REVIEW: Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain [2018]

The old stuff is just weird stuff you got used to. Documentarian Alex Winter is really solidifying his place within the tech world as a storyteller willing to look at modern systems stymying the old guard and exciting the new before helping to disseminate what they mean for the world at-large. He looked back at how Napster disrupted the music scene in Downloaded (something the movie and television industry faces today to the point where a sequel in the next five to ten years wouldn’t be far-fetched) and took us…

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REVIEW: Unforgettable [2017]

“Time doesn’t exist at your age” There’s a new “erotic thriller” in theaters this week and its called Unforgettable—a title that should keep critics busy figuring out the most unoriginal pun ever to put their colleagues to shame. What’s glorious about this name is the reality that its attempt to inherently force us not to forget it actually births a moniker so boring and non-descript that we must. Casting “October Road” alum Geoff Stults (who I do like as an actor) and “Grey’s Anatomy” alum Katherine Heigl (who I don’t)…

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REVIEW: The Lego Batman Movie [2017]

“‘Puter, overcompensate” It was always going to be an uphill battle. The success of The LEGO Movie was so surprising and legitimate that a sequel was going to have to work five times harder to match it. So maybe pushing the follow-up off to focus on a spin-off was the way to go. Expectations would be lowered, Will Arnett‘s Batman was a fan favorite to carry the weight, and you wouldn’t necessarily be beholden to the previous installment’s plot or ingenious use of human omniscience. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith could focus…

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REVIEW: Top Five [2014]

“What did the room smell like?” I’m prefacing this review with an admission anyone who reads my thoughts already knows: I think Chris Rock is a pretty terrible actor. Love the guy’s stand-up, find him hilarious in real life and on paper, but stick him in a movie and he almost looks scared. The only comedian more unnatural on screen is Jerry Seinfeld—whose cameo here helps prove it—another funny dude always seeming to be waiting for the “cut” or laugh, whichever comes first. I say this because that attitude on…

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REVIEW: Trance [2013]

“Strawberry” What began in 1994 as a script screenwriter Joe Ahearne wished to turn into his feature film debut, Trance was sent to Danny Boyle in hopes the Shallow Grave helmer would give him the thumbs-up to follow his cinematic footsteps. Boyle instead told Ahearne the piece would prove too difficult for a first-time director, causing the newcomer to gravitate towards television in the interim and create the critically acclaimed “Ultraviolet”. Upon its success, however, Ahearne went back to that original script and turned it into a TV movie he…

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REVIEW: Men in Black II [2002]

“I see you neuralyzed another partner” There’s nothing like a lost memory trope to allow lazy screenwriters the opportunity to explain their film within the construct of its plot. Despite an inventive, tongue-in-cheek reenactment program hosted by Peter Graves about mysterious conspiracy stories ushering us back into the Men in Black universe, Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro‘s subversion of their expository prologue is wasted. No one enjoys disembodied voices and scrolling text to describe backstory in a Kindergarten teacher’s tone of superiority, so why not poke some fun at the…

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REVIEW: Zookeeper [2011]

“I certainly wasn’t cleaning my basement” What is the point of giving Zookeeper a rating? There really is none. The people who want to see it will see it, the kids who its aimed for will eat up the fact animals are talking and singing and joking around, and the adults escorting them will at the very least chuckle when the raunchiness comes out to play. Its success is a foregone conclusion, just like that of its most kindred of spirits. Call it Night at the Franklin Park Zoo, call…

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REVIEW: Unstoppable [2010]

“Stop. Look. And Listen.” Sometimes the thrillers that pit their heroes against a clock rather than some evil villain work the best. They generally contain situations you as a viewer can relate to, regular people being in the wrong place at the wrong time—or right time depending on your outlook—stepping up to risk sacrificing themselves for the safety of thousands. This is exactly what Tony Scott’s newest work Unstoppable is, a test of mettle and courage on behalf of two rail drivers/conductors who take it upon themselves to partake in…

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REVIEW: Seven Pounds [2008]

“Hold the elevator” It all starts with a suicide. Or is it a car crash? I guess it all depends on whether you choose to start at the beginning or the end. Director Gabriele Muccino gives you the ability to enter his new film Seven Pounds whichever way you prefer as he starts at the end and works his way back to the beginning, showing us the course of events that led us to that heartbreaking 911 call. This is one powerful movie; maybe that is because I’m a softy…

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REVIEW: Eagle Eye [2008]

“You’ve been activated” Eagle Eye seems to have had a very interesting conception. When checking the IMDB credits, you can see four names officially down as writers on the project, one that it appears has been in Steven Spielberg’s wheelhouse for quite some time, waiting patiently for technology to do it justice. However, all the buzz and press are praising wunderkinds Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman as the screenwriters. After watching the high-action, high-octane car chases and explosions, I am one to believe the duo behind Transformers are pulling the…

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REVIEW: Clerks II [2006]

“The Passion of the Clerks” Who would have thought twelve years ago that the small indie film Clerks would be a success, considered a classic, and eventually spawn a sequel? I don’t think even writer/director Kevin Smith would have thought he’d be working in Hollywood let alone having all that occur. Alas, it did. While a movie that I love, I have to say there were many reservations going into the announcement of a follow-up to Smith’s debut feature. It was a View Askew film, however, and it was going…

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