Avengers free expansion — dropped last week, and T’Challa’s exploits defending his homeland from the likes of A.I.M. and Ulysses Klaue revitalize the game in considerable ways. When Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics announced their All-Access weekend ahead of the expansion on July 31, their player count spiked to over 10,000 gamers through the weekend, well above the game’s average of around 800 since its release last September.

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NOC Review: ‘Shang-Chi’ is Spectacular

Whether it’s an overall sense of fatigue from mainstream audiences who aren’t into comic book films, or perhaps a general sense of pandemic malaise from folks unsatisfied with the state of entertainment these days, it seems like the momentum and good will the MCU has cultivated the past 12 years has turned to mixed sentiment for most of this year.

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‘Americanish’ Shines a Heartwarming Light on its Community

Iman Zahawry provides a refreshing and heartwarming romantic comedy centered in a community that is so often ignored in media. What might feel like a run of the mill indie film straight from the early 2010s, the films sets itself apart and elevates itself with its likable characters and message of trying to find one’s independence and what it means to be Americanish.

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‘Unapologetic’ is an Unflinching Exploration of Activism

“What is this helping?” is one of the first sentences uttered by a white restaurant patron unsettled in Unapologetic’s first scene, where protestors express the reality of the recent deaths of Black residents in their community to unsuspecting people eating brunch at restaurants. The scene perfectly encompasses the themes and motives of this documentary: a large and triumphant call to arms to make a more honest and equal world while people sit quietly trying to ignore not only the performance, but the actual knowledge of those who are destroyed and subjugated by these injustices.

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‘Nebulous Dark’ Can’t Time Travel Enough to Be a Strong Movie

A nightmare-fueled time-traveling plot unravels in Shahin Sean Solimon’s new film, Nebulous Dark, a sci-fi movie about the world’s last human man as he wakes from deep sleep to find the Earth has been conquered by aliens. This sounds pretty straight forward for a plot, but this is only how I could fully understand the film after watching it and reading the synopsis again. If you were to watch Nebulous Dark after only seeing the trailer, as I did, you would find an almost surreal, nihilist nightmare of a film that I can’t tell if it’s poorly edited and poorly written, or if it’s actively trying to attack the viewer on a subconscious level. What I was left with was an art piece that genuinely intrigues me and is unintentionally funny, by a film that takes itself incredibly seriously.

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NOC Review: ‘What If’ Recontextualizes the MCU

I’m going to do something a bit different for this one. You see, unlike the past three MCU shows we’ve been treated to (wow, I can’t believe we live in a world where I get to say something like that that!), What If takes more of an anthology approach ala Black Mirror and Twilight Zone. And that, essentially, was the spirit of the original comic book series.

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‘Frankie Quinones: Superhomies’ is a Must-Watch Comedy Special Experiment

Internet sensation Frankie Quinones arrives in a low rider with two of his most well known characters Creeper and Juanita in his first sketch and stand up comedy special on HBO in Entre Nos Presents: Frankie Quinones: Superhomies. Frankie takes us through musings and anecdotes of his life, his family, and the community he grew up in with a lovely celebration of how far he has come; however, he has a hard time withstanding the weight of sharing the stage with three strong personas. 

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NOC Review: This ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is Unfortunately Bland

If there were two words I would use to describe Gunpowder Milkshake it would be “wasted talent.”

I really wanted to like this one. These are some of the finest actresses ever to grace the screen. Karen Gillan is a badass. Lena Headey is incredible. Angela Bassett is a talent powerhouse. Carla Gugino has always been one of the most underrated character actresses ever. And Michelle Yeoh is simply a legend. But unfortunately the awkward direction of this movie fails them hard in a film that should absolutely be better than it actually is.

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Ray Fawkes’ ‘One Line’ is a Visual Symphony

There’s something oracular about Ray Fawkes’ One Line — the whole One Soul series, frankly — but this book particularly stretches the boundaries of sequential art and meta-comics, and reading it gives me the sense that as I turn the pages, the book is also reading me. You don’t need to have read One Soul or The People Inside to enjoy One Line, though it helps in appreciating the journey of the series’ experimental, multilinear form.

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Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘An Octoroon’

During intermission while watching An Octoroon (written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Judith Moreland) at the Fountain Theatre, an old white woman randomly came up to me and asked what I found so amusing in this play. First, I had to get over the shock that a live human being was touching me (without permission) and getting up in my face to ask this question because after all, this was my first time watching a play with a live audience (albeit in an outdoor theater) in 16 months. Second, what WAS I and primarily all the other POC audience members laughing about?

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‘Black Widow’ Thrives on Epic Action, Family, and Legacy

We’ve needed a Black Widow film since the character was first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Throughout the eleven years with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), audiences have learned so much about the character’s difficult upbringing in the infamous Red Room to her time with the Avengers and her  ultimate sacrifice in Endgame. In Black Widow, we are given a glimpse into Natasha’s past and how that made her into the badass assassin we know today. 

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The Middle Geeks Interview: Amin El Gamal of ‘Breaking Fast’

For Pride Month, we are so excited to have on Amin El Gamal, who plays Sam on the amazing queer Ramadan rom-com Breaking Fast, which is now on Hulu! We dig into what drew Amin to acting, the experience of filming Breaking Fast and working with Mike Mosallam, their thoughts on the current landscape of MENA and queer stories in film and, what he’d love to see more of in the industry, and much more!

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NOC Review: ‘F9’ is F-ing Ridiculous… Yet Still Sorta Fun!

I’ll say it upfront right now, this is probably the most ridiculous installment yet in terms of what they try to get away with in this one. I mean even for a franchise where someone can crash a car through three skyscrapers and survive without a scratch, they do stuff here that just makes zero sense, and it’s incredibly laughable because of it. But let’s be honest, we know the franchise is going to try crap like this, because the filmmakers are blissfully aware about how stupid all of this is, and that makes it honestly a lot more acceptable.

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