REVIEW: Rampart [2011]

“You can’t cheat on something you never committed to” After making a splash with his directorial debut The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman continues to delve into the subject matter of conflicted heroes and misunderstood men with Rampart. His focus is a veteran soldier once again, but this time far removed from his stint in Vietnam. A rough and tumble cop in the LAPD Rampart Division, his notoriety for ‘possibly’ killing an accused serial rapist years earlier has allowed him certain freedoms during the infamous 1990s scandal embroiling his department that…

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REVIEW: Rango [2011]

“Ain’t no one gonna tango with the Rango” Director Gore Verbinski knows star Johnny Depp’s penchant for fast-talk rambling only too well. After helming the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, he decided to take an odd turn into animation with the PG-rated Rango, taking his lead with him for the journey. Using a quasi-motion capture technique, the actors actually performed their roles, the footage later animated in character to mimic the motion and expressions of each. So, even though we see an awkward chameleon in a Hawaiian shirt—it’s not…

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REVIEW: The Killer Inside Me [2010]

“It’s always lightest just before the dark” Nobody is more across the board genre-wise than director Michael Winterbottom. Who else could traverse the broad canvases of Steve Coogan shenanigans, Guantanamo Bay documentation, the human condition of emotion in the face of terrorism, and an unsimulated meld of sex and rock n’ roll? Shake those sensibilities up with screenwriter John Curran’s penchant for thought-provoking material, (this year’s Stone is much more than the cookie cutter its trailer advertises), and the pulp crime styling of novelist Jim Thompson and you’ll need to…

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REVIEW: Toy Story 3 [2010]

“Let’s go see how much we’re going for on eBay” After ten cherished films filled with heart, soul, and comedy, Pixar finally made their first cash grab. That fact is not necessarily a bad thing since anything they touch, no matter how forced a project it may be, is still pure gold, if not certified platinum. But, when I left the theatre after viewing Toy Story 3, I couldn’t shake the feeling that even though I laughed hard, the resonating warmth of humanity and spirit was lacking. The film’s end…

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REVIEW: Shooter [2007]

“I’m gonna see it through” Director Antoine Fuqua has a style and filmography that I have enjoyed in the past. With Training Day and King Arthur, he delivered some action packed movies that had both story and popcorn pyrotechnics. I will say that after seeing the trailer for his new film Shooter, I was a bit underwhelmed, but until I went to one of his works and was not entertained, I would at least give it a shot. I’m glad I did as Shooter ended up being a well told,…

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REVIEW: Superman Returns [2006]

“With the planet on his shoulders … Daily” Superman Returns. The name says it all. Our Man of Steel returns to our collective consciousness after almost 20 years. Has he arrived with the big bang all the hype has culled together? Unfortunately, not even close. Bryan Singer leaves his flourishing X-Men saga to helm an obligatory bridge episode in an already watered down series. While Chris Nolan had a ton of success with his reinvention of the Batman chronicles, Singer is hindered by the fact that this is a continuation…

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