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‘Lean on Pete’: A Story About a Boy and His Horse… But Mostly the Boy

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– By Ben Escobar – It’s critical to understand before seeing Lean on Pete, that it isn’t your average horse film. Sure, it’s got the jockeys and hill country horse races, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s even more critical to understand that if you haven’t seen a film from Andrew Haigh prior to Lean on Pete, …

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‘Isle of Dogs’: An Impressive, Charming Aesthetic Masks an Underwhelming Story

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– By Ben Escobar – I love dogs. Who doesn’t? Wes Anderson definitely does, and it shines throughout his latest film, cleverly titled, Isle of Dogs. Known for his signature style that replicates that of a quirky perfectionist telling a story around a campfire, Wes Anderson’s latest film is no exception to that reputation. While I found the film to be …

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Avoiding Creative Suicide: How to Eliminate Writer’s Block from Your Life

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– By Ben Escobar – One of the most interesting opportunities that writers are granted in the creative process of any story is the opportunity to play god. If you think about it, writing a story is the only time in our lives where any of us can have unlimited options, unlimited time, and nobody to tell us “no.” Within the …

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‘Game Night’: A Textbook Thrill Ride that Wins in Every Way

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– By Ben Escobar – Seeing the trailer and hearing the concept for Game Night a few weeks before its release, I was expecting a new record-breaking low score for Rotten Tomatoes to have alongside The Emoji Movie. But I cannot express how happily mistaken I was after experiencing the visual gut-punch of just the opening sequence. It was in those …

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‘The Pursuit of Self-Discovery’: Why Independent Cinema is an Aspiring Filmmaker’s Greatest Asset

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– By Ben Escobar – How many times have you seen a really good movie and immediately after can’t help but say, “I want to make movies like that one day,” and then you give it a shot, but then end up failing miserably? Depending on the number of movies you’ve made, probably more than you’re comfortable with. We’ve all been …

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‘Boyhood’: A Bittersweet Return to Adolescence

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– By Ben Escobar – If someone were to ask me about my favorite memory of my senior year of high school, the first thing that comes to mind is the life-changing night that I watched the masterpiece by Richard Linklater that is known simply as, Boyhood. Having not known much about the film, other than its iconic 12-year production using …