Mel Valentin
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Mel Valentin

Mel Valentin hails from the great state of New Jersey. After attending NYU undergrad (politics and economics major, religious studies minor) and grad school (law), he decided a transcontinental move to California, specifically San Francisco, was in order. Since Mel began writing nine years ago, he's written more than 1,600 film-related reviews and articles. He's a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.

Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2: Ends the series with an unsatisfying whimper, the result of poor, underdeveloped artistic choices.

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TRUMO proves that history lessons don’t have to be boring, largely thanks to an amazing performance by Bryan Cranston.

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love the coopers
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LOVE THE COOPERS: A way too soon, holiday-centered comedy-drama with nothing that the talismanic invocation of the word “family” can’t fix.

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Spotlight
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SPOTLIGHT: A reminder of how journalism can shed light on hidden, uncomfortable truths and help force social, cultural and political change.

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  The concept of “home,” what it is, both in the abstract and in practice, of whether – to borrow a truism-turned-cliché – you can’t (or shouldn’t) go home again, runs thematically through Brooklyn, director John Crowley (Closed Circuit, Is Anybody There?, Boy A) and screenwriter Nick Hornby’s (Fever Pitch,

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Spectre
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SPECTRE: An unconvincing, self-consciously serious turn for the rebooted James Bond series that was finally finding the right balance.

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  A grey, grim world, free of color or joy; a world where one-half of the population virtually holds the other half in indentured servitude, one without workers’ rights, let alone workplace safety rules or regulations, a patriarchal society, except it’s not set in a distant future typically reserved for

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The Last Witch Hunter
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THE LAST WITCH HUNTER: Does little with its few good ideas and everything with its derivative, unoriginal ones.

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Paranormal Activity The Ghost Dimension
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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION: One last, desperate attempt to separate unsuspecting moviegoers from their wallets.

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Pan
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PAN: Offers absolutely nothing new, relying heavily on the tired, tiresome “Hero’s Journey” moviegoers have experienced countless times.

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The Martian
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THE MARTIAN: A taut, tense thriller with practically everything moviegoers could possibly want from a 21st century “Robinson Crusoe on Mars.”

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  After what seemed like a never-ending series of bombs and misfires culminating with Mortdecai earlier this year, Johnny Depp’s career as an A-list leading man seemed all but over (next year’s Pirates of the Caribbean notwithstanding), but Depp finally found a role to fit his peculiar talents and makeup

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The Visit
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THE VISIT: M. Night Shyamalan’s latest misfire is neither straight-up horror nor comedy, but a bizarre, ill-fitting mixture of the two.

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no escape
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NO ESCAPE: A cringe-inducing, unappetizing throwback to the Golden Era of Hollywood Racism.

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we are your friends
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WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS: A joyless, derivative drama structured around the music biopic formula.

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