REVIEW: Everything is Illuminated [2005]

“My grandfather informs me that is not possible” There aren’t very many debut directorial efforts by actors that make their mark on the moviegoing public. For every Redford, whose Ordinary People won him best picture and director at the Oscars, you get a handful of Mel Gibson’s, whose debut The Man Without a Face just didn’t hold the weight that Braveheart and The Passion later would. Not since maybe George Clooney have I really enjoyed a debut effort with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2002. Last year in 2005,…

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REVIEW: The Queen [2006]

“Will someone please save these people from themselves” I generally don’t find many biopics to be great cinema. Most times you get a bloated story spanning what feels like millennia with only a charismatic mimic to guide your way. Films like Ray and Walk the Line were good for what they were and contained very good performances from their stars. However, watching someone reach stardom only to see him fall and be eventually redeemed can get very uninteresting. Thankfully every once in a while you’ll get a biopic with a…

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REVIEW: Happy Feet [2006]

Happy Feet = Brainwashing Propaganda There will be spoilers, however, I highly recommend you not waste your money on this atrocity anyway, so please read on. Let me preface this rant with the fact that I am neither religious nor political. I could care less that liberal Hollywood treats their movies as agenda pushing media because I like a good story. The Constant Gardener really played with your sensibilities about what is happening in African countries and whatnot and how America is the cause, etc. However, the film was about…

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REVIEW: Bobby [2006]

“The once and future king” Emilio Estevez has thrust himself back into the limelight this year with his passion project about the day of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. While doing maybe four or so acting roles in the past seven years, Estevez has honed his directorial skills with tv shows and I’m sure tweaked his script and signed a wishlist of actors. I’m sure it was the storyline parallel between RFK’s Vietnam messiah with the hope for one today in Iraq by the Hollywood Democrats that drew many to the…

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REVIEW: Déjà Vu [2006]

“U can save her” It’s a real shame that everything I had read about Déjà Vu concerned the high-powered explosions and loud clatter of guru/producer Jerry Bruckheimer. No mention, except maybe as a footnote, was given to A-list director Tony Scott and the magic he has woven in his past three films. The man who brought us Top Gun has seen a sort of revival in style lately with the entertaining Spy Game, the amazing Man on Fire, and the kinetic Domino. Scott has taken the quick cuts of music…

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REVIEW: The Fountain [2006]

“Death breeds creation” I never thought I would ever thank Brad Pitt for causing the utter failure of The Fountain launching principal photography three years ago. However, his leaving the production to do Troy may have resulted in the finest film-going experience I have ever had. Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece could only have been ruined by the doubled budget and lack of Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz’s stellar performances. The epic scope this film has is that much better due to the small-scale effects honed and enlarged to full utilization. Much…

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REVIEW: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit [2005]

Wallace & Gromit has always been the phenomenon that eluded me. Every once in awhile I would be flipping channels and come across a short on BBC, but never took the time to actually watch one completely. When the film came out last year it seemed cute enough, however, the lauded praise and fanfare was surprising to me, as well as the oscar (granted Pixar was MIA in 2005). Finally I was able to catch up with the animated feature and upon completion I must say first impressions were correct.…

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REVIEW: Stranger Than Fiction [2006]

“Harold Crick and his wristwatch” Marc Forster is one of those directors that over that past years have been on my film radar. After a strong debut, (I know he had a couple previous, but lets go with it), with Monster’s Ball and a great follow-up of Finding Neverland, he really wowed me last year with the visual flair and emotion of Stay. This year sees the release of Stranger Than Fiction written by Zach Helm, whom people are hailing as one of the best new screenwriters, interesting since this…

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REVIEW: Casino Royale [2006]

“Shaken or stirred?” I am not a very big action movie fan. Explosions, violence, and sex don’t make a good movie unless there is some semblance of a story involved. Therefore, I’ve never really had an interest in watching the twenty or so James Bond films. Hearing about the gadgets and the suave hitman persona told me it wouldn’t be too intellectually fulfilling and if I didn’t want to be challenged at the movies I’d see a comedy not a film pretending to be sophisticated. My fears were made true…

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REVIEW: Funny Games [1997]

“You’re on their side, so who will you bet with?” I’ve been meaning to write a review for Michael Haneke’s Funny Games since rewatching it Halloween night. I had seen it for the first time around 3-4 years ago on IFC and was blown away by its inventiveness. It definitely holds up today as a sharp thriller and satire for our culture of wanting to see pain and torture on screen. With movies like Saw coming to theatres now, it may be even more relevant than it was in 1997.…

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REVIEW: SubUrbia [1996]

“I don’t need a limousine to know who I am. At least I know I don’t know” Always having been a fan of Richard Linklater’s work, it confounded me that his film after indie darlings Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise has never been released on dvd. SubUrbia is the kind of movie you hear that fans of his work love, but never found a place in cinema history. Flipping through the movie channels on tv, I happened across the film and could not stop watching until it was over.…

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