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“The Big Sick” balances comedy with difficult social issues of today’s relationships

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The summer movie lineup is often packed with blockbuster titles from high-budget and well established franchises. This year was no different, with its fair share of winners and losers but also a few surprise films. “The Big Sick” is a romantic comedy about two 20-something-year-old lovers who face cultural obstacles in their hopes of a happy life. The film follows Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) who is a Pakistani Muslim working in Chicago as a comedian while driving for Uber to make up the rest of his income. During one of Kumail’s shows, he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) with whom he hooks up with that night. Feelings remain strong after the night, even after the pair agrees they would never speak to each other again. The couple soon enters into a relationship but all the while Kumail’s family attempts to set him up with a Pakistani women in accordance with their customs.…

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“Transformers: The Last Knight” Review – Michael Bay Derails Franchise Plot Lines

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Hasbro’s toy franchise known as “Transformers” originally came to popularity in the early 1980’s, over 30 years ago. All along they have remained relevant with multiple generations of children, teens and adults. So relevant in fact that the 2007 release of “Transformers,” the first Michael Bay directed film in the franchise, was a huge success. Over the past 10 years, the five movies Bay has made for the Transformers franchise have had increasingly negative reception. Partially to blame is the series continuation even after losing star actors Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, and failing to replace them with consistent and likeable new stars. The franchise marched on however, with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) becoming the new lead protagonist in 2014 and returning for this summer’s “Transformers: The Last Knight.” However, Cade nor any other recognizable character can be seen in the opening minutes of the movie. Rather, Last Knight opens…

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‘The Shack’: the beautiful – and surprising – explanation of God

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For some, God and the afterlife are nothing more than a magical story. For others, it is a beautiful way of life and a way to shape and explain their existence. Whichever side of the fence you stand on, there are questions behind the purpose, point, and prerogative of God, which are so eloquently answered in “The Shack”. In a way that has never before been depicted in movies, “The Shack” fearlessly attacks the questions so often presented in the face of religion. This fearlessness, in my opinion, deserves the highest form of praise. The 2017 film is based on the 2007 novel of the same title written by William P. Young. Mack Phillips (played by Sam Worthington) takes his three children on a camping trip that’s all family fun until his daughter Missy (played by Amelie Eve) is kidnapped and killed while he’s trying to save his other two…

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Robot Wars: Cheesy stop-motion goodness

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It bothers me greatly that giant robot movies never gained much of anything in turns of prolificacy in the west. In the land of the rising sun, giant robots are often a subcategory of various forms of media, like video games focusing on mecha, or mecha anime. All we have in the west are a variety of occasionally good mech games, and a handful of movies focused on the city dwarfing machines. “Robot Wars” is one of these movies. “Robot Wars” is a story about a much-divided planet earth. Large swaths of land are inhospitable and gas scares in years prior have condensed people into three areas of power: The North Hemi, consisting of former North American territories; the Eastern Alliance, a similar confederation of oriental countries; and the “Centros,”  a loose faction of bandits who live in the wastes and survive by pillaging. The North Hemi is in an…

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A Journalist’s Take on A Journalist’s Take

Curiosity is the catalyst to discovery. A journalist’s job is to follow where their curious minds take them, fueled by a passionate desire to come upon the truth. It is in these truths that we establish our beliefs and morals. As a journalist, there is no greater reward than pursuing a story and turning a hunch into a reality. But sometimes the truth isn’t the result of initial expectations. Sometimes it forces us to come face to face with one of the biggest decisions a person can ever be asked to make: follow the facts or believe in the fiction. Based on a true story, the 2017 American Christian drama, “The Case for Christ” follows the life of journalist Lee Strobel (played by Mike Vogel) in his pursuit to uncover the truth behind Jesus Christ. After Lee and his wife Leslie (played by Erika Christensen) witness a stranger save their daughter…

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All action in “Fate of the Furious”

From the series inception in 2001, the ‘Fast and the Furious’ has become Universal’s greatest franchise. It delivered financially once again as the 8th film in the series generating the largest opening weekend earnings of all time with $532.5 million globally in the box office. “The Fate of the Furious” departs the story away from the Brian O’Conner (previously played by the late Paul Walker) while staying true to the action that made the series famous. Opening with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) honeymoon in Cuba, the movie quickly jumps into scenes of fast driving and aggressive action. Dom quickly defeats Raldo, a man seeking to repossess his cousin’s car, and chooses to give his current car to his cousin. This seeks to emphasize Dom’s commitment to “family” which is a topic repeatedly touched on in the previous films. Dom faces a huge obstacle when approached by Cipher…

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Belko Experiment: Not for the faint of heart – or anyone

After seeing the trailer for, “The Belko Experiment” I was definitely expecting some dark and/or gory moments. The movie portrays a government office in the middle of nowhere, where the workers get too-good-to-be-true benefits, and they all have a “tracking device” in their head. However, nothing could have prepared me for the gore I witnessed. The film’s plot takes shape through a voice over the loudspeaker in their 80- person office building, telling the workers that if 30 of them aren’t dead within the next hour, 60 of them will be dead. The workers all laugh as if it’s a complete joke, until large, metal doors that are unbreakable come down over every window and door in the building, trapping the workers inside. At first, everyone besides a few believe that this has to be an elaborate hack or prank. That is – until the killing starts. The first death…

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Ghost in the Shell: factory recall recommended

For a good number of people, the 1996 film “Ghost in the Shell” (GitS) is classic dystopic cyberpunk. A movie about investigating terror plots and internal political chess games in an age where you can ‘physically’ move on the internet; it can easily be said that it is a movie for those people who like their movies to have an intellectual meat to their fantasy. For fans of the series, there is only one real debate in the community that resurfaces: ‘Which is better, subtitles or the English voice dub. The reboot/remake/homage clip show that is “Ghost in the Shell” (2017) decided to attempt to bring both camps of the debate together. What results from this combination is just one example of a growing hypothesis that the movie development team had little to no idea what they were doing outside visuals. I am certain that, outside the actors’ costs, the…

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