REVIEW: Jason Bourne [2016]

“And I heard you got hacked” In the nine years since Matt Damon last played amnesiac black ops assassin Jason Bourne, (eleven movie years considering the character exclaims he’s been running for three in The Bourne Ultimatum after The Bourne Identity bowed in 2002), there’s been a lot of chatter about making a reunion work only to have the actor and director Paul Greengrass emphatically say, “No.” It was with good reason too because they knew throwing a sequel together without a quality story that did justice to the original…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Supremacy [2004]

“It’s easy. She’s standing right next to you.” The idea that a sequel can best its predecessor is one that many people believe impossible save one or two exceptions to prove the rule. We’re talking The Godfather: Part II caliber stuff—prestige pieces with weight behind them for critical acclaim and box office success. So you may find me hyperbolic to say this, but I think The Bourne Supremacy belongs on this ultra short list. Don’t demean it by exclaiming how an action film doesn’t deserve to sit alongside a Francis…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Identity [2002]

“I guess you’re not home” It’s interesting to go back and watch Doug Liman‘s The Bourne Identity after so many years and sequels because it’s so unlike what Paul Greengrass accomplished during his tenure at the helm. The action scenes seem almost quaint in comparison with quick cuts and loud thuds. The kinetic excitement of extended take sequences is absent, replaced by choreographed images rather than limbs. It just goes to show how different the series’ origins were with espionage and spy thrills trumping the subsequently explosive hand-to-hand combat. This…

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REVIEW: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005]

“Right. Five or six years.” It was the aggressive nature of the stories told to screenwriter Simon Kinberg by friends in couples therapy that inspired Mr. & Mrs. Smith—his MFA thesis turned half billion dollar moneymaker at the box office. The leap from the tit for tat dynamic between bickering spouses to secret lives is hardly unique, but making those hidden existences equally successful assassin careers instead of extramarital affairs certainly was. Killers need to work through issues too, especially when the question of whether they married out of love…

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REVIEW: Edge of Tomorrow [2014]

“The only thing missing is you” When a script is placed on The Black List—an unauthorized survey of the “best” unproduced screenplays making the rounds—it’s generally a calling card for the writer. Many of these works come off to huge success and springboard the author to great heights in hopes more box office winners lay dormant inside his or her mind. With the highly entertaining Edge of Tomorrow, however, this isn’t quite the case. While based on a Japanese young adult novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka entitled All You Need Is…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2014: ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘The Rover,’ ‘Venus in Fur’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. It’s no surprise a month like June doesn’t possess the best posters for blockbuster releases. No one readying to visit a theater for summer popcorn carnage cares if the advertisement…

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INTERVIEW: Geoffrey Fletcher, writer/director of Violet & Daisy

Oscar winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher has kept busy post-Precious as a Columbia University and NY Tisch School adjunct professor, the driving creative force behind Bombay Sapphire’s Imagination Series, and collaborating with Doug Liman on a new film entitled Attica about the 1971 prison rebellion. Despite all this, however, it’s his directorial debut Violet & Daisy that has him in the spotlight once again. I had pleasure of speaking with the soft-spoken and introspective artist about the film’s genesis, its journey to the big screen, and the essence of cinematic storytelling.…

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REVIEW: Fair Game [2010]

“I’d rather kill my friends in error than allow my enemy to live” After an interesting career trajectory spanning a pretty spotless list of comedies (Go), actioners (The Bourne Identity), and a mix of the two (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), it’s interesting to see director Doug Liman take on a political thriller. Most akin to his debut (Swingers), despite completely disparate genres and subject matter, Fair Game relies entirely on the characters taking us through the war zone of lies concerning why our country went to Iraq in search of…

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REVIEW: Jumper [2008]

“I’m giving you a headstart, son” Doug Liman’s first misstep is the new movie Jumper. I have either greatly enjoyed or loved each of his films until now. This teleportation action adventure is not necessarily bad, however, it is just a bit of a mess. Acting as the first part of a planned trilogy, it is too short, too glossy, and too reliant on the viewers taking the leap and journey without any idea of what is really happening. Why are the Paladins after the Jumpers? When did the fight…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Ultimatum [2007]

“He just drove off the roof” I have never been one to shy away from saying that most action films do nothing for me. Most times they’re blatant vehicles to blow stuff up, show off sexy models, and throw any semblance of reality or intelligence out the window. With that said, however, the Bourne series has been fantastic. Doug Liman ushered in a new take on action by using a more cinema verite style, showing the fights in full force while making our super spy someone we can relate to…

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REVIEW: Swingers [1996]

“Mikey’s all grows’d up” The early to mid-90s brought the world an insurgence of little indie films that could. Sure Clerks is looked upon as the movie that gave everyone the opportunity to say to himself, “Yes, I can do it”, but it is really Swingers that showed what an indie film could do. Kevin Smith’s debut was one made very much on the cheap with friends and non-actors waxing pop-culture philosophical. These guys were hilarious yes, but talented no. It was the witty banter, scripted by Smith, which gave…

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