REVIEW: Colette [2018]

It might ruffle some feathers back home. What Wash Westmoreland (who co-wrote with his late husband Richard Glatzer and Rebecca Lenkiewicz) has done with Colette is craft an origin story for the famous, Nobel Prize-nominated French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. It begins in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye with her as the teenage daughter of poor country folk unable to pay a dowry to the successful Parisian entrepreneur who fancied her, Henry Gauthier-Villars (known by his more concise nom-de-plume, Willy). Colette soon moves to Paris with her new husband—who gave up his inheritance to follow…

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REVIEW: Revolting Rhymes Part One [2016]

They’re just stories. You know … for children. Have you ever listened to a fairy tale and lamented the poor villains simply trying to survive? You hear “Little Red Riding Hood” and think about how the wolf is operating by instinct. He sees a potential meal and using cunning ingenuity does all he can to acquire it. When you really step back and look at the story objectively, he’s doing what we all would in his situation. But because we’re human, it’s assumed we will align ourselves with the human…

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REVIEW: The Square [2017]

Do you want to save a human life? You always hear labels like “before its time” or “of its time,” but what about “beyond its time?” The latter is the phrase I would use to describe Ruben Östlund‘s Palme d’Or-winning (Cannes) The Square because everything it tries to say in a “pay attention before it’s too late” way doesn’t realize it’s already too late. This idea that our world has turned from one where adults could rely on others for communal protection and safety to one where strangers regardless of…

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REVIEW: Finding Dory [2016]

“Just follow the shells” Even though Pixar’s first sequel Toy Story 2 equaled one of its best movies (many say both sequels did, although I’d argue Toy Story 3 pales in comparison to its predecessors), not even they could keep up appearances with Cars 2 and Monsters University. It’s impossible to hit as many homeruns as they have let alone go back to the well with an idea to hope lightning strikes twice. So after the aforementioned forgettable attempts at continuing fan favorites, anticipation wasn’t high for their return to…

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REVIEW: Money Monster [2016]

“It’s time to throw some punches” The show must and will go on. This is the lesson Jodie Foster‘s latest thriller Money Monster provides above its suspense-fueled look into corporate greed and Wall Street’s seemingly Teflon-covered skin. I don’t know if it was written this way by Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, and Jamie Linden or if Foster put the more global arena spin of humanity’s craving for disaster on the other end of a television screen during the editing process, but you can’t help get slapped in the face by…

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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: John Carter [2012]

“Vir-gin-ya, Vir-gin-ya, Vir-gin-ya!” When you’re working from a novel written almost a century ago about a planet we still have yet to truly discover, it would be easy to find yourself going off track onto a cheesy, archaic path of exposition. John Carter is not without its moments of superfluity and at over two hours in length does at times find itself sprawling out into an epic beyond the needs of the story being told. However, writer/director Andrew Stanton and company still manage to intrigue with their desert wasteland of…

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REVIEW: Centurion [2010]

“A man without his word is no better than a beast” Writer/director Neil Marshall has style and hopefully will continue to bring it forth on cinema screens for years to come, if he decides to travel back to America or not. Many lesser auteurs would have taken that Hollywood payday and looked for another to follow. Marshall, however, hot on the success of his spelunking horror/thriller The Descent, made Doomsday with US money only to see it falter out of the starting gate. Perhaps he had deals to remain stateside,…

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REVIEW: Punisher: War Zone [2008]

“Slipping through the raindrops” The original Punisher—I don’t mean the Dolph Lundgren installment—was one of those films that I saw, thought was ok, and subsequently forgot all about. It wasn’t bad and I like Thomas Jane, however, there was nothing in it that begged for a second viewing, nor the necessity for a sequel. With that said, we are talking Avi Arad and Marvel here, (or is it Marvel Knights as the new, pretty much the same, opening animated sequence shows), and if he can try his hand a second…

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REVIEW: 300 [2007]

“Sparta!” This is what film was destined to evolve to. After decades of directors making storyboards as reference before filming and the slow building trend to adapt comic book work, we finally have the ultimate fusion of both. Sure Sin City did amazing things with the medium and created frame-by-frame transfers from drawing to celluloid, however, it was still shot as a movie first and foremost. Zack Snyder has done something different with 300; he has created a true work of art. Frank Miller’s story was one steeped in truth…

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