REVIEW: Hacksaw Ridge [2016]

“Come back home to me” It took almost sixty years before Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor, was cajoled from modesty to allow for a cinematic adaptation of his harrowing journey from Virginia to Okinawa’s blood-soaked WWII battlefield. It took another fifteen before the result hit the big screen, sadly ten too late for this hero to watch the sobering yet wholly inspirational look at faith and valor amidst chaos himself. Mel Gibson took the director’s chair after twice turning it down with Robert…

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REVIEW: Cake [2014]

“Forgive me” It may not be the best film utilizing its melancholic subject matter, but Cake is not as bad as the critical sphere appears to want us to believe. The credit for this goes to screenwriter Patrick Tobin for distilling his character’s grief, depression, and malaise into a precisely calculated 102-minute rebirth. We receive a lot of information through the interactions of people, expressive postures towards specific situations, and the blackly comic exchanges on behalf of Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston), a woman desperately trying to hide behind the cynical…

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REVIEW: Wrath of the Titans [2012]

“I will never leave my son” There’s nothing like a little patricide to bring two estranged brothers like Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes together again. It’s what teamed them up to imprison their father Cronus long ago in the underworld prison Tartarus and it’s what will ultimately make them choose sides again while humanity looks on helplessly for a victor. And while Perseus (Sam Worthington) wouldn’t have minded killing his own God of a father in Clash of the Titans, it is his half-brother Ares (Édgar Ramírez) who…

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REVIEW: Clash of the Titans [2010]

“They declared war. War on the Gods.” Going from Luc Besson‘s go-to director to becoming a Hollywood action regular, you can’t blame Louis Leterrier for wanting to tackle the big budget remake of Clash of the Titans. With a predecessor remembered more for its Ray Harryhausen creatures than any lasting artistic quality—I still can’t believe its shoddy effects came after Empire Strikes Back—its subject matter actually seemed ripe for a revisioning. So many genre ‘classics’ have garnered a want for new boatloads of cash, why not a film badly in…

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REVIEW: Man on a Ledge [2012]

“I can see his leg shaking from here” I’ll give TV movie scribe Pablo F. Fenjves light applause for hooking me during the first two thirds, but the real kudos go to documentarian Asger Leth and his ability to make even the implausibly contrived and impossibly far-fetched finale not take away from the entertaining little gem his fiction debut Man on a Ledge surprisingly ends up being. It’s convenient, convoluted, and pretty hard to stomach in terms of realism, but something about the acting and sporadic bits of humor kept…

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REVIEW: The Debt [2011]

“I’m not brave; I’m terrified.” Whether malicious or compassionate, actions have consequences. It could be your own guilt, justice being served, or the fear and paranoia of what may be coming your way—in the end, the past will rise to haunt you. This is a fact that John Madden’s The Debt uses in many different ways, cross-cutting between 1966 and 1997 with the wipe of the screen. We see the past and present of three Mossad agents and the mission they were ordered to complete, culminating in the glory of…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2011: Summer Excess vs. Indie Class

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that 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. It’s sad to say, but August 2011 is a dismal month for quality poster design. I guess this shouldn’t be too big a surprise since it’s the tail end…

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REVIEW: Avatar [2009]

“I see you” I have one major problem with Avatar and that is what it means for the future of my home entertainment system. How can I ever replicate the visceral spectacle I experienced with a five-story screen, digital sound blaring, and 3D technology that is so beyond any I’ve seen before that nothing short of ‘blown away’ can describe it? I’m not sure I ever could and that is what may make this film as successful or more than its creator’s last, Titanic. People aren’t going to want to…

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REVIEW: Terminator Salvation [2009]

“So that’s what death tastes like” I have never seen a McG film before. I avoided the Charlie’s Angels movies and thought We Are Marshall looked pretty mediocre—besides being a based on true events sports flick; not my genre of choice. But here we have him helming the newest entry to one of the best science fiction series in cinema. How would someone that people oftentimes compare to a “hack” like Brett Ratner do with a big scale production containing an existing mythology and fan base calling for greatness? We…

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