REVIEW: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [2019]

There’s no better gift than love. It’s not often a studio as big as Dreamworks goes on record to say the third installment of a critically acclaimed series and box office success will be its last. Why paint yourself into a corner like that when the possibility for more is right at your fingertips? Dare I say the answer is integrity? I know. That’s not a word you hear much in Hollywood, but I have to believe it’s the reasoning behind Dean DeBlois‘ adaptation of Cressida Cowell‘s How to Train…

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REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014]

“What you’re searching for is in here” With ten children’s books already published—and two more planned—Cressida Cowell has given Dreamworks animation a ton of material to adapt whether adhered to religiously or not. Their success on How to Train Your Dragon caught many off guard while earning a place in the hearts of children and adults alike on the way to two Oscar nominations and a television series spin-off. The announcement of a sequel was therefore inevitable, the idea to craft it into a trilogy unsurprising as well besides the…

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REVIEW: 300: Rise of an Empire [2014]

“Fear his freedom!” This is what a copy of a copy looks like. It pretends to be equal to the original—and in some aspects proves to be exactly the same—yet arrives seven years after everything its groundbreaking ancestor provided was expanded and evolved upon. I loved 300 and gave it a perfect score despite some issues because it was so fresh and exhilarating. It showed how the capabilities of cinema could be pushed even further than Frank Miller‘s other adaptation Sin City, breathing life into a dark and gruesome graphic…

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REVIEW: Law Abiding Citizen [2009]

“You can’t fight fate” Another one is crossed off Hollywood’s famed ‘black list’—unproduced scripts so good they just have to be made. I had read an article about Kurt Wimmer’s Law Abiding Citizen and how Gerard Butler took it upon himself to help step save it from production hell, watching as Jamie Foxx signed on to co-star and F. Gary Gray to direct. Supposedly it took two years to finally go in front of cameras, so I wonder how long before that it was actually conceived and written. There are…

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REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon [2010]

“The offspring of lightning and evil itself” I learned something new today—Scandinavian Vikings have Scottish accents. Well, at least the adults do, the brogue seems to have withered away in the next generation of dragon slayers. Yes, dragon slaying is the main occupation of these massive brutes, doing all they can to protect their island village while the fire-breathing beasts ravaging it in search of food. What I also learned while watching How to Train Your Dragon is that studios are catching on to what makes 3D effective. Much like…

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REVIEW: The Bounty Hunter [2010]

“Nope, I’m gonna shoot a cab driver” Thank you Andy Tennant for your contribution to the beloved, in my mind, 90s television show “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” but what have you done for me lately? Please don’t say The Bounty Hunter because that was 110 minutes of pure boredom. Have we really gotten to the point where Hollywood thinks that if you put a crime in the middle of a romantic comedy that men will want to see it? Did You Hear About the Morgans? proved that the idea can…

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REVIEW: The Ugly Truth [2009]

“It’s called a Stairmaster” Do you want to know the ugly truth about The Ugly Truth? Well, besides being obvious and banal cinematically, it made me laugh … a lot actually. Romantic comedies usually have one thing going for them and that is predictability. While this one has it in spades, what surprised me was how crude and crass the humor ended up being. And that’s a very good thing because those instances brought on the biggest laughs of them all. One could guess there would be a few moments,…

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REVIEW: RocknRolla [2008]

“Was it a slow dance?” Is Guy Ritchie back? Has the impending divorce brought back that violent edge we fans have been missing? I guess it is somewhat idiotic of myself, and others, to dismiss Ritchie as though he’s left the playing field. Sure Swept Away couldn’t have been good as art let alone for his career, but besides that and what some consider a bloated mess in Revolver, Ritchie hasn’t imploded. The guy made two great cockney gangster flicks and with his newest film, RocknRolla, continues the tradition, pulling…

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REVIEW: 300 [2007]

“Sparta!” This is what film was destined to evolve to. After decades of directors making storyboards as reference before filming and the slow building trend to adapt comic book work, we finally have the ultimate fusion of both. Sure Sin City did amazing things with the medium and created frame-by-frame transfers from drawing to celluloid, however, it was still shot as a movie first and foremost. Zack Snyder has done something different with 300; he has created a true work of art. Frank Miller’s story was one steeped in truth…

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