REVIEW: I Give It a Year [2013]

“I’d ruin Bieber” Clumsy and cute—that’s my concise review of regular Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer’s directorial debut I Give It a Year. It’s actually a perfect embodiment of the central marriage for which the bride’s sister indifferently declares the titular sentiment. They bore each other in equal measure while providing the one thing they each thought they desired. Josh (Rafe Spall) is the type of security Nat (Rose Byrne) covets at this time in her life and she is the perfect woman he’s been bred to want through…

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REVIEW: Clash of the Titans [2010]

“They declared war. War on the Gods.” Going from Luc Besson‘s go-to director to becoming a Hollywood action regular, you can’t blame Louis Leterrier for wanting to tackle the big budget remake of Clash of the Titans. With a predecessor remembered more for its Ray Harryhausen creatures than any lasting artistic quality—I still can’t believe its shoddy effects came after Empire Strikes Back—its subject matter actually seemed ripe for a revisioning. So many genre ‘classics’ have garnered a want for new boatloads of cash, why not a film badly in…

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REVIEW: X-Men: First Class [2011]

“Mutant and proud” The new world order begins and sides are chosen as Matthew Vaughn—five years late—finally gets his crack at the world of Marvel mutants. X-Men: First Class arrives to tell us the origins of what we’ve seen in the original trilogy, retreating back into the 40s, paralleling of the Holocaust with the world’s inevitable reaction to a new breed of evolution and how the oppressed become the oppressors to survive. It’s a very fine line between good and evil, right and wrong, retribution and revenge. Charles Xavier hones…

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REVIEW: Hanna [2011]

“I found her, she can’t speak English. She’s Sri Lankan.” Written on spec by Seth Lochhead in 2006, the Black List alum Hanna finally reaches screens with help from co-screenwriter David Farr and director Joe Wright. If you thought Wright’s last film, The Soloist, seemed a bit out of his comfort zone, having previously completed two period pieces, I can relate to the confusion and excitement you’d have hearing his next would be an action thriller starring a young, brutally violent female killer. But just as he stunned me by…

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REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [2008]

“It was nice to have met you” It’s an unlikely source, but an effective one—David Fincher giving us a heartbreaking tale of love discovered, lost, found, and forever enduring. The man responsible for bringing to screen the ultra-sick mind of a serial killer in Seven, the warped sensibilities of Chuck Palahniuk with Fight Club, and the dark streets of a city in fear with Zodiac has crafted a beautifully lyrical film of love and its always-difficult journey. Based on a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, screenwriter Eric Roth has…

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REVIEW: Stardust [2007]

“Mind you don’t wear out the wench” A magical adventure is just what the summer needed to usher the season into its closing months, leading up to the award contenders’ fall/winter releases. With all the sequels and over-the-top action and special effects heavy drivel, an intelligent story steeped in originality couldn’t come at a better time. Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s fantasy story Stardust is a tale ripe for cinematic translation. With the adventure, the surreal, the action, the romance, and the comedy, this film is a direct descendant of…

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