REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]

You said never improvise. Nine movies into the cinematic world of George Lucas‘ Star Wars—three of which extend past his control over the franchise—and we remain tethered to the Skywalkers. It makes sense. In order for Disney to commoditize the property, they must first reconnect with old fans and familiarize the new. So they stuck with Luke, Leia, and Anakin’s continuing legacy (even if they threw out extended universe material once considered canon). They began with a rousing remake, continued with a spin-off expanding upon a moment we knew occurred…

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REVIEW: The Dark Tower [2017]

“Turn and face me” It’s been twenty years since Wizard and Glass, the fourth published installment of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series—an epic fantasy backbone on which his entire bibliography rests. I finally made my way through it a couple years later, along with The Gunslinger, The Drawing of Three, and The Waste Lands until I found myself caught up and waiting for more. It took six years between books three and four, so another six wasn’t a surprising duration to wait for Wolves of Calla. But then Song…

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REVIEW: Inferno [2016]

“We’re a minute to midnight” America loves popcorn thrillers as much as Hollywood and that suits Dan Brown fine. Having Ron Howard and Tom Hanks take an interest in his character Robert Langdon definitely helps too, but the “bestseller” label would have been enough if lesser names attached instead. Whether or not Brown anticipated his professor’s pop culture appeal to ensure each installment was a solitary unit (the initial adaptation, The Da Vinci Code, was actually Langdon’s second entry) is something only he can answer, but it’s served him perfectly…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2014: ‘Magic in the Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man,’ ‘Life Itself’ and More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Oof. There are a couple good posters this month. That’s it. And I don’t mean “a couple” hyperbolically either. There are maybe two I’d consider looking at again at the…

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REVIEW: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [2013]

“I always save your knick-knacks” What began as a 1939 short story by James Thurber debuting in The New Yorker, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty found its way to the big screen in 1947 led by Danny Kaye. The tale of a daydreamer losing himself in excitingly heroic fantasies while sleepwalking through a daytrip of chores in the city with his wife expanded into a magazine editor finding more interest in the pulp stories he reads than the drab life he leads. It’s a conceit mirrored today with Mitty…

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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: Rush [2013]

“You fat little inbred beauty” The story of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is one we can all relate too. It’s a tale of two extremes: the easygoing partier with ideas of immortality and the calculating taskmaster who knows the odds and understands the consequences. In keeping with the Formula One spirit cinematically, we could even metaphorically pit Rush‘s Hunt against Senna’s Lauda—the Hollywood pretty boy opposite the riveting documentary—to see how your tastes align with personality. I’m a Lauda, always have and always will be.…

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REVIEW: The Arrested Development Documentary Project [2013]

“I like that guy, Mitch” Something had to suffer once the critically acclaimed and criminally under-watched television comedy “Arrested Development” was announced to be in production with new episodes courtesy of Netflix. That victim is Jeff Smith’s The Arrested Development Documentary Project. Completed in 2012 from interview footage filmed before the show’s phoenix-like rebirth (a trailer was released on the movie’s website back in 2009), what was to be a posthumous love letter is now merely a glorified DVD extra of actors and writers talking about their connection to and…

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REVIEW: Armed and Dangerous [1986]

“I got my Christmas goose early” If a band like Atlantic Starr is singing your movie’s theme song, it’s a pretty easy guess you’re from the 1980s. To most this tag is a detriment but others wear it like a badge of honor. Armed and Dangerous is one such film, letting the likes of John Candy and Eugene Levy run with its simple comedic plot as director Mark L. Lester hones his action expertise in order to destroy a bunch of cars with a renegade sixteen-wheeler, rocket fuel, and guided…

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REVIEW: The Dilemma [2011]

“… took more virgins than Francis Albert Sinatra” Sometimes all you need is a little Vince Vaughn. Don’t even ask how much I dreaded checking out The Dilemma despite him, due to the directed by Ron Howard label. I like the guy, don’t get me wrong, but his by-the-books Dan Brown adaptations were sorely lacking in cinematic ingenuity, (I cringe at the fact he’s handling The Dark Tower Series as a result), and thus a seemingly straight forward comedy wasn’t looking too palatable. But sometimes a director can excel by…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #4: The Music Man [1962]

“You have trouble folks, right here in River City” Could Harold Hill be the best con man in cinema history? A man never for a loss of words, Robert Preston’s rendition of The Music Man puts forth a gentleman of great art, tastes, and disarming charm who is both loathsome and irresistible once you find out the truth behind his schemes. Salesmen despise him—and they aren’t too upstanding themselves—due to jealousy in how he can hawk his wares, no matter what they are, to any unsuspecting citizen in any sleepy…

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