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Director: Travis Knight Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. Running Time: 114 minutes


For over a decade, the Michael Bay-inflicted Transformers movies have been a force for evil in the film world, a miserable exercise in corporate-asset churnery, a film series propelled by millions of dollars but decimal points of inspiration, a world-view that seemingly looked up to the US military and down on absolutely everyone else. First Shia Labeouf, and later Mark Wahlburg, the eejit ids of everything these films stand for (which is to say, nothing), ran and yelled and gawped through a swampy succession of increasingly convoluted and visually overwhelming CGI, and most any of the many watched it got nothing from it at all except for their hearts to be hardened, left for hours to stew in their own cynicism when faced with stupidity and sneers writ large in IMAX 3D; lazy mean-spiritedness blown up to overwhelming size. Merely not being that makes Bumblebee more than a breath of fresh air. It’s more a vital grasp of any air, wonderful oxygen gulped into screaming, scratched lungs that have been poisoned something noxious. On its own merits though, Bumblebee with its spirit, its optimism, and its creative enthusiasm, storms far, far ahead of everything else in the series so far, less a spin-off than a strike-out, a knock-out blow to its inferior predecessors, floating and stinging like, well you know.

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Director: Elisabeth Subrin Starring: Maggie Siff, Cara Seymour, John Ortiz Running time: 97 minutes

A Woman, A Part is visual nourishment. The performances are understated, the set and camera work graceful. The film is an intimate exploration of Anna, played by Maggie Siff who is best known for her roles in Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy respectively, as she struggles to decide whether she is giving too much of herself to her acting or is simply paying her dues. Anna returns to New York for “a real break, not a work break, not a charity drive, not a cleanse” on the advice of her concerned agent. While there, she has to face former acting partners and friends Kate and Isaac, who are still raw from her abandoning them in the middle of a show way back when.

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