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At The Movies

Movie Review

At the Movies With Mark Ziobro

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Judas and the Black Messiah  a Captivating Biopic Thriller Filled with Pictorial Intensity History is one of the vital aspects of life that helps us understand a country’s state of mind and situation. Simultaneously, film plays a crucial role in educating and revealing history from a different perspective. Such films help us to understand the culture of the situation that leads and progresses to modern time.  The recently released film “Judas and the Black Messiah” is...

Review: ‘One Night in Miami’

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Review: ‘One Night in Miami’ a Deeply Affecting and Necessary Picture that is One of this Year’s Best By: Mark Ziobro Grade: A+ “One Night in Miami” is electric. Regina King’s ode to four powerhouses of the Civil Rights era, with fictionalized, creative license, presents one of the deepest and most affecting motion pictures this year, if in many years. Its performances are top of the line, pulling you into a world decades-removed, yet one that feels...

At the Movies

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Analysis of the Trial Prep Scene in ‘Chicago 7:’ Tom Hayden Cracks Under Pressure; Abbie Hoffman Discovers Common Ground At the Movies By MARK ZIOBRO  January 26, 2021 There’s a central theme that runs constant through Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7”—that of a ‘political trial.’ His film, apropos for not only its time in the ‘60s but also today’s political climate, sheds light on events and perspectives shared differently by not just its viewing audience, but...

Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7

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By Arpit Nayak Historical events need each generation; not only do they teach us about the past, but they give us a much-needed reality check on our lives. Cinema has often used stories related to historical events in the documentary, short, and full feature-length films. We have seen such films that talk about the unspoken reality of history and injustice and the brutality that often follows. Many filmmakers have visually used this context from a...

Enola Holmes Review- At The Movies with Mark Ziobro

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Review: ‘Enola Holmes’ By: Arpit Nayak Grade: A Cinema has often adapted the stories of iconic books. At times it is mostly successfully, but sometimes not. One of the adaptations that is the most loved and admired is Sherlock Holmes; the tale of it we have seen in books, television series, and films. The film “Enola Holmes” is about his youngest sister, who is adapted from the first part in a six-book series by Nancy Springer. The story...

At the Movies–“Nacho Libre”

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  by Mark Ziobro I was shocked to learn that “Nacho Libre,” the tempered and anticlimactic comedy starring Jack Black was actually loosely based on true events, the tribulations of Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, a Mexican Catholic priest who had a 23-year career as a luchador to support his orphanage. What shocked me more, was the treatment given the film by both Paramount Pictures, who produced, and Jack Black—who present the material with sweetness and deference. Surely...

Copper Bill – Movie Review

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By Mark Ziobro “Copper Bill” is a crime caper, and the new independent film from Brett Bentman, the mind behind last year’s “90 Feet From Home;” and shows, once again, Bentman’s flare for painting Texas landscapes and bringing large personalities to life. The film reunites Bentman with actor Thom Hallum his last production, as well as introducing the film debut of Dustin Rhodes—WWE/AEW legend and son of famed wrestler Dusty Rhodes The film has that...

Movie Review: Lords of Chaos

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By Kurt Krumme It would be easy; too easy, to say that this film is about a rock band and how everything eventually plays out in a rock band. However, there is quite a bit more to this film than immediately meets the eye. Stories about rock bands are easy in general. The band is down and out, things happen, and the band makes it, then they deal with the consciences. Turns out, this one...

Movie Review – John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

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By Mark Ziobro “John Wick: Chapter 3” is violent as hell. Sure, it’s antecedent, para bellum, derived from the Latin for “prepare for war,” should have you believe nothing less. It’s also a cinematographer’s and action lover’s dream, with cinematic and fight sequences that rival some of the best martial arts films out there. “John Wick” realized rather acutely that up-close-and-personal gun violence mixed with martial arts would be its modus operandi, and “Parabellum” delivers...

Movie Review – “Avengers: Endgame”

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By Mark Ziobro “Avengers: Endgame” is an epic. It pays homage to the legions of Marvel films that came before it, packages and wraps up the morose happenings of “Avengers: Infinity War” in a way as believable as can be expected from a crew of god-like superheroes, and does so in a way that is seamless, action packed, and emotional.  The film clocks in at three hours and one minute, but none of it feels...

Movie Review: ‘Us’

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By Matt DeCristo “Us” is the second movie crafted by rising filmmaker Jordan Peele, and immediately joins last year’s “A Quiet Place” as one of the better horror titles of the decade. Like its predecessor “Get Out” (Peele’s 2017 directorial debut) “Us” is ripe with social and political commentary - some subtle, some not so much - and Peele’s personal blend of strangeness. What we have in the end is an excellent horror movie that’s fun...

Movie review: Coffee and a Donut

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By Mark Ziobro Cary Patrick Martin writes and directs this short comedy about the trials and tribulations of language when an immigrant who speaks little to no English attempts to order breakfast at the local diner. The film is tightly focused at only 12 minutes and features but 3 actors: Pablo (played by Memo), the waitress (played by Dierdre MacNamara), and Camila (played by Rocio Mendez). The film, which ran the risk for satire is...

