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‘Downsizing’ has an interesting idea but doesn’t know what to do with it

‘Downsizing’ has an interesting idea but doesn’t know what to do with it

By MARK VIOLA I love a good science-fiction story. Of course, there are an almost infinitely large variety of such tales, but one of my favorite categories is those stories…

‘The Last Jedi’ is a bold, but flawed addition to the saga

‘The Last Jedi’ is a bold, but flawed addition to the saga

By MARK VIOLA While I wasn’t a huge fan of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” from a production and acting standpoint, it was a great improvement over the prequels. The…

‘Ferdinand’ is a hilarious, heartfelt film that should entertain the whole family

‘Ferdinand’ is a hilarious, heartfelt film that should entertain the whole family

By MARK VIOLA Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a trite saying, but one with a good message all the same, even if it is one we tend…

‘Just Getting Started’ is a fun movie despite its many flaws

‘Just Getting Started’ is a fun movie despite its many flaws

By MARK VIOLA Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones are both exceptional actors who have had great careers in Hollywood making entertaining films. Freeman has 120 acting credits to his…

How the story of the worst movie ever made became one of 2017’s best films

How the story of the worst movie ever made became one of 2017’s best films

By MARK VIOLA We sometimes throw out the phrase “stranger than fiction” too easily these days, but it seems apt when talking about the making of “The Room,” the 2003…

‘Three Billboards’ is a dark drama that is really funny

‘Three Billboards’ is a dark drama that is really funny

Back in early 2008, I saw the red-band (R-rated) trailer for a little film called “In Bruges,” starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen sent to the city…

‘Wonder’ skips on the fake sweetness and delivers an honest, heartfelt story

‘Wonder’ skips on the fake sweetness and delivers an honest, heartfelt story

By MARK VIOLA It’s an undeniable fact that children are cruel. Sure, most of the time they don’t know better, but cruel they are all the same. There’s a great…

‘Loving Vincent’ is a series of beautiful oil paintings come to life on the screen

‘Loving Vincent’ is a series of beautiful oil paintings come to life on the screen

By MARK VIOLA When you go see as many movies as I do, it’s extremely rare to see something legitimately new. James Cameron’s “Avatar” pushed visual effects to a point…

Pixar scores another hit with the musically-inclined ‘Coco’

Pixar scores another hit with the musically-inclined ‘Coco’

After a nearly unprecedented string of successes, Pixar Animation Studios has been rather hit or miss over the past several years, ranging from the wonderful “Inside Out” to the disappointing…

‘Lady Bird’ is a wonderful coming-of-age story and one of 2017’s best films

‘Lady Bird’ is a wonderful coming-of-age story and one of 2017’s best films

If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you probably know I’m a sucker for a good coming-of-age story. Several, including “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “The…