Neat: The Story of Bourbon

Available digitally on February 20 is Neat: The Story of Bourbon, a documentary about America’s native spirit. (No, not attitude, the liquor.) I recommend having a cocktail in hand while watching, because you’ll want one, particularly when they start mixing up recipes. “Neat” is a liquor served plain, with no mixers, at room temperature, but it also describes this nifty, wide-ranging film. When starting, I had no idea how they were going to fill an hour and sixteen minutes, but […]

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Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Available this coming Tuesday, January 9, is Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a new movie teaming up the two groups of detectives. And it’s tons of fun! (Thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, I received a review copy.) Moving along at a brisk 75 minutes, I was impressed by how well the cartoon combined the most appealing parts of both franchises, very much in keeping both with the usual Scooby-Doo! structure and the much-missed Batman: The Brave […]

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Dismissed

I’ve been enjoying watching Cole Sprouse as Jughead on Riverdale. I was only vaguely aware that he was previously a Disney kid actor with his twin brother, so when offered the chance to check out Dylan Sprouse’s role in Dismissed, I thought I’d enjoy it. Particularly since it seemed like a modern take on The Bad Seed. Here’s the trailer for the thriller, which is about how a perfect student (Sprouse) reveals his dark side when disappointed. Unfortunately, the movie […]

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Killing Hasselhoff

An amusing concept turns into an unfunny slog. At least Killing Hasselhoff is only 80 minutes long. Chris (Ken Jeong) owns a nightclub. David Hasselhoff is supposed to have a party there, but he cancels, which means Chris can’t satisfy his debt to a tough guy (Will Sasso, who never seems that menacing). Since Chris has already picked Hasselhoff in a “celebrity death pool” with a huge payoff, he decides that the best thing to do would be to murder […]

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Unleashed: A Magical Romantic Comedy

Unleashed opens tomorrow in selected theaters and on demand. It’s a cute romantic fantasy in which a woman finds healing through her pets in a very unexpected way. After she is betrayed by a loser boyfriend, Emma moves to San Francisco. The only ones she trusts are her cat Ajax and dog Summit. Things get complicated, though, when her pets turn into men. She doesn’t know who they are, but suddenly, two gorgeous guys are interested in her, and although […]

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24 Hour Comic: A Documentary

The 24-hour comic started in 1990 as a creative exercise Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) posed to his friend Steve Bissette as a speed challenge. The goal is for an artist to create 24 pages in 24 hours. Since then, it’s become a day for cartoonists to gather, stretch their talent, and commiserate. (It’s now held the first Saturday in October.) Milan Erceg has made a documentary about the phenomenon, 24 Hour Comic, that follows eight cartoonists trying the challenge at […]

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Black Panther Trailer Released

Last night, Marvel Studios released the first trailer for the upcoming Black Panther movie starring Chadwick Boseman. It’s framed as a conversation between Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue (seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross (previously seen in Captain America: Civil War and familiar to fans from Christopher Priest’s epic run on the Black Panther comic). I like the way they’re engaging the contradiction of Wakanda head-on: outsiders think it’s a third-world country, but […]

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Brigsby Bear Explores Creation as Therapy

Coming out July 28 in New York and Los Angeles is an odd little film starring Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) called Brigsby Bear. James (Mooney, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Kevin Costello) is obsessed with the kids’ show Brigsby Bear, having seen all of its hundreds of episodes. His life is isolated, residing in a bunker with only his parents and the show for company. Then it’s all uprooted, and James decides to make a movie to finish […]

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