REVIEW: Jaws [1975]

You’re gonna need a bigger boat. Actor Richard Dreyfus called Jaws a “nexus point” during his question and answer period before a recent screening of the cinematic classic and I can’t think of a better descriptor. His words were relevant as far as his career, but also the medium as a whole. Here was a work of art that overcame a troubled production to become the first true blockbuster—a term that ultimately changed the face of the industry itself—and provided a sterling example of what it meant to utilize the…

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REVIEW: Dear Basketball [2017]

I did everything for you. “Money” is a word used to describe Kobe Bryant the athlete because he was the guy you gave the ball to with no time on the clock. Everyone could rely on him whether coach, teammate, or fan because we knew the chances were that a good look at the hoop would result in a basket. He was “money.” As a result of the career that proved this point, Kobe accrued a lot of money in the literal sense of the word too. And with that…

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REVIEW: Swiss Army Man [2016]

“I don’t want to die alone” You can never be sure about a marketing campaign using a phrase like, “You’ve heard it a million times, but this time it’s true. You’ve never seen a movie like Swiss Army Man.” What type of ploy are they engaging in? We all know it’s been affectionately called (and derided as) the “farting corpse movie,” but that isn’t a mind-blowing detail to render us awestruck. That pitch causes us to wonder what the Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) actually did with their debut…

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REVIEW: Jurassic Park [1993]

“Spared no expense” Dinosaurs have captivated us for centuries—their bones dug up and reassembled in museums and theories about whether they’re descendants of reptiles or birds ebbing and flowing with technological improvement and scientific expansion. So it’s no surprise techno-thriller author Michael Crichton eventually put them at the center of one of his novels, using their appeal and mystique to help craft a cautionary tale about genetic manipulation and the hubristic nature of man. Optioned for adaptation before it was even published, Steven Spielberg looked to bring the giant beasts…

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REVIEW: Lincoln [2012]

“This isn’t usual, Mr. Pendleton. This is history.” Images of brother fighting brother, President Lincoln orating the Emancipation Proclamation, and his tragic demise at the end of John Wilkes Booth’s gun are conjured when most think about the Civil War. For many the abolition of slavery was merely one of the resulting terms of surrender on behalf of the Confederates, the goal of the Union and the Republican Party from the start finally becoming reality. But the details of this historic event are never really explained save a couple dates,…

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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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REVIEW: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [2008]

“So much time wasted in human life waiting” I’ll tell you, nothing gets one’s heart pounding more than a nostalgic theme song score playing during a film. Nothing is more iconic than John Williams’ music when it comes to Indiana Jones, unless you count the humor, the adventure, the whip, and the hat. Steven Spielberg even goes out of his way to show the silhouetted professor place said hat upon his head before we even catch a glimpse of the man himself. From the start, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom…

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