273 – Incredible Healing Factor

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If you look at a list of things that I love, you will find the X-Men – somewhere between burritos and the Criterion Collection. Like any child of the 90’s, I was introduced to the merry mutants through their Fox Kids cartoon. The continuing television adventures of Gambit, Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, and – inexplicably – Jubilee (the only character less useful than Cyclops) indoctrinated me into the incredibly complex mythology and soap opera-esque relationships that define the Marvel Comics team. But I never, ever suspected that I might be destined to be a member.

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272 – Pride (2014)

pride

It seems like every year there is a mainstream “gay” movie that progressive heterosexuals can get behind. Last year it was, of course, Dallas Buyers Club, despite the fact that the film was actually the story of a prejudiced straight man saving a bunch of AIDS-afflicted homosexuals. Still, one of the characters was a man in drag, so Hollywood says it counts! The new film Pride, a British production from well-known theatre director Matthew Warchus, allows its gay characters to have a little more agency, and the result is a movie that is actually quite good.

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271 – Not-So-Lazy Sundays

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excellent photoshop courtesy of Megan Baker

Sundays are the worst. The entire day is mired in the inevitability of Monday, and the return to work or school that it heralds. Unfortunately for me, Sundays mean that I have to go back to work AND school. Because they’re the same thing, you see. So I think I can be excused for trying to take it easy on that last day of freedom. I was expecting today to be as lazy a Sunday as I’ve ever had – so lazy in fact, that I would almost write the same review twice. But life has a way of surprising you.

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270 – The Judge (2014)

the judge

The latest film from director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights) may have the title and billboards of a John Grisham adaptation, but The Judge is more about family drama than backroom legal dealings. And while the movie has many aspects in place that would predict success – the main two being Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. – I will spoil the rest of this review and let you know that it just doesn’t work.

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268 – Field Trips

ladies and gentlemen, the getty villa

ladies and gentlemen, the getty villa

Remember the days of field trips? That elated feeling you get just knowing that instead of going to school and sitting in boring class all day, you would be able to take a bus to another place and pretend to learn something, even though the true endgame was just to mess around. It’s almost a better feeling than the weekend, because it is as if you’ve pulled one over on the school, by convincing the people in charge to let you go on this little vacation. Well, I’m here to tell you that that feeling never goes away.

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267 – Tracks (2013)

tracks

“Man versus nature” is one of the classic types of literary conflict. It has existed as a concept for as long as man has. The earliest humans had to battle nature just to survive. Perhaps that is why it has persisted as device in our stories – long before we could fight each other, we had to fight the world itself. In director John Curran’s latest film, Tracks, Mia Wasikowska plays a woman whose disillusionment with society has driven straight into the arms of humanity’s first great enemy.

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