REVIEW: Firestarter [1984]

You don’t need your gun. I haven’t read Stephen King‘s Firestarter, but I must believe it has more going for it than Mark L. Lester‘s adaptation. Why make it into a film at all if not? If I were to guess, the problem occurred when the producers hired Stanley Mann to create a new script that leaned more closely to the novel after Christine director John Carpenter had already commissioned two before exiting the project. There’s a difference between making a film version of a book and filming the book—something…

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REVIEW: The Northman [2022]

We thirst for vengeance, but we cannot escape our fates. Like the Brothers Grimm were to Disney with so many fairy tales, it appears Saxo Grammaticus was to William Shakespeare where it comes to Hamlet. The Danish historian’s lead character was Amleth—a young boy who witnesses the murder of his father and forced romance of his mother at the hands of his uncle before having to run away from the latter’s kill order so that he may return (if an ambitiously opportunistic soldier lies about watching him die). The parallels…

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REVIEW: Re Granchio [The Tale of King Crab] [2021]

Princes and poor people. While Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis‘ Re Granchio [The Tale of King Crab] begins with the discovery of a piece of Etruscan gold by a 19th century self-loathing, drunken lover known as Luciano (Gabriele Silli), we don’t meet the character until after being whisked away to the Tuscia, Italy village Vejano and a group of present-day hunters gathering for food, wine, and stories. These are real people as far as I’m aware, men whose words already inspired a prior short and feature length documentary…

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REVIEW: Black Site [2022]

Drift caught, sir. The terrorist bombing of a hospital in Istanbul has left almost two hundred people dead, including CIA Agent Abby Trent’s (Michelle Monaghan) husband and daughter. Since they were on-site because of her job as an analyst whisking them off to far-flung regions of the world, she blames herself for their deaths. It’s therefore no surprise that she fights hard to be reassigned to an off-the-grid location known as the Citadel considering it currently houses the government’s best lead (Simon Elrahi‘s Farhan) to discover the culprit’s identity. Abby’s…

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REVIEW: Everything Everywhere All at Once [2022]

How can we get back? The nihilistic notion that life is meaningless and “nothing matters” doesn’t necessarily need to put you into a depressive malaise. It could also provide you the room to take chances and live without regret. That’s not to say that a cautious life is destined for sorrow, though. The path of least resistance doesn’t always mean that it’s a path to obsolescence. Look at Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan) as an example. They chose a textbook “boring” life together, one that demands…

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REVIEW: The Batman [2022]

No more lies. It’s been twenty years since the murder of his parents. Two since he put on the cowl. Gotham still doesn’t know what to think of the costume, but the fear it has placed inside the hearts of criminals cannot be overstated. Violence only seems to increase, though, and Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) wonders if his presence as a vigilante seeking vengeance has done anything beyond giving offenders another figure of “justice” to run from. Saving a helpless man from a gang on Halloween, only for the victim…

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REVIEW: The Contractor [2022]

We’re all just mercenaries in the end. James Harper (Chris Pine) knows that military life has two faces. He grew up with first-hand knowledge thanks to a gung-ho Ranger dad who forced him to spend his birthday money on an American flag tattoo that matched his own despite not yet being a teenager. Was James’ father a hero? Maybe. Was he also a monster? Sure. The truth lies somewhere in the middle because the military cannot turn you into the former without first ensuring that you can become the latter.…

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REVIEW: カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉 [Kaubōi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira] [Cowboy Bebop: The Movie] [2001]

I try not to think. It was supposed to be a quick bounty hit on the way home from the horse track for Faye Valentine (Wendee Lee). When she got her ship in position to apprehend the mark (Dave Wittenberg‘s Lee Sampson), however, someone else exited the vehicle instead (Daran Norris‘ Vincent Volaju). Not only that, but this mysterious man also went all action movie by calmly walking away as said truck exploded behind him. The chaos causes Faye to high tail it out of there knowing the return on…

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REVIEW: Turning Red [2022]

Don’t hold back. For anyone. Thirteen-year-old Mei (Rosalie Chiang) has always been the perfect child. She respects her parents (Sandra Oh‘s Ming and Orion Lee‘s Jin), helps work the family temple (a tourist destination in Toronto, Ontario), and makes sure to keep her grades impeccable (while also enjoying a litany of extra-curriculars to pad out that inevitable college resumé). And this is how she wants it. Or, at least, it’s how she’s wanted it. She looks up to her mother and is cognizant of the strain that’s kept her grandmother…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home [2021]

It’s just a tree. **Potential Spoilers** “Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is Spider-Man.” Those are the words we hear at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home and the beginning of Spider-Man No Way Home. They’re the dying words/contingency plan of Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), recorded and sent to J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) and his Alex Jones alt-verse “Daily Bugle” to turn the entire city of New York against their friendly neighborhood hero. The ramifications are obvious. Anonymity is gone. Peter’s friends (Zendaya‘s MJ and Jacob Batalon‘s Ned)…

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REVIEW: Against the Ice [2022]

They say there’s truth in every dream. I must say that I was excited coming into Against the Ice. It has a captivating premise centered around an Arctic expedition at the northern end of Greenland circa 1909, is based on the autobiographical account of Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen, and deals with an almost three-year survival opposite extreme weather conditions, isolation, and polar bears. Director Peter Flinth ratcheted up my anticipation even higher during the opening scene, dropping us into the action as Mikkelsen (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who also co-adapted the…

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