REVIEW: A Private War [2018]

I think fear comes later. American journalist Marie Colvin’s family’s lawyers say they have evidence proving the Bashar al-Assad-led government of Syria ordered her death in 2012. If that doesn’t express the power of a free press, I’m not sure what could. At a time when the US President is acting like an autocratic leader deciding who is allowed to cover the White House beat while also calling the media at-large “an enemy of the people,” we would do well to look back at what Colvin did just before a…

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REVIEW: Gosford Park [2001]

“I’m the perfect servant: I have no life” Watching Gosford Park again conjured thoughts about it being quintessential Robert Altman, thoughts I couldn’t conjure in 2001 considering it was my first true experience watching one of his films. It proves the perfect evolutionary end to a way of filmmaking he began over twenty years previous with A Wedding‘s sprawling cast, overlapping dialogue, and class strife. Its Agatha Christie-type whodunit conceit lends itself perfectly to his sensibilities and aesthetic, but we can thank Bob Balaban for enthusiastically asking to collaborate for…

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REVIEW: The Voorman Problem [2013]

“Release?” It’s an Oscar nominated short film and yet I thank The Voorman Problem not for its entertaining wit or Martin Freeman‘s outburst of hilarity at its end, but instead for it cementing my need to start reading David Mitchell. Yes, the author of Cloud Atlas is the main inspiration behind director Mark Gill and cowriter Baldwin Li‘s movie courtesy of it being an adaptation of an excerpt from the novel number9dream. Detailing the encounter of a psychiatrist named Dr. Williams (Freeman) and an imprisoned patient who believes he is…

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REVIEW: About Time [2013]

“Did you have trouble parking?” It will be a shame if rumors stating About Time is Richard Curtis’ last film as director are true because he’s had fantastic success with the vocation. He’ll remain in the industry either way being that he’s equally proficient with screenplays (War House and Notting Hill) and TV (“Black Adder” and “Mr. Bean”), but one has to wonder whether Love Actually or The Boat That Rocked would have been as memorable were he not at the helm. You could easily say “yes” due to the…

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REVIEW: Hanna [2011]

“I found her, she can’t speak English. She’s Sri Lankan.” Written on spec by Seth Lochhead in 2006, the Black List alum Hanna finally reaches screens with help from co-screenwriter David Farr and director Joe Wright. If you thought Wright’s last film, The Soloist, seemed a bit out of his comfort zone, having previously completed two period pieces, I can relate to the confusion and excitement you’d have hearing his next would be an action thriller starring a young, brutally violent female killer. But just as he stunned me by…

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REVIEW: In the Loop [2009]

“An anti-war shag?” There is something about British comedy that resonates with me. I don’t know if it is because we in the States experience so little of it, or maybe because Hollywood rapes and pillages the material for their own water-downed versions, but the humor just seems fresh, uncensored, and hilarious. When I first came across the new political black comedy In the Loop, I will admit to being less than interested. The marketing materials were using the whole Obama silkscreen poster look and I really wasn’t interested in…

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REVIEW: The Soloist [2009]

“You couldn’t stop that earthquake” Director Joe Wright’s new film The Soloist seemed an odd follow up to his great Pride and Prejudice and Atonement adaptations. To go from a period drama to a WWII romance to … the discovery of a homeless Julliard dropout on the streets of LA isn’t quite the trajectory I had envisioned him on the path towards. However, once seen, you can’t help but acknowledge his stamp all over it. With a deft use of stunning visuals, the inclusion of a couple trademark long takes…

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REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice [2005]

“You have bewitched me, body and soul” Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice is a truly solid bit of filmmaking. I can’t say whether it is a good adaptation or not, being I have not read the novel nor seen the other film treatments, however, as a piece of work in its own right, it succeeds on all accounts. Gorgeous to look at, this debut shows all the signs of the greatness he was to achieve with this year’s Atonement. From multiple long takes, sweeping through the scenery, choreographed to perfection…

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REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End [2007]

“Oooo, a peanut” I will preface this review by saying if you did not enjoy the first two Pirates movies, you shouldn’t be seeing the third. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is the final part of a very cohesive trilogy. There are no recaps between the films; they consist of a single story that is to be followed part by part. You must watch the first movie to be introduced to our heroes and supporting players because it is their actions here that make them the people they…

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