REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during this period didn’t even garner a wide release and it was a real shame because Flipped held a worthwhile kinship to the likes of Stand By Me. So it comes as no shock to discover…

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REVIEW: The Citizen [2013]

“To reach your dreams, plant your good deeds” I’ll say one thing about The Citizen: writer/director Sam Kadi had his heart in the right place. He along with co-writers Samir Younis and Jazmen Darnell Brown set out to tell a story about what it was like to live in America as a person with brown skin after 9/11 and they used true events to accomplish the task. The problem, however, is that they used too many because life for Ibrahim Jarrah (Khaled Nabawy) abides by the “if it rains, it…

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REVIEW: New Year’s Eve [2011]

“Did he just snap me in a maternity ward?” So many questions I never knew I had were answered last night during a packed house screening of New Year’s Eve. A spiritual sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall, writer Katherine Fugate, and at least three actors playing different characters return. Besides learning the general masses savor broad-stroked comedy when it’s spoon-fed to them, I also discovered trite generic love to be their fantasy dream-come-true of choice. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since this film received…

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REVIEW: Saw 3D [2010]

“If I’m lying, take me to the quarries” Could it be the final installment in the increasingly convoluted saga that is Saw? I’ll admit that I checked out somewhat after episode four, to me the last really strong story formed from the surprisingly intelligent and creative Jigsaw mythology. After that it all rapidly devolved to merely a series of traps loosely tying one innocuous poor soul to the big picture, trying hard to make it relevant but only futilely stretching the whole thing thin. The seventh entry, forgoing the roman…

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REVIEW: The Adventures of Robin Hood [1938]

“Hold it for the King” The 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood is quite the feat … for 1938. This adventure film is definitely dated, but don’t let that get you down; it is still a highly entertaining movie. I can see how innovative and successful it would have been upon its release and I respect all its achievements. However, it just has that stigma of a hammy, fun story wrapped around sword fights, romance, and political intrigue. It is the definitive version of the story, if not…

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REVIEW: Saw IV [2007]

“Cherish your life” Besides a misstep with episode II, I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Saw saga. From the get-go, I was intrigued by what these young upstarts, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, were bringing to the horror genre. While the original had its moments of bad acting and campiness—sorry Cary Elwes, I’m still a big fan—it was unique, uncompromising, and began a new genre of film coined torture porn. While the two gents decided against creating a series on their own, they did stay on…

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