Film Review: Alien: Covenant

May 19, 2017

In space, simply scary beats too much talking Alien: Covenant, the eighth of the Alien series of films, feels like an old friend from whom you’ve long since grown apart, but with whom you’ll still grab a beer and listen to the same stories and jokes. The film checks all the series boxes, and delivers […]

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Film Review: Snatched

May 12, 2017

Hawn, Schumer deserve better than middling comedy Legendary comedienne Goldie Hawn has not been seen on the big screen since 2002’s The Banger Sisters, so it’s a shame that her return from a 15-year absence is in a mediocre film unworthy of her talents. On paper, the premise for Hawn’s revival movie probably sounded great: […]

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Film Review: The Lovers

May 12, 2017

Powerhouse actors make tonally odd picture worth watching The Lovers is an odd movie. That’s not to say that it’s not worth seeing; it’s just that tonally, strange is the best word to describe it. A virtual pas de deux between heavy hitters Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, the picture focuses on their characters Michael […]

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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 5, 2017

Dazzling, vibrant fun with a classy set list Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to the surprise superhero blockbuster from Marvel Studios, opens with a credit sequence set to Baby Groot dancing around a space station platform while the rest of the gang fight an intergalactic squid monster. Of course, Baby Groot […]

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Film Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

April 21, 2017”>

The healing power of a natural disaster To a teenager, the world is a boundless sea of experiences and hopes and fears and people and possibilities. But when the confines of a public high school, with its endless days of tedium, unquestionable authority, and worst of all – other teenagers – impose arbitrary bounds, the […]

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Film Review: The Promise

April 21, 2017

Emotionally powerful new film brings story of Armenian genocide to light April 24th is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, so opening The Promise this weekend is obviously intentional. Irish director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) and screenwriter Robin Swicord have made the first major Hollywood picture to tell a story about the horrific event commemorated by that […]

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SFFILM Festival Spotlights #5

April 16, 2017

Five More Spotlights as SFFILM Enters Final Week The 60th San Francisco International Film Festival wraps up this week, but there’s still time to catch a few screenings before closing day on Thursday; you can browse the schedule and buy tickets here. Stay tuned to Spinning Platters for our final spotlight posts to help finish […]

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Show Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark Live in Concert with the SF Symphony

April 14, 2017

A lovely night with Williams’s score, Ford’s performance, iconic scenes… there are no bad dates here! Raiders of the Lost Ark is the quintessential action-adventure film. One could confidently claim that it is the greatest action-adventure film of all time! There is nothing about Steven Spielberg’s 1981 classic that isn’t famous — the giant boulder, […]

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SFFILM Festival Spotlights #4

April 12, 2017

(Films #31-#40 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th) The 60th SFFILM Festival is HALFWAY through! Be sure to get your tickets now — visit for tickets and info. Also, be sure to check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie […]

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Film Review: Gifted

April 7, 2017

Talented cast is the real gift in otherwise predictable family drama Director Marc Webb’s new film Gifted asks us to not only buy a 7-year-old girl as an MIT-level math genius, but also hunky Captain America star Chris Evans as a former Boston University philosophy professor; I’m not sure which characterization requires the greater suspension […]

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