REVIEW: Jurassic Park III [2001]

No force on Earth or Heaven could get me on that island. It’s almost ironic to discover David Koepp—screenwriter of the franchise’s previous two installments—was the one to think up the “simpler” story concept that Peter Buchman (with revisions by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor) ultimately built upon for Jurassic Park III. The man responsible for adapting The Lost World into an overstuffed cash-grab of a bloated sequel swooped in just weeks before another fully storyboarded and ready-to-go draft went into production with the advice to condense its focus. You…

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REVIEW: Room [2015]

“There’s Room then outer space with the TV planets then Heaven.” ***POTENTIAL SPOILERS*** I’m not sure a more intensely emotional film than Lenny Abrahamson‘s Room has been released in the past decade let alone this year. Nothing hits home deeper than the bond of a mother and child, but the situation novelist/screenwriter Emma Donoghue constructs for Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) increase it exponentially. Inspired to write her book after hearing about the Fritzl case in Austria where a man held his daughter captive for twenty-four years…

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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: A Single Shot [2013]

“He’s got a hard bark on him” It’s a shame most people need an incident that risks taking their life to finally acknowledge they have one left to live. For John Moon (Sam Rockwell), this moment comes on a morning hunt like many others. Already with three arrests for poaching deer, this specific excursion finds his aim off. Needing to chase his mark and eventually shoot blindly at movement in the corner of his eye, the kill lying motionless and choking in blood opposite his barrel comes into focus as…

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REVIEW: The Sessions [2012]

“Cleansed and victorious” Already the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary short depicting his journalistic career entitled Breathing Lessions: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien, it appears the now deceased polio survivor had a salacious moment in his life yet to be told. Author of the 1990 magazine article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate”, O’Brien had done just that. Saddled with feelings of embarrassment whenever thoughts about his sexuality or inability to control his body cropped up, there came an opportunity to do what he never dreamed possible. Propositioned to…

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REVIEW: The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

“There’s no client scarier than an innocent man” Just when I thought The Lincoln Lawyer would be another run-of-the-mill courtroom drama with behind the scenes evidence gathering to either acquit Mick Haller’s (Matthew McConaughey) client or show he was guilty after all, a case from the past is remembered with eerily similar details. Everything Haller believed to be true about his career choice is brought into question; the fact he defends criminals he knows are guilty due to the corruption on the side of police and DAs trying to pin…

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REVIEW: Edmond [2005]

“No, that’s too much” We have here a night of debauchery, violence, anger, and hate which could only be delivered by David Mamet’s lyrical prose and the horror background of director Stuart Gordon. Think Scorsese’s After Hours, but dead serious and shrouded in pitch black darkness. Much like Mamet’s Oleanna, also based on his own play, Edmond features a tour de force performance from lead actor and real life friend William H. Macy. His character awakens to the mundane existence he has been a part of for 47 years and…

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