Dagger Movie Night: “The Boss Baby” — Throw This Baby Out With the Bathwater

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FULL DISCLOSURE (1): I arrived uncharacteristically late to my scheduled press screening of “The Boss Baby.” This had the notable effect of improving the film by virtue of its abbreviated runtime, raising my opinion from “festering, putrid malignancy” to “unbearably bad.” This is an improvement that can only be fully understood by enduring either “The […]

Dagger Movie Night: “Kong: Skull Island” — Bananas in the Best Possible Way

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As “Kong: Skull Island” enters its final act, there’s a memorable exchange between anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) and aggressively gung-ho Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), one that more or less crystalizes the film’s intent as both a semi-remake and a standalone adventure. “The world is bigger than us,” Weaver intones melodramatically, […]

Dagger Movie Night: “Before I Fall” — Shameless “Groundhog Day” Rip-Off Feels Like Déjà Vu

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One could make the very compelling argument that “Before I Fall” is an example of audience participation filmmaking. Shallow and popular high school student Samantha (Zoey Deutch) spends the entire runtime reliving the day of the car accident that killed her; the audience spends the entire runtime reliving the movie “Groundhog Day.” This shameless remake/rip-off […]

Dagger Movie Night: “A United Kingdom” — Cheesy Oscar Bait, But Good and Honest Cheese

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Behold the fabled Prestige Film! There are some for whom this hook is repellant: the worm dangling like a flaccid organ, poised to ejaculate manipulative emotion like award-attracting pheromones. Look at the pretty British actors! Playing people who were significantly less pretty in real life! Sprinkle contrivance and season the historical record with Hollywood tropes, […]