REVIEW: The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008]

“Only on the precipice do we evolve” Ah, remakes. Why does Hollywood insist on updating/copying/being inspired by past works, especially when the original was good? The past few years have even seen re-imaginings of John Carpenter films; the guy is still alive and making movies, so why are we redoing his past work from only two decades ago? When it comes to the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, I guess one can at least comprehend the want to infuse some 21st century graphics and effects; it was…

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REVIEW: Frost/Nixon [2008]

“I let them down” Now if you want a film to show the problems of drinking and how it can ruin your life, Frost/Nixon could be it. I jest somewhat here because, of course, that is not what this story is about. However, if what is shown is to be believed, a drunken night of nerves and fear on behalf of Richard Nixon might have been his ultimate demise. After what had been a steamrolling of his interviewer, David Frost, basically reshaping his image and making he, recently disgraced and…

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REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [2008]

“It was nice to have met you” It’s an unlikely source, but an effective one—David Fincher giving us a heartbreaking tale of love discovered, lost, found, and forever enduring. The man responsible for bringing to screen the ultra-sick mind of a serial killer in Seven, the warped sensibilities of Chuck Palahniuk with Fight Club, and the dark streets of a city in fear with Zodiac has crafted a beautifully lyrical film of love and its always-difficult journey. Based on a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, screenwriter Eric Roth has…

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REVIEW: The Spirit [2008]

“I have a city as my weapon” There is a lot to like about Frank Miller’s debut as a solo director. The Spirit is shot with a similar style as his last film, Sin City, based upon his own graphic novels, and the imagery is quite stunning at times. I’m not familiar with Will Eisner’s series for which the film is based, but after viewing scenes in stark black and white, with the bright red tie and blindingly white sneaker soles, coupled with the end credits artwork, I have to…

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Top 10 Albums of 2008

(short and sweet and to the point — culled from listening to 110+ 2008 releases) 1.) Sigur Rós: Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust 2.) The Kooks: Konk 3.) Uh Huh Her: Common Reaction 4.) Delays: Everything’s the Rush 5.) My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges 6.) The Black Keys: Attack & Release 7.) Dear and the Headlights: Drunk Like Bible Times 8.) Mystery Jets: Twenty One 9.) Feeder: Silent Cry 10.) MGMT: Oracular Spectacular Honorable Mention (11-25): 11.) Coldplay: Viva La Vida 12.) The Music: Strength in Numbers 13.)…

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REVIEW: Valkyrie [2008]

“Long live sacred Germany” Bryan Singer returns to a world that isn’t inhabited with superheroes, joining an old friend in screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, a partnership that last resulted in The Usual Suspects. The question then becomes whether lightning can strike twice and if Tom Cruise’s thoughts that it would, by producing it as his second feature as head of United Artists, could be correct. With Valkyrie, a “based on true events” tale of high Nazi officials with enough guts to risk their lives to stop Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror…

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REVIEW: Silent Night, Bloody Night [1974]

“The last two victims in a house of victims” What’s Christmas without a holiday themed horror film? Not Christmas at all. As such, I viewed the 1974 genre flick Silent Night, Bloody Night with some friends to get in the festive spirit. Released the same year as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, director Theodore Gershuny decided to go in a more abstract surreal direction with his thrills, while keeping to a similar low-budget aesthetic. Because of this, while not being nearly as good as that Tobe Hooper classic, Gershuny’s work has a…

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REVIEW: Caché [2005]

“I wanted you to be present” I’m still not quite certain what to think a day after watching Michael Haneke’s acclaimed film Caché. It is at the same time unnerving, confusing, and unabashedly honest. A story about guilt and how we as people cope with it, accept it, or disregard it. We may tell ourselves that we feel nothing, the tragedies in life were not our fault, however, our psyches and emotions can and will get the better of us. If you truly don’t feel responsible, why then, when confronted,…

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REVIEW: Seven Pounds [2008]

“Hold the elevator” It all starts with a suicide. Or is it a car crash? I guess it all depends on whether you choose to start at the beginning or the end. Director Gabriele Muccino gives you the ability to enter his new film Seven Pounds whichever way you prefer as he starts at the end and works his way back to the beginning, showing us the course of events that led us to that heartbreaking 911 call. This is one powerful movie; maybe that is because I’m a softy…

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REVIEW: Slumdog Millionaire [2008]

“Dreams of so many, on the floor” How can one man be that good at picking projects to direct? Danny Boyle has yet to write one himself—granted, though, he has worked with the same people multiple times—but he can adapt his vision and style to anything. From musical to drug induced frenzy to children’s fantasy to science fiction to horror. No one does it like him, except for maybe Marc Forster, who I like to think of as the American Boyle. With this new film, Slumdog Millionaire, the Brit treats…

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REVIEW: Nobel Son [2008]

“Crazy is just a choice” I admit that I love dark comedies. Something about the mixture of violence, thrills, and comedy just make a perfect amalgam of cinema to entertain my slightly off-kilter sensibilities. When I saw that the film Nobel Son was opening up at the local theatre, I vaguely recalled that the trailer seemed interesting and the cast recognizable. So I said what the hey? I think that the closest cousin I can manage to cull from memory would be the great, underrated gem Suicide Kings from a…

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