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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

So let me be upfront with you right away: I’ve never watched the first Sherlock Holmes movie directed by Guy Ritchie. In fact, I hadn’t even seen a Guy Ritchie movie until I saw his Sherlock Holmes sequel, A Game of Shadows.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin: Tag-Team Movie Mini-Review

The Adventures of Tintin hit European theaters in October. Atrejub and I went to see it on opening weekend. Here are our individual takes on it.  

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review: Oeuvre: Drew Struzan

Last year The Art of Drew Struzan was published by Titan Books, and for any film aficionado who’s ever been a fan of the man’s impressive work painting movie posters, it was a must-have. If you want more of Struzan’s beautiful movie work, then his latest collection will satisfy your craving.
If, like me, you wanted to learn more about Struzan’s body of work, his beginnings and what he paints as personal projects, then this new book is a must have.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: The Thing

Let me begin by stating the obvious: following in the footsteps of John Carpenter’s The Thing isn’t an easy thing to do – pun intended. Although Carptenter’s movie bombed when it first came out in the summer of 1982 when E.T.: The Extraterrestrial was America’s outer space visitor of choice, VHS and cable brought The Thing to a wider and appreciative audience.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: Fright Night

Back in the dog days of summer 1985, me and my best friend caught an afternoon showing of a new movie called Fright Night. It wasn't marketed as one of the big summer movies of '85 (Back to the Future had turned out to be the event movie to see at that time) but what Fright Night had was an understanding with its fans.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

If there were one familiar director working in the Hollywood system that Marvel Studios could trust to bring an origin story of Captain America to the screen it would be Joe Johnston. Twenty years ago Johnston showed his appreciation for golden age superhero adventure when he directed The Rocketeer, proving that a brave superhero always cut a good figure when he wore a leather bomber jacket.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Michael Bay has gotten the giant robots fighting movie back on its tracks. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a vast improvement over the second film in the franchise.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 10

Weighing in at just over 800 pages, A Game of Thrones is full of plots and sub-plots, primary and secondary (and tertiary and ancillary) characters, major and minor leitmotifs, and foreshadowing of foreshadowing – to say it is a dense narrative is an understatement in the extreme, particularly considering its status as only the inaugural chapter of a much larger tale.  This column (It Is Known: An Analysis of Thrones) will act as a companion piece to both series, novel and television, analyzing each installment’s character beats and plot points as well as scrutinizing the transition from page to script.  What it will not do is spoil the story; the hope and intent is elucidation, not ruination.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Cars 2

Cars 2 might very well be the first Pixar film that's a complete Disney marketing construction, made to sell more bedsheets, toys, coloring books and the eventual Cars-themed part of Disneyland. While I found the first film the weakest of Pixar's offerings to date, it still had novelty, fun character design and a couple of heartfelt moments. Cars 2 feels like the next day's warmed over leftovers; you're going to eat it but only because there's not much else in the fridge, or you're just too lazy to cook up something new.

(Yeah, I know, I'm making a food analogy about a movie that has talking cars in it, but what else can I do?)

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman

Anyone that knows anything about the world of movie stuntmen surely knows the name Vic Armstrong. He's been working in the biz for nearly 50 years, first doing all the dangerous leaps, falls, shimmies and fights that actors can't (or won't) do in front of the camera. The movies that he's worked on, and the heroes that he's stunt-doubled for, are icons of cinema, like James Bond, Indiana Jones and Superman. He's moved up from being a stuntman to a competent second unit director to a stunt coordinator. Can you imagine the stories this guy could tell you about working with Sean Connery or Harrison Ford or Christopher Reeve?

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 9

Weighing in at just over 800 pages, A Game of Thrones is full of plots and sub-plots, primary and secondary (and tertiary and ancillary) characters, major and minor leitmotifs, and foreshadowing of foreshadowing – to say it is a dense narrative is an understatement in the extreme, particularly considering its status as only the inaugural chapter of a much larger tale.  This column (It Is Known: An Analysis of Thrones) will act as a companion piece to both series, novel and television, analyzing each installment’s character beats and plot points as well as scrutinizