REVIEW: Three Christs [2020]

I can attest. Two decades after publishing his study The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Milton Rokeach came to the realization that his methods were both manipulative and unethical. He included an afterword in a re-release of the book to that effect—something surely helped by the supposed fact his research assistants questioned his morality while it was still being conducted. Rokeach’s goal was to cure three patients who independently believed themselves the one-and-only reincarnation of Jesus by placing them together in a controlled environment to confront the absurdity of their claims.…

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REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [2017]

“It’s hard to know what to do” It’s no coincidence that the dumbest character in Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri says the most revealing line of dialogue throughout the entire film: “Anger begets more anger.” I guess it’s because Penelope (Samara Weaving) isn’t dumb as much as she’s naïvely innocent and young. She’s still idealistic about a world that has yet to throw any great tragedies her way. She’s still elastic enough to take being laid off from work in stride because there’s always another job out there.…

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REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014]

“Mind the glass” If you have a storyline at your disposal capable of continuing two separate iterations of a single cinematic franchise simultaneously, you’d be a laughing stock not to take it. Credit Fox for seizing this opportunity to create something not even Marvel proper has dared to do quite yet. Would they have made the attempt had Star Trek not already used time travel in a way that didn’t completely alienate its summer blockbuster movie-going audience? I’d be interested to hear the producers’ thoughts on this because I’m not…

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REVIEW: The Station Agent [2003]

“Would you mind not looking at me right now?” Actor Thomas McCarthy is quite the paradox. The man has a face full of smugness and unchecked attitude, making him ideal for intelligent, arrogant jerks. Maybe jerk is too strong a word since he also has the capacity for remorse, but I do find it apt after just recently seeing him become one of the most amoral characters on the HBO series “The Wire”. What makes him a paradox, however, is his foray into writing and directing. For some reason—perhaps because…

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REVIEW: Death at a Funeral [2010]

“Always thought he had a little sugar in his tank” It does not take long to show just how exact a remake Neil LaBute’s Death at a Funeral is compared to Frank Oz’s original. Right from the opening credits, an animated journey of the hearse bringing the deceased to his home for final goodbyes, altered mainly by being more literal than its abstract cousin, everything is just as it was. Once the cartoon fades away to leave reality beneath, however, we get to see just where the differences lie. I…

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REVIEW: Death at a Funeral [2007]

“My father was an exceptional man” And now it takes just three years for a remake of an English language film, that stays in its native language, to happen. Chris Rock may have gotten Neil Labute—it appears he has assimilated into the Hollywood machine for good now—to direct a new version, from the same screenwriter no less, but it is Frank Oz’s British Death at a Funeral that came first. Don’t be afraid of the accents and give the original a shot. I’ll admit that it gets pretty dark there…

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REVIEW: Elf [2003]

“You sit on a throne of lies” The exercise of revisiting films can have a happy ending. Looking back, I think I may have disregarded Elf more for the fact I was in an “I hate Will Ferrell” mood, than because it was a poorly made movie. It’s not like my idea of Ferrell has changed, but my opinion of the work definitely has. The viewing environment most likely played a role as well being that I was with three huge fans of both, so hearing them laugh and quote…

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REVIEW: The Visitor [2008]

“Thinking just screws it all up” When I first saw the trailer for the new film The Visitor I knew I wanted to see it solely on the basis that Richard Jenkins was going to be the star. I’ve loved this guy in everything he has done, mostly small to medium supporting work; it’s great to see him get the chance to carry an entire movie. Of course there was more to like: the music seemed fantastic, the storyline something with some dramatic weight, and the fact that it was…

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REVIEW: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian [2008]

“They used to dance” After three years, Andrew Adamson returns the world of Narnia to film fans everywhere with Prince Caspian. Shot out of order from the stories themselves, this is the obvious second choice cinematically. With the ever-looming challenge of young actors aging at such a fast pace, he needs to get all the tales concerning these kings and queens done before they become way too old. As it is, both Edmund and Lucy appear much older than the previous work, but it never detracts from the proceedings. This…

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