REVIEW: Allied [2016]

“Look for the hummingbird” Sometimes that story you’ve had bouncing around your head needs time to gestate and your career the opportunity to blossom before it can be released upon the world. For Steven Knight it was a bit of both. Already nominated for an Oscar back in 2004 for the brilliant Dirty Pretty Things, the screenwriter soon wrote Eastern Promises before directing the intriguing one-man show Locke. A couple underrated gems (Pawn Sacrifice), some duds (Seventh Son), and a critically acclaimed television series later (“Peaky Blinders”), he finally put…

Read More

REVIEW: The Walk [2015]

“The carrots are cooked” I’ve yet to watch the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, but it’s hard not to get swept up in its daredevil intrigue. Depicting the “artistic crime of the century,” Frenchman Philippe Petit illegally hung a wire between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and walked across multiple times to the dismay of New York City police officers on either side begging him to stop. Nik Wallenda may be the latest wire-walker to make international headlines—a man whose family has seen tragedy befall those taking up the…

Read More

Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

Read More

REVIEW: Flight [2012]

“Say, ‘I love you, Trevor’” I’m going to chalk Flight‘s failure up to Robert Zemeckis being away from live action dramas too long. Manipulation works in children’s cartoons like his The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol because you’re supposed to be preaching some sort of morality lesson on the impressionable through a fun, heartwarming tale. For adults, however, more intrigue than a cool concept left neutered in lieu of showcasing its leading man’s inner turmoil is necessary. Yes, much of the blame lays in the hands of screenwriter John…

Read More

REVIEW: The Adventures of Tintin [2011]

“Only a true Haddock will discover the secret of the Unicorn” Considering I started conjuring images of an Indian sidekick named Hadji when first made aware of news Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were directing a The Adventures of Tintin trilogy, my knowledge and therefore enthusiasm in the project was somewhat lacking. Once I put my head straight, removed any “Johnny Quest” infusions, and feasted on what looked like a gorgeous animated motion capture world, my interest piqued more. It wasn’t until watching the silhouetted credit sequence—recalling Spielberg’s Catch Me…

Read More

REVIEW: Mars Needs Moms [2011]

“A world of trash … it is awesome!” And the hippies shall inherit the world—said world being Mars, of course. Ours has already pushed that faction of humanity to the fringes in order to wallow in their pot smoke, unwashed bodies, and ratty hair far from the rest of society. And by we I mean the generalized average of Earth. Not me. I love petula oil and Cherry Garcia. But when it comes to the new animated film Mars Needs Moms—distributed by Walt Disney but not created by them—hippies are…

Read More

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol [2009]

“Know me better man” What to say about a film based on a novel of great importance that doesn’t quite live up? You can’t go wrong with Charles Dickens’ essential A Christmas Carol, especially when it is done accurately. One thing that director Robert Zemeckis cannot be faulted for is his staying faithful to the tale and bringing it to a new generation of the masses. The Alastair Sim version from 1951 will always be, to me, the best adaptation, but the entries that spring boarded in their own directions…

Read More

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…

Read More

REVIEW: Monster House [2006]

“It’s gonna be a bloodbath” I really wasn’t sure what I’d be getting with the new film from Robert Zemeckis, utilizing his technology from the enjoyable Polar Express. I have been intrigued by the buzz I heard saying that Monster House was a bit darker and scarier than parents initially thought when taking their children. Also, being nominated for the animation Oscar, along with the wonderful Cars and utter garbage Happy Feet, I put the dvd in with some nice anticipation. Thankfully the animation is leaps and bounds better than…

Read More