REVIEW: Measure of a Man [2018]

This time I had something to prove. The coming of age dramedy is a crowded genre with many seminal works established in the 70s and 80s. It’s tough to therefore see any entries without comparing them to what came first. Some can still find their niche and win audiences over before earning a place besides those former greats, but oftentimes they simply feel too familiar to necessitate a second look. The latter category is a shame because familiarity isn’t always synonymous with “bad.” Take Jim Loach‘s Measure of a Man,…

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REVIEW: Milton’s Secret [2016]

“Without forgiveness the past determines who you are in the present” After finding international success with his spiritual teachings through best-selling books The Power of Now and A New Earth, author and counselor Eckhart Tolle set his sights on children in 2008 with Milton’s Secret and its blatantly synergistic subtitle to those previous works “An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now”. Written in collaboration with Robert S. Friedman and illustrator Frank Riccio, this tale focuses upon the titular eleven-year old (soon-to-be twelve) boy as an…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

“They chose you” With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 officially in the books I’m confident in saying Suzanne Collins‘ dystopic trilogy will hold up as one of the most successfully faithful cinematic adaptations ever. And a big part of that is the decision to make it into four movies because, as anyone who’s read the novels knows, Mockingjay is a dense work with little fat where its political and emotional intrigue are concerned. Any issues stem from Lionsgate’s misguided choice of putting a full year’s wait in between…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [2014]

“If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree” Welcome to the bait and switch. If you’ve read Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games Trilogy you know that Mockingjay is by far the meatiest and most resonate installment of the series despite diverting from the blueprint that brought people in. So rich in the politics, revolution, and sci-fi lying underneath the action of the previous entries, splitting it into two films was actually a good idea. They should have placed the release dates months apart a la The Matrix sequels rather…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013]

“Remember who the real enemy is” The aspect author Suzanne Collins included in Catching Fire that was more or less absent in The Hunger Games can be summed up with the above quote. While Panem’s dystopia provided a common antagonist for the surviving twelve districts of a revolution their Capital won seventy-four years previous, the series’ first installment relied almost exclusively upon whether its heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) would survive her adversaries in the titular games. Yes, the political unrest was at the constructed mythology’s back, but the ultimate…

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INTERVIEW: Timothy J. Cox, star of Simple Mind, Choosing Sides, and more

Becoming a working actor is hardly an easy career path chosen lightly. For character actor Timothy J. Cox the journey towards independent film began by accident in 8th grade yet became a calling it would seem he was born to follow. Still, it took him almost a decade of living in New York City before making the decision to focus his professional efforts onto the film set above the theatrical stage. Whether performing in student thesis projects, indie shorts, contests, or features, Cox has made a name for himself through…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games [2012]

“Thank you for your consideration” Underdogs thrive on the ability to retain hope in a world forever shoving them into a corner without the reality of upward mobility or a true chance at overall social change. When they start to believe their numbers can actually overcome that adversity, however, the ruling class must take notice and ready for a fight they may not win. Rebellion will forever be a threat whether one has been squashed in the past or not since you can only kick the underprivileged masses down so…

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REVIEW: The Eagle [2011]

“Please help me regain my father’s honor” The case of Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle is one of preconceptions and a desire to sound important on behalf of critics. With below average notes across the board and an almost universal slamming of lead actor Channing Tatum, the biggest surprise to me watching was how much I enjoyed not only the stunning cinematography in dream sequences tinted amber and the kinetic masses of muscle, blood, and swords in frenetic fight sequences, but also the central performances of a Roman soldier and the…

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REVIEW: The Mechanic [2011]

“You want me to kill him, not rape him, right?” Say what you will about the caliber of flicks CBS Films has thus far churned out, but do not deny the fact they are unafraid to show graphic violence and almost seek the hard-R rating when others balk at the prospect. Faster started the action trend and The Mechanic continues it with an even darker tone. Enlisted to helm the remake is director Simon West, a man relegated to mostly television fare since his fun debut—a favorite of my family—Con…

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REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice [2005]

“You have bewitched me, body and soul” Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice is a truly solid bit of filmmaking. I can’t say whether it is a good adaptation or not, being I have not read the novel nor seen the other film treatments, however, as a piece of work in its own right, it succeeds on all accounts. Gorgeous to look at, this debut shows all the signs of the greatness he was to achieve with this year’s Atonement. From multiple long takes, sweeping through the scenery, choreographed to perfection…

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REVIEW: Beerfest [2006]

“The greatest beer in all ze world” The Broken Lizard comedy troupe are a definite example of you either love their brand of adolescent schtick or you revile it completely. Their fourth feature length film, I discount Dukes of Hazard because it didn’t star them or start in development by them, is no different than its predecessors. Being a steadfast fan of Super Troopers, begrudgingly having to be told to see it numerous times before my filmsnob judgment was assuaged, and a supporter of their inferior, but effective genre film…

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