REVIEW: King of Thieves [2018]

Stop talking shop. She’ll turn in her grave. It’s not about the robbery. King of Thieves wouldn’t be worth telling if it was just watching these senior actors ranging sixty-years old to eighty-five fictitiously accomplish the “biggest jewel heist in British history” since there obviously won’t be any foot-chases or complex wire-suspended acrobatics. No, the reason this tale (adapted by Joe Penhall from a Vanity Fair article by Mark Seal) proves interesting is due to the characters they portray. How do diabetes, incontinence, and hearing loss affect their chances of…

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REVIEW: Point Break [2015]

“Do you own a suit, son?” We’ve officially come full circle. Point Break arrived in 1991 with more cheese than a Green Bay Packers game and ten years later a fresh generation got to enjoy an ambiguous cops and robbers romp that moved the same basic plot from ocean to streets with The Fast and the Furious. It’s probably an obscure connection at best, but the cinematographer of than unofficial remake, Ericson Core, just happens to now be the man to bring a brand new version of the original story…

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REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth [2014]

“And if that doesn’t do it—you shoot the clown” I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While a brilliant film regardless, I could not shake the violence in Cave’s stage presence or the intensity of his songs against the romantic plot thrusting my ears into its wake. So even though I knew…

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REVIEW: Noah [2014]

“Maybe we’ll learn to be kind” Religion likes to talk about mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance as though such grace was instilled in humanity before we decided to ignore it for carnal pleasure, bloodlust, and greed. This is why most films depicting Biblical stories go heavy on angels and enlightenment, giving pithy parables with “a-ha” lessons to take stock and deflect from the copious amounts of violence throughout its text. Yes there’s creation, salvation, good deeds unto others, and heroes to aspire towards, but don’t forget deception, cleansings, sin, and damnation.…

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REVIEW: Snow White and the Huntsman [2012]

“Have I not given you all?” What happens when a fairy tale depicting an innocent princess saved by a litany of characters on her way to the crown turns into an epic battle with heroine in full armor storming the castle herself? Well, we discover just how flimsy a character the titular Snow White actually is. A prisoner for years while an evil queen brought darkness upon her kingdom, the young girl’s escape into the hallucinogenic Dark Forest proves nothing but a sense of survival. She has no skills at…

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REVIEW: Hugo [2011]

“Where are your designated adults?” When Hugo was announced as Martin Scorsese’s next film, little was mentioned about Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Medal-winning source material, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The big news was the auteur relishing an opportunity to helm his first family film and willingly delve into the world of 3D—a medium seen mostly as a gimmick since Avatar. These revelations kept many from seeing how perfect a fit the material was for the director: a love letter to those responsible for cinema’s genesis and a film historian who…

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REVIEW: Edge of Darkness [2010]

“What does it feel like?” It all begins with the surfacing of three dead bodies left in a river. A foreboding vision for the mystery thriller that is Edge of Darkness, these unknown people set the stage for the governmental corporate cover-up already started, now at Mel Gibson’s Thomas Craven’s doorstep. The trailers put out by Warner Bros. portray what looks like an action-packed revenger, pitting Gibson’s bereaved father against the people behind the murder of his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic). Don’t be misled, however, because the film is in…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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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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REVIEW: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe [2005]

I remember the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis very fondly from my elementary school days. Never having read the Lord of Rings until college, once the films began to be made, Narnia was my one outlet into fantasy. Yes, there were a couple BBC productions that our librarian showed us while reading the epic saga, but being over a decade ago, having a reboot seemed like a perfect idea. Piggybacking on the fantasy train during the mid-2000’s was a no-brainer and who better to direct than family friendly man…

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REVIEW: Beowulf [2007]

“Sins of the father” Let’s start this out with the fact that my College Professor of World Civ had us read The Epic of Gilgamesh rather than the one adapted here with Beowulf. So, I went into the film without really knowing anything of the story besides the monster Grendel and the obligatory pride as a curse, creating your own demons, etc. As shown onscreen, it is obvious that the yarn is an ancient one. Besides the archaic traditions—Queens are inherited as the wife of all who take the crown?—it…

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