REVIEW: 300: Rise of an Empire [2014]

“Fear his freedom!” This is what a copy of a copy looks like. It pretends to be equal to the original—and in some aspects proves to be exactly the same—yet arrives seven years after everything its groundbreaking ancestor provided was expanded and evolved upon. I loved 300 and gave it a perfect score despite some issues because it was so fresh and exhilarating. It showed how the capabilities of cinema could be pushed even further than Frank Miller‘s other adaptation Sin City, breathing life into a dark and gruesome graphic…

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REVIEW: The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box [2014]

“Faithfulness will be your shield” There will never be a lack of literary fantasy adventures for ages 12 and up to transfer from page to screen. The question becomes whether the property is given access to a wealthy studio’s clout or one more reliant on word-of-mouth and existing fanbase to ease the transition. For Entertainment Motion Pictures, their grab at franchise caliber fiction comes courtesy of a trilogy written by British author G.P. Taylor that unfortunately secures little of those things. It appears the author’s first novel Shadowmancer is the…

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REVIEW: The Purge [2013]

“Release the Beast” Welcome to the new United States of America, complete with booming economy, non-existent crime rates, and the 28th Amendment to the Constitution that ensures its longevity. After decades of extreme violence and poverty overtaking our streets, safety became a pipe dream and freedom a false construct no longer meaningful in the face of a self-destructing populace led by a majority of criminal maniacs reinventing the status quo. Well, if you can’t beat them the only option left is to join in the carnage by letting your own…

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REVIEW: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones [2013]

“What does that symbol mean?” Another Young Adult fantasy fiction trilogy to throw into the Hollywood machine, Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments gives Sony a property looking for broad appeal via its similarities to the darker Harry Potters, the overwrought love triangle in Twilight, and a PG-13 filtered “True Blood” collection of every supernatural species you can imagine (besides zombies of course, duh, stupid). It’s a world of Shadow Hunters—angel descendants who battle demons to protect the Mundanes (Muggles) unaware of the fight like you and me. Using ancient runes…

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REVIEW: Dredd [2012]

“All we do is turn the handle” Whether Gareth Evans admitted Dredd 3D went into production while he was still filming The Raid or not, the similarities can’t be dismissed. I’m not saying this to imply theft—just that comparison is unavoidable. Liking one will probably mean the other disappoints, but the one you see first won’t necessarily be your favorite. No, I stand by the fact that this futuristic, crime-riddled world is objectively less effective than its Indonesian rival. It drags in multiple places, finds unintentional laughs through coldly stern…

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REVIEW: The Brøken [2008]

“We’ll have a chat about those fragments” It takes some guts and talent to take your Oscar nominated short film and convert it to a full length feature, let alone allow that feature length debut be as good as it is. I know that my love for Sean Ellis’ Cashback may be a bit much—the story isn’t the deepest, the script not the most profound—but the visuals are stunning and the construction inventive. Thus I was in great anticipation for his sophomore effort, the horror film The Brøken. Expectations were…

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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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