REVIEW: The Mercy [2018]

“What if I tell them I’m here?” I had never heard of Donald Crowhurst before seeing James Marsh‘s film The Mercy. This is unsurprising since the British Sunday Times‘ Golden Globe Race of which he was a competitor occurred in 1968, not quite fifteen years before my birth. And if his would-be return-date to Teignmouth, England of July 1969 after yachting around the world without stop or assistance was ingrained in my mind for any event—auspicious or infamous—it was the moon landing. So when the synopsis described this amateur sailor…

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REVIEW: Wonder Woman [2017]

“They don’t deserve you” October 1941. That’s the month William Moulton Marston‘s Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8. Yes, it’s taken seventy plus years to put her in movie theaters alongside contemporaries and equals Superman (created in 1938, onscreen in 1948 via serial) and Batman (created in 1939, onscreen in 1943 via serial). Finally women the world over who’ve been inspired by the superhero, (you know, how many believe only a red-blooded, action-crazed male ever could), can see her in today’s popular media while young girls are allowed…

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REVIEW: Anomalisa [2015]

“Nah. That’s British Airways.” Leave it to Charlie Kaufman to write a play about human connection and have it be just three actors who don’t physically interact—two playing single characters and the third everyone else with no discernable attempt to differentiate his voice. Then leave it to Dino Stamatopoulos and Dan Harmon of “Community” and “Moral Orel” fame to think it would make a great stopmotion animated film co-directed by Duke Johnson wherein Tom Noonan‘s stable of characters could literally all have the same face. This is Anomalisa: an adaptation…

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REVIEW: The Zero Theorem [2014]

“Making sense of the good things in life” If the end were empty—as was the beginning—wouldn’t life be meaning in itself? Why do we constantly ask the question and seek its answer if so many believe our present existence is merely a stepping-stone towards eternity? If that’s truly the case one could label life as a vicious joke—a test in futility God has set forth to ensure we endure the pain and suffering he promises to extinguish at the opening of his pearly gates. This is why suicide is unforgivable…

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REVIEW: RED 2 [2013]

“I was very touched that you cried at my funeral” For DC Comics imprint Homage’s RED, screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber turned Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s original work into a surprise box office hit with an inspired cast of aged, former CIA operatives presently labeled “retired: extremely dangerous”. The goal with any successful comic book adaptation is then to greenlight a sequel in the hopes lightning will strike twice in a bigger and better way. Like many before them, however, the task of expanding on a winner is never…

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REVIEW: War Horse [2011]

“There are big days and there are small days” Thirteen years since Saving Private Ryan and six since his last ‘serious’ work in Munich, Steven Spielberg pulls out all the stops for his newest WWI epic War Horse. Based on the 1982 children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo that was recently adapted into a Tony Award-winning stage play earlier this year, the title deceives as far as explaining the true subject of the work. While we follow Joey the horse from birth to the savage conditions of the Great War, he…

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FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #4 – The New World [2005]

“At the moment I was to die, she threw herself upon me” There is no way to mistake a Terrence Malick film for anything but. His use of score as a character rather than background, the hitch cuts in scenes as though only a few frames are removed, ultra short vignettes right out of a nature documentary spliced in perfectly, and, my favorite, scenes of people talking where the words are drowned out and made almost inaudible, allowing for the visuals to trump all, are just some of the unforgettable…

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REVIEW: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas [2008]

“Does the uniform still make you feel special?” **Caution: Spoilers** It appears that filmmakers have an appetite for Holocaust films these days. I don’t know if it has to do with the political strife occurring all over the world, America’s involvement in the Middle East, Republicans comparing Obama to Hitler, or what, but the constant influx almost has dulled me to the point of avoiding them. How many different versions of the tale can be told before you become numb? A film like last year’s Die Fälscher, while well made…

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