Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Movie Review

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Most movie franchises today release sequels within 2-3 years of the original film. Many franchise films have such great projected sales that the filmakers are already working on the sequel before the first movie even hits theaters. Gone are the days of James Cameron sequels such as Aliens and Terminator 2 that were both released almost a decade after the release of the originals. The new Sin City film breaks the modern sequel mold completely and leans more on the Cameron side of things, coming out a full nine years after the first movie. Continue reading

Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Review

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Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always found deep sea exploration to be fascinating. I’ve never been out to waters such as that myself (in fact, I’ve never even gone diving), but the idea of going into never-before-seen places on our own planet fills me with wonder. It’s an interest that I share with filmmaker James Cameron, who has made several films and documentaries involving aquatic adventures. The latest of these works to feature Cameron is Deepsea Challenge 3D, a documentary chronicling the filmmaker’s journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Review

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A few weeks ago, I reviewed Transformers: Age of Extinction, which I gave a rather low score to. Most of my friends who read the review said that they understood where I was coming from and that they agreed with my critiques, but some people thought that it was ridiculous for me to even bother criticizing such a ridiculous film. I think that I can understand what they’re saying; why should I even bother reviewing a film that is nothing but an obvious cash grab? Upon watching the movie, it’s quite obvious that even Michael Bay himself didn’t care about the quality of the film; it’s just another sequel to a disappointing franchise that somehow rakes in boatloads of cash. Why would I even bother complaining about such a movie? Well, in my mind, that’s exactly what a movie critic does: review all films, both good and bad, and give them their day in court. To give a pass to a movie like Age of Extinction just because it’s self-aware wouldn’t be fair to masterpieces of the action sci-fi genre such as Empire Strikes Back or The Avengers. If those films represent the heights that a film like Transformers can reach, then of course I have to give Age of Extinction an awful rating. Reviewing bad films is just part of the job, and it’s something that I have to do right now with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Continue reading

Boyhood Movie Review

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A lot of people have been talking about the new movie Boyhood, which tells a simple story about a young boy growing up in a broken family. The main thing that people are talking about with this film isn’t the story itself, however, but rather the fact that it was shot over a twelve year period. The reason for this long production time was so that the main character Mason Jr., played by young actor Ellar Coltrane, could be seen growing from a very young age up through his high school graduation using the same actor. Obviously, there are huge risks involved with a process like this. What if the kid grows up to be a horrible actor? What if he dies? What if someone in the supporting cast dies? There are an innumerable amount of things that could have gone wrong during the production of this picture, making Boyhood one of the riskiest films ever made. Continue reading

Fargo Movie Review

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Over the past three decades, the Coen brothers have established themselves as a staple of American cinema. Not only have they written and directed some of the most quintessential works of the past thirty years, but their filmography is almost as eclectic as that of Spielberg or Kubrik. Every film that the duo makes has a different setting and atmosphere than the one before, something that I find very commendable. In 1996, the two brothers made the now-classic Fargo, a very risky entry in their diverse collection of works. Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

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Movies that don’t take themselves too seriously are usually given a pass on a lot of the crimes that they commit. Comedies like Airplane! and the Monty Python films aren’t supposed to be analyzed for their plot as much as they are to be enjoyed for their simplicity. But what about sci-fi movies that have frequent humor, like this weekends’ new Guardians of the Galaxy? This film feels like a combination of Galaxy Quest and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, and it’s one of the most fun sci-fi adventures that I’ve seen in awhile. Continue reading

Quest for Fire Movie Review

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I often think about how different our lives would be without language. Our dependence upon words for communication goes so deep that even the vast majority of our thoughts are verbal. A person in our society with no understanding of words or language would have great difficulty in life, and they would have trouble maintaining meaningful relationships in the Western World. The 1981 film Quest for Fire gives us a glimpse into what it would be like to live in prehistoric times, before the conveniences of modern languages. Because of this, most of the film’s script is composed of grunts or primitive phrases that may seem too humorous for many viewers to take seriously. However, the film as a whole is a rather moving tale of the culture and struggles of early man. Continue reading

Lucy Movie Review

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Many people thought that Lucy was going to be a direct rip-off of Limitless, another film that involves the concept of unlocking the secrets of the mind. I haven’t seen Limitless, but from what I understand about it, Lucy takes quite a different direction. Whenever I hear arguments about a movie “ripping off” an earlier film, I notice that the people speaking about the similarities between the two flicks don’t understand the purpose and message of each individual work. There are only a few cases in which I find these arguments valid, and even then there are places where they fall through. With that in mind, let’s evaluate Lucy. Continue reading

Snowpiercer Movie Review

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Science Fiction is by far and large my favorite movie genre. I love films that take the issues of our time and put them in a different setting than what we know, showing how these themes would apply to a different world. You could make the argument that the most enjoyable sci-fi films are action-adventures such as Star Wars or The Avengers that keep our adrenaline pumping through the entire running time. Other types of sci-fi films, a kind that I have only dug into within the past few years, are the kinds of films that take human stories and place them in a sci-fi environment. Movies such as Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Moon certainly make us use our brains much more than films such as Total Recall. Despite the undeniable high quality of these films, they aren’t always exciting to watch, as their slow pace can make distraction-prone viewers fidget in their seats. Director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans, is a combination of both the action-packed and dramatic styles of sci-fi, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think that it’s the greatest film that I’ve seen all year. Continue reading

The Purge: Anarchy Movie Review

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There were a lot of high hopes for The Purge: Anarchy. After the first Purge movie last summer was highly criticized for its waste of an interesting premise, the first ad for the second film in the series revealed that this new movie would take place throughout the city. This is the kind of setting that many filmgoers were hoping for the first time around, and something that would hopefully make better use of such an interesting idea. I have to give some respect to writer and director James DeMonaco for hearing the complaints of both filmgoers and critics and putting those suggestions to use in this film. Continue reading

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