REVIEW: Elizabeth Harvest [2018]

“It just happened” Brightly lit as though a fantasy beyond Elizabeth’s (Abbey Lee) wildest dreams, we meet her and new husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) as they drive towards the rest of their lives. She basks in the luck she believes she possesses to find a man of his intelligence and wealth even if she’s quizzical to his having chosen to marry someone as “simple” as she by comparison. But regardless of these nagging insecurities, Elizabeth does seem legitimately happy. The age difference between them is a non-starter and the smiles…

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REVIEW: The Space Between Us [2017]

“Just add water” It’s difficult not to think about The Martian when it comes to new film The Space Between Us. Both center around a human stranded on Mars—albeit in drastically different circumstances—and both attempt to exist in a “real world” despite our actual ability for interplanetary travel being non-existent. What made the former’s science fiction so good was its decision to stay rooted in science rather than allow the fiction to completely takeover. It grounded us in how someone would survive and how complicated it would be to communicate…

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REVIEW: San Andreas [2015]

“Played a little tug-of-war with a car” Can you call a movie a disaster flick without the President of the United States declaring a state of emergency? While I ask in jest, we do expect such a sobering announcement to arrive with music soaring and heroic platitudes raining down. It never comes here, though, and its absence might be the best thing about San Andreas since it means the chaos inflicted on poor unsuspecting pixels pretending to be Californian cities doesn’t spread internationally. The shockwaves of this cataclysmic event surely…

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REVIEW: Night at the Museum [2006]

“Keep a lid on it, Butterscotch” While based on a 1993 children’s book by Milan Trenc portraying a museum security guard discovering how he must protect the people outside from the dinosaur skeletons that come to life inside, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon‘s cinematic adaptation of Night at the Museum bears more of a resemblance to another family friendly fantasy franchise ending its trilogy the same year as theirs began. I’m talking about The Santa Clause, an enjoyable holiday journey of the heart wherein a divorced dad hoping to…

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REVIEW: Sucker Punch [2011]

“It will be a deep sacrifice and a perfect victory” If you’re going to make an R-rated film, you better well do so. Zack Snyder is a director who has been given the green-light to go for broke on all his adult-fare, (I exclude Legend of the Guardians from his oeuvre here), towards box office glory. So, when the time came for his passion project, you’d believe the studios would sit back and let him weave his magic. But then came Watchmen’s fiscal failure and questions about the man’s true…

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REVIEW: Faster [2010]

“We make our heaven and hell while we’re alive” Writers Tony and Joe Gayton must have really enjoyed Kill Bill and 70s era revenge flicks because they’ve created their beast Faster in the same vein. Tony played with similar themes in the very underrated The Salton Sea and appears to have teamed with his brother to go a bit campier for some high-octane adrenaline rushes, leaving dialogue and script behind. It’s also a branching out exercise for director George Tillman Jr., previously dealing with biographies and tamer fare, joining in…

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REVIEW: The Unborn [2009]

“Keep looking” Does David S. Goyer not read the scripts he writes before choosing to direct them? This guy has been in the horror genre for almost two decades and has had names like Del Toro, Nolan, and Proyas direct his words. Why then does he pick the worst of his lot to put in front of the camera himself? If everyone else is passing, maybe he should take that as a sign to scrap it and start anew. Instead, the world is given drivel like The Unborn, which I…

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REVIEW: American Gangster [2007]

“My man” I’ve been hearing that American Gangster is just your run-of-the-mill cop vs. robber flick, again showing Ridley Scott’s prevailing mediocrity. Hey, I love the cast and I find Scott almost as intriguing as his brother, so I was all for it. Generic gangsters with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe should still be better than most. However, while finding it to be unoriginal, I didn’t see it as a crime film. Instead it was one of my least favorite genres, the biopic. We are shown Frank Lucas go from…

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REVIEW: The Lookout [2007]

“Gimps night out” Writer Scott Frank can now add director to his list of accomplishments. The man behind the script for two favorites of mine, Get Shorty and Out of Sight, has gone behind the camera to direct a new original screenplay, The Lookout. Despite the talent involved—Frank, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who can do no wrong), Matthew Goode, and stalwart Jeff Daniels—I definitely had my reservations about the film from the trailer. It seemed a bit too conventional, a bank heist gone wrong with an inevitable twist waiting in the wings.…

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