REVIEW: The Great Wall [2016]

“I’m honored to be honored” The Great Wall of China took centuries to become what it is today. Construction began as early as 7th century BC with portions strengthened, rebuilt entirely, or expanded upon from the days of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang to the Ming Dynasty where most of what remains originated. It’s 5,500 miles of wall, trenches, and natural barriers—a fortification that protected its land from invasions and allowed a sense of control over trade and immigration. It’s bandied about as a “Wonder of the World” (although…

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REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story [2016]

“Rebellions are built on hope” George Lucas used to say years ago that the original Star Wars trilogy was but three chapters of an epic nine-part saga. It dealt with the Skywalker family, beginning in the middle to introduce a passing of the “Force” from father to son. Lucas would eventually make the first three chapters as a prequel series used to tell the tale of Anakin Skywalker’s descent towards the Dark Side for exposition into the stunning reveal his becoming Luke and Leia’s formidable foe in A New Hope…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Supremacy [2004]

“It’s easy. She’s standing right next to you.” The idea that a sequel can best its predecessor is one that many people believe impossible save one or two exceptions to prove the rule. We’re talking The Godfather: Part II caliber stuff—prestige pieces with weight behind them for critical acclaim and box office success. So you may find me hyperbolic to say this, but I think The Bourne Supremacy belongs on this ultra short list. Don’t demean it by exclaiming how an action film doesn’t deserve to sit alongside a Francis…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Identity [2002]

“I guess you’re not home” It’s interesting to go back and watch Doug Liman‘s The Bourne Identity after so many years and sequels because it’s so unlike what Paul Greengrass accomplished during his tenure at the helm. The action scenes seem almost quaint in comparison with quick cuts and loud thuds. The kinetic excitement of extended take sequences is absent, replaced by choreographed images rather than limbs. It just goes to show how different the series’ origins were with espionage and spy thrills trumping the subsequently explosive hand-to-hand combat. This…

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REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy [2012]

“We are morally indefensible and absolutely necessary” There was bound to be fallout after Jason Bourne ran amok avenging his girlfriend’s death and shutting down the government agencies that turned him into a cold-blooded killer. With his amnesia-induced morality’s push towards righteousness and its ability to turn executives like Pam Landy (Joan Allen) sympathetic to his plight, fixers behind the scenes of this CIA blunder realized public knowledge of Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar could risk exposing the myriad other similar programs being performed by high-level security officials doing their best…

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REVIEW: The Ghost Writer [2010]

“It’s in the beginnings” I remember being so perplexed during the 2008 Oscars because Michael Clayton was up for Best Picture of 2007. To me it was a solid thriller and just didn’t seem to deserve the vaunted status or the company it was keeping. That all changed minutes after the completion of Roman Polanski’s newest The Ghost Writer, however. Through the entire thing I kept recalling how taut Tony Gilroy’s movie was—lean, mean, and edge of your seat thrills in the dangerous world of political intrigue. With all the…

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REVIEW: Michael Clayton [2007]

“Is that the answer to the multiple choice question of me?” The man behind the scripts for the Bourne trilogy (and The Cutting Edge) has decided to step into the director’s chair for his new film Michael Clayton. Along with an A-list producing crew (Sydney Pollack, Steven Soderbergh, Anthony Minghella) Tony Gilroy has assembled a brilliant cast of big names and familiar faces. After the action-packed Matt Damon-starrers he decided to go more psychological in the thriller category. It would be tough for a first-time director to choreograph extended fight…

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