REVIEW: The Lost World: Jurassic Park [1997]

“So you went from capitalist to naturalist in just four years. That’s something.” It’s one thing for a movie to spawn a sequel for no other reason than money—especially at the Hollywood level where the capitalistic gains of producers usurp the artistic worth of its creators. But it’s another to ask the artist who spawned the property to go down that bankrupt well with them. This is exactly what happened when the time came to follow-up the smash hit Jurassic Park, however. The original book was a bestseller that only…

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REVIEW: Hacksaw Ridge [2016]

“Come back home to me” It took almost sixty years before Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor, was cajoled from modesty to allow for a cinematic adaptation of his harrowing journey from Virginia to Okinawa’s blood-soaked WWII battlefield. It took another fifteen before the result hit the big screen, sadly ten too late for this hero to watch the sobering yet wholly inspirational look at faith and valor amidst chaos himself. Mel Gibson took the director’s chair after twice turning it down with Robert…

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REVIEW: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005]

“Right. Five or six years.” It was the aggressive nature of the stories told to screenwriter Simon Kinberg by friends in couples therapy that inspired Mr. & Mrs. Smith—his MFA thesis turned half billion dollar moneymaker at the box office. The leap from the tit for tat dynamic between bickering spouses to secret lives is hardly unique, but making those hidden existences equally successful assassin careers instead of extramarital affairs certainly was. Killers need to work through issues too, especially when the question of whether they married out of love…

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REVIEW: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [2004]

“So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?” I’m usually the guy who watches the trailer for a stupid raunchy comedy and instantaneously declares it unworthy of my time. For some reason, however, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit every mark necessary to have me believing it could actually be entertaining. I was unfamiliar with much of the cast save the three main leads—it introduced me to both Justin Long and Alan Tudyk—but something about the sheer absurdity of a major league, cable…

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REVIEW: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy [2004]

“Rule number 1: No touching of the hair or face… AND THAT’S IT!” People have been telling me for almost a decade that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy needs a second viewing to fully appreciate its genius. I’m happy to say they were correct. I watched it again last night and increased its score a whole point. That’s right, I still don’t get what you all do when it comes to writer/director Adam McKay and writer/star Will Ferrell’s first foray onto the big screen after collaborating on “Saturday Night…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2013: The Apocalypse is Nigh With ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘World War Z,’ ‘This is the End’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Summer continues chugging along with the America and/or Earth threatened by destruction at every turn. Whether comic book adaptations, zombie wars, terrorist assaults or a giant pit opening up to…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2012: A Cinematic Library with ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Les Miserables’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Here we are at the end of 2012, ready for the release of the last few Oscar. It’s a time where story generally triumphs over mainstream appeal and where the…

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REVIEW: B.O.Y.D. [2012]

“It’s the McKinley Mall, dude—not LA” The concept of localized indie film carries with it the caveat of losing audience members who can’t understand references sprinkled throughout because they’ve never been to the locale. It’s a fine line filmmakers must toe when dealing outside the big city mentality of an NYC or LA and could potentially make or break a work’s chances to exist anywhere besides the Christmas stockings of families and friends. The story and characters need to be universal in order to transport viewers to its setting rather…

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REVIEW: Bellflower [2011]

“I’ll eat some bugs. What’s the big deal?” When one thinks post-apocalyptic, images of desert wastelands, Wild West lawlessness, and a penchant for violence ring loud. We anticipate the end of the world leaving us in a void without order and the survivors having the ability to do whatever is necessary to survive. But what happens when we juxtapose these concepts onto the volatility inherent with the end of a romantic relationship? As real a ‘world’ to the couple involved—not to mention the friends choosing sides for war in the…

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REVIEW: The Dilemma [2011]

“… took more virgins than Francis Albert Sinatra” Sometimes all you need is a little Vince Vaughn. Don’t even ask how much I dreaded checking out The Dilemma despite him, due to the directed by Ron Howard label. I like the guy, don’t get me wrong, but his by-the-books Dan Brown adaptations were sorely lacking in cinematic ingenuity, (I cringe at the fact he’s handling The Dark Tower Series as a result), and thus a seemingly straight forward comedy wasn’t looking too palatable. But sometimes a director can excel by…

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REVIEW: The Cell [2000]

“Where do you come from?” After being enraptured by its trailer and what looked to be some nightmarishly stunning visuals, it has taken me ten years to finally see Tarsem Singh’s The Cell. Every time I had the desire to rent it, the words of so many around me saying not to waste the effort always killed the idea. But I am the kind of person who can love a movie strictly from its aesthetics, whether the story is coherent or just barely interesting. Having the same feelings after watching…

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