REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer [2013]

“We never forget a smell” What do you get when you combine the English folktale Jack and the Beanstalk with the more violent Cornish fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer in an age where computer animation pretty much allows anything to be possible? Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, of course. A film that has traveled through many hands—Darren Lemke wrote the original script, David Dobkin has a credit, D.J. Caruso was once attached to direct, and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie reworked the tone and plot to where it is today—I…

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REVIEW: Snow White and the Huntsman [2012]

“Have I not given you all?” What happens when a fairy tale depicting an innocent princess saved by a litany of characters on her way to the crown turns into an epic battle with heroine in full armor storming the castle herself? Well, we discover just how flimsy a character the titular Snow White actually is. A prisoner for years while an evil queen brought darkness upon her kingdom, the young girl’s escape into the hallucinogenic Dark Forest proves nothing but a sense of survival. She has no skills at…

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REVIEW: Immortals [2011]

“Witness hell!” With the most recent forays into mythology coming in the form of a boring Troy and misguided Clash of the Titans, seeing the name Tarsem Singh attached to Immortals brought a smile to my face. Originally titled Dawn of War and War of the Gods before settling on its current name, the director sought to deliver a bloody epic in the style of a Renaissance painting—the flowing light of the Gods’ capes and fluid motion of action a real treat. And if you’ve seen his previous work The…

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REVIEW: The Fountain [2006]

“Death breeds creation” I never thought I would ever thank Brad Pitt for causing the utter failure of The Fountain launching principal photography three years ago. However, his leaving the production to do Troy may have resulted in the finest film-going experience I have ever had. Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece could only have been ruined by the doubled budget and lack of Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz’s stellar performances. The epic scope this film has is that much better due to the small-scale effects honed and enlarged to full utilization. Much…

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REVIEW: Babel [2006]

“The brightest lights on the darkest nights” The final piece to Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga’s unofficial trilogy has finally reached theatres. Babel is a sprawling tale spanning multiple countries and languages as a lone gunshot leaves reverberations throughout the world, interfering with the lives of many people who at first glance are seemingly unrelated. These two men, director and writer respectively, have crafted two previous masterpieces with themes of love and sorrow, pain and redemption. From Amores Perros and 21 Grams, we are shown a steady progression of…

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