At the Movies: ‘Broken Ceiling’

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By Mark Ziobro 3/4 stars Written and directed by Adam Davis, “Broken Ceiling” examines the corporate hierarchy, albeit in a fantastical way. It revolves around a tyrant of a boss and three less than willing employees who are called to play in his game in order to get ahead. When it becomes apparent, however, that they can never get ahead, it comes less as a shock that the senior manager pulls a stunt on a conference...

At the movies: ‘Free Solo’

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By Mark Ziobro 4/4 stars Alex Honnold is a free soloist. To those who don’t know what that means, it’s mountain climbing without a rope. For the documentary “Free Solo,” the subject of Alex’s climb is El Capitain in Yosemite Park, a 3,000 ft. sheer rock face.  The film isn’t about what ifs – Honnold completed his perilous ascent on June 3, 2017 in under 4 hours, becoming the first person alive to ever free solo...

Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

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By Matt DeCristo “Bohemian Rhapsody” takes us back to the genesis of British rock music, exploring the formation of the band ‘Queen’ and its legendary lead singer, Freddie Mercury. I went in knowing a handful of details about Mercury; he was one of the first openly gay musicians at a time when homosexuality had just been decriminalized in Great Britain. He was the front man of a band that has a few popular hit songs. He...

Film review: ‘Halloween’

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By Mark Ziobro 0/4 stars The new horror feature directed by David Gordon Green is an homage to the dead soul of a film that remains - 40 years later - on a list of my top 25 favorite films of all time. Watching the 1978 “Halloween” I was introduced to what would become known as the ‘slasher’ genre, but one done with wit, grace, and class. The 2018 production, regrettably, is none of those things....

Movie Review – ‘The Nun’

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By Matt DeCristo James Wan’s 2018 horror movie “The Nun” is proof that the further one wanders from the original story (in this case “The Conjuring”) the more diluted the finished product becomes. “The Nun” is a spinoff from Wan’s 2016 film “The Conjuring 2” which is of course a sequel to the 2013 original; itself excellent, and one of the best horror movies of the 21st Century. Though its followup is lackluster at best, you’ll...

Movie Review – ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’

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By Mark Ziobro Dan Gilroy, the director who brought us the powerful “Nightcrawler” in 2014, releases another introspective drama here with “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” The film, which opens with a lawyer narrating why he wishes to disbar himself from the California Bar Association “and the human race” for egregious transgressions almost immediately begs our interest. It’s helped that this man is played by Denzel Washington in a performance so total he’s already been nominated...

Movie Review – Chappaquiddick

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By Mark Ziobro As someone born in 1979 -16 years after the assassination of JFK and 10 years after Ted Kennedy left the scene of an accident in Martha’s Vineyard that resulted in Mary Jo Kopechne’s death - the legacy of the Kennedys is somewhat lost in the shuffle. John F. Kennedy Jr. died in 1999, two years after I graduated high school as my family and I were heading for a vacation in, of...

Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom

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By Mark Ziobro “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is more connected to its source material and a sense of morals than its predecessor, and that alone may be enough to make up for what is becoming a tiresome franchise along with shameless marketing ploys. It introduces us to characters we’re used to seeing and some new ones as well; even though we’ve seen these types before: The billionaire, the hunter, the profiteer(s). And then we have...

Padre Pio Patron Saint of Utica?

By Cassandra Harris-Lockwood So, 2017 City of Utica records indicates that crime is down substantially in our city. It was reported that there was a double-digit reduction in nearly every crime category when compared to the five-year average. This is great news. Police officials attribute this to “the great work of the Utica Police Department and the strong relationships the City’s built with other law enforcement partners,” which I am sure has played a part. And along...

The Black Panther- A Review

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By Mark Ziobro Just in time to set the stage for the May 2018 release of “Avengers: Infinity War” comes the long-awaited “Black Panther,” Marvel’s comic book adaptation of King T’Chaka/Black Panther, a hidden, technologically advanced, beautiful, and all Black country called Wakanda, and a film which smartly provides a war cry for the sake of humanity and harmony in a time period that day-by-day seems to lack both. “Black Panther” is, cinematically, an experience as...

Star Wars Episode VIII : The Last Jedi-A Review by Mark Ziobro

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  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” arrives, with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. I write this knowing full well that I am both a critic and a fan of the “Star Wars” universe, and as such will give away no spoilers, but try and capture the movie’s successes and failings amidst the new trilogy — starting with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and ending, we expect, with a third movie somewhere down the...

Movie Review: Stephen King’s “IT”

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By: Matt DeCristo Stephen King’s 1986 novel ‘IT‘ is widely considered one of  the scariest books ever written, both for it's grisly premise of an ambiguous evil entity that resides in the sewers of a small Maine town and feasts on the local children, and for being the genesis of Coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – courtesy of Pennywise, the infamous form that the monster takes shape in.   Comparing the 2017 film “IT” to the novel,...

Movie Review – Mr. Nobody

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Reviews By Mark Ziobro It often takes directors without anything to prove to make a statement. We’ve seen this with films written and directed by the same person, such as the late Bill Paxton’s excellent “Frailty.” With the 2009 effort “Mr. Nobody,” written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael, we find a film that blends fantasy and reality, and a film that touches on some of the unspoken emotions of the human heart. Regrettably, a...