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Mark Young

Once upon a time, Mark Young was a film critic for a student newspaper at the University of Chicago, where his greatest accomplishment was being so late for a screening that he ran into a theater and collided with Roger Ebert. Today Mark lives and works in New York City, where he blogs reviews of films shown at his local Movie Klub. He loves to get feedback on his reviews, and the quickest way into his good graces is to reference the filmography of Jim Kelly. His first novel, THE QUESTION BLADE, is now available in the Apple iBookstore and the Kindle Store.

‘Barely Lethal’ is barely funny

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The problems with the new action-comedy 'Barely Lethal' start with its title. There's something creepy afoot when a movie leads with a metaphorical elbow in the ribs, informing you that its protagonist is just old enough to kill you by using a pun which implies that she’s also just old enough to have sex with you.

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Michael Ironside: Canadian Badass

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Amongst Americans such as myself, there is a certain stereotype about our neighbors to the north. There’s a belief that Canadians are, for lack of a better word, nice. That during a visit to Canada, an American would be more likely to ride a moose around like a horse than ...

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Tribeca Diary: The Big Finish

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The Tribeca Film Festival of 2015 closed the books on Sunday as it always does, with a day full of screenings of the prize-winning films. And, as I noted on Day Three, it bears noting that the festival’s reputation of being for “indies that aren’t really indies” almost never bears ...

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TriBeCa Diary, The Home Stretch: Sad Arnold

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Although your humble correspondent missed three days of TriBeCa films in a row due to a back injury, there was no way he could miss Maggie. Director Henry Hobson was able to attract Arnold Schwarzenegger to his low-key zombie project, despite the fact that Hobson was making his feature debut ...

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Tribeca Diary, Days Four and Five: Nightmares

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The big opening at Tribeca on Sunday was Henry Hobson’s Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first indie role, as a father in a zombie-style apocalypse who has to deal with the infection of his daughter. However, your humble correspondent won’t be able to see that film until later this ...

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Tribeca Diary, Day Three: The Master, the Wolf and the Rabbit

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  As beautiful spring weather moves into New York City for the first time this year, the lines for TriBeCa movies only get longer. And, for all of the talk that TriBeCa is a festival for “indies that aren’t really indies” because of the A-list stars in their casts, the ...

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Tribeca Diary, Day Two: An ace, a three, and a Jack

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Friday’s films at Tribeca 2015 is a fine example of why this year’s festival lineup is so strong. There are some years where Tribeca features quite a few movies that prove the adage “‘Independent’ does not necessarily mean ‘good,’” but this year is not one of them. Although one of ...

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Tribeca Diary, Day One: Starving the Irish and Taking Molly with the Democrats

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The Tribeca Film Festival began on Wednesday night with the premiere of Live From New York!, Bao Nguyen’s documentary about the history of Saturday Night Live. Although your humble film critic was unable to see that film, the festival will offer more than a hundred movies of various flavors from ...

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‘Into the Wind’ paints a fine picture of a great Canadian underdog

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At one point in the ESPN Films documentary Into the Wind, one of the interviewees says that Canada rallied behind Terry Fox because Canada lacked heroes like him; "We never had a Martin Luther King, a Nelson Mandela," she says. But it might just as easily be said that America or South Africa never had a Terry Fox, that rare person who became a legend despite fighting a losing battle against long odds.

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‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’ plays beautifully in an unreal space

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Once upon a time, there was a Japanese woman who watched the movie Fargo. The movie begins with a title card pronouncing, “THIS IS A TRUE STORY,” and the fact that the Coen Brothers were playing a little prank with that statement was covered in American media only. So it came to pass that the woman believed the film to be true, and carried her belief to such a degree that she travelled to Minnesota alone, in search of the ransom money hidden by the Steve Buscemi character near the end of the film.

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‘The Last Five Years’ is a sometimes-moving mix of bitter and sweet

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Singing was Kendrick's first claim to fame: she started acting in New York at age 10 and received a Tony nomination at 12. Every ounce of that talent is on display in Richard LaGravenese's new musical 'The Last Five Years'...

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‘Inherent Vice’ suffers only against Paul Thomas Anderson’s past work

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It’s not just that Paul Thomas Anderson’s movies tend to defy any one genre description; it's that, often, it seems as if the writer-director is trying to play with many genres simultaneously. The only reason that Boogie Nights isn’t the best drama of the 1990s is that it spends a lot of time trying to be the best comedy of the 1990s instead. So Anderson’s newest, Inherent Vice, is a departure in that it mostly sticks to one style (sun-drenched film noir) and one tone (absurdist comedy). It’s also a fine film, which suffers only when measured against the insanely high standard that Anderson’s past work has set.

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