Clarksdale Press Register: Arts & Entertainment

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‘Midnight Special’ fails as alien suspense flick

On the run from a religious cult and the authorities, Roy (Michael Shannon) and his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) travel across the country in an attempt to reach a set of coordinates.  Accompanying them is Roy's childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), an ex-state trooper determined to protect Roy and Alton at all costs.  The cause of their flight is Alton's strange and dangerous powers which randomly manifest themselves in alarming ways, most commonly when Alton is exposed to sunlight.  Roy has resigned himself to the fact that Alton is not meant for this Earth and the coordinates Alton conjured should return him to where he belongs.  Unfortunately, Alton also picks up radio waves, including classified ones the government isn't happy about him exposing.  The cult also wants him back to further their misguided ideology and send henchmen to return him to the fold.  

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Friday 03/04/2016
Reality check on diversity at Oscars
Posted: March 04, 2016

In his opening monologue at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, host Chris Rock joked that in the 50's and 60's blacks weren't protesting the Oscars. He explains: “We had real things to protest at the time. They were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won 'Best Cinematographer.' You know, when your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it's really hard to care about Best Documentary or Foreign Short.” The audience – mostly white – laughed loudly and nervously. Were they supposed to laugh? Were we?

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Friday 02/05/2016
Clarksdale Film Festival showcased homegrown talent
Posted: February 05, 2016

The sixth annual Clarksdale Film Fest is over and a good time was had by all. Here is a bit of what was screened at the fest and some of the fest's more interesting (and Clarksdale-centric) offerings...

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Thursday 01/14/2016
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi presents ‘Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!’
Posted: January 14, 2016

CLEVELAND, MS--GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi is thrilled to present “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!” as its first official featured exhibit when the Museum opens on March 5 in Cleveland, Miss. This one-of-a-kind exhibit will offer visitors an in-depth look at the phenomenal British group that made a huge impact on American culture and created the fan frenzy known as “Beatlemania.” 

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Postal Service previews new 2016 stamps
Posted: January 14, 2016

JACKSON, MS — The Postal Service is providing a preview of its 2016 stamp program that is sure to attract the interest of fans of Sarah Vaughan, Star Trek, NASA’s New Horizons mission, Trucks, Shirley Temple, flowers, soda fountain fans and the holidays — just to name a small handful. 

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‘The Revenant’ wins as a brillantly made film
Posted: January 14, 2016

Every year I find at least a handful of movies that surprise me enough to earn my highest rating. It's always a short list, but it takes special mixture of originality, superior storytelling, spot-on acting and spectacle for a movie like “The Revenant” to come along and surpass all expectations.

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Thursday 01/07/2016
‘Hateful Eight’ a disappointing attempt at a Western
Posted: January 07, 2016

There are a few famous filmmakers out there who I feel have developed an unhealthy contempt for their audiences. At some point in their career, their inflated egos take over and they no longer care if anyone enjoys their films as long as they get what they want out of it. They give grandiose speeches on why everyone else is wrong or stupid but them and frequently lash out at critics and fans over the pettiest of nitpicks. Their movies become increasingly self-indulgent, less accessible to general audiences and their creative choices become questionable at best and spiteful at worst. We've seen this happen with M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Smith and George Lucas, all of whom polarized and alienated many fans with their toxicity (well, “The Visit” was terrible but Shyamalan is at least trying to get back in our good graces). Although he may have already succumbed to this long ago, I believe Quintin Tarantino presently falls squarely into this category and I offer “The Hateful Eight” as evidence.

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Thursday 12/31/2015
‘Mad Max’ tops list of 10 best films in 2015
Posted: December 31, 2015

The end of the year is upon us and I have compiled a list of the best films I've seen so far in 2015. Granted, this list will undoubtedly change as more Oscar-qualifying, year-ending films (like “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight”) become available. For now, here is the current list...

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Thursday 12/17/2015
‘Krampas’ a winning flick for the whole family
Posted: December 17, 2015

Holiday movies are tricky, but unless they take place during Halloween, holiday horror movies are the trickiest. There aren't many great ones to speak of that take place around Christmas; even fewer that are aimed at younger crowds. Michael Dougherty made a name for himself as a director with the highly underrated Halloween movie “Trick R' Treat” and now he seems hell-bent on cornering the market on all holiday horror movies, if “Krampus” is any indication.

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