REVIEW: 1917 [2019]

It’s easier not to go back at all. While it appeared the Germans retreated, they were really just gathering their strength at the easier-to-defend Hindenburg Line as part of Operation Alberich in northern France. With British forces fooled and following closely behind to mount what they believed would be an offensive, their opponents were primed to turn the tables via ambush instead. After consulting aerial photographs of the Germans’ new position, General Erinmore (Colin Firth) realized 1,600 of Colonel Mackenzie’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) men would be slaughtered without his intervention. So…

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REVIEW: Handsome Devil [2017]

“People do bad things out of fear” Just be yourself: sentiments easier said than done. The phrase is perfect fodder for coming-of-age films whether the meaning is to educate acceptance in one’s self on the skin’s surface or below. But being perfectly suited towards becoming a resonant vehicle for life lessons doesn’t mean the process of accomplishing that goal with mass audience appeal will be a walk in the park. Sometimes the inherent convention of such thematic underpinnings is too great to overcome. Sometimes the dramatic weight of heavier circumstances…

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REVIEW: Alice Through the Looking Glass [2016]

“Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear” Now that the whole “should we reboot or create a sequel or just go ahead and do both at once” debacle is over thanks to Tim Burton‘s misguided Alice in Wonderland, maybe Disney’s desire to create an imaginative and surprisingly dark franchise of the absurd could find creative merit to match its insane billion dollar gross. This is because the filmmakers (Linda Woolverton returns as screenwriter with James Bobin taking over the director’s chair) have acquired the latitude to think outside the box…

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REVIEW: Spectre [2015]

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond” Remember that badass organization known as Quantum the deliciously vile Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) ran to terrorize James Bond (Daniel Craig) for two films? How about rogue former 00-program pledge Silva (Javier Bardem) wreaking havoc throughout London due a personal vendetta against MI6? They both made for entertaining villains in this rebooted saga with a grittier Bond—each helping bridge the cheese of its predecessors and the new-look superhero darkness Hollywood had embraced at the start of this century. What reason would…

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REVIEW: Pride [2014]

“Oh good. I haven’t spoken 1950s in ages.” If you’re going to make a film with a sprawling ensemble of characters equally unique and important to the point where your only true lead is a message of solidarity and comradery itself, it’s a good move to look towards the theater. Pride is the screenwriting debut of actor/playwright Stephen Beresford and only the second film from Broadway director Matthew Warchus with fifteen-years in between and yet it feels like they’ve both been working in the industry for ages. They have wrangled…

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REVIEW: Locke [2014]

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS** “So am I on a list?” There’s symmetry between the production of Steven Knight‘s Locke and its plot. Like the insane job everyone’s imploding over that its lead bails on while driving an hour away to be present at the birth of a child conceived with someone who’s not his wife, getting this film made was no walk in the park. For Knight it was an idea to strip down filmmaking sparked by the experience directing his debut Hummingbird and falling in love with the colorful reflections created…

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REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011]

“Careful what you fish for” I am and probably always will be a Guy Ritchie apologist. I blamed Madonna for Swept Away and even bought a Region 2 DVD of Revolver in case it never made its way across the Atlantic. So when the director signed on to do a blockbuster studio version of Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand it’s success would mean the hoped for sequel to RocknRolla had a better chance of seeing the light of day, but on the other it…

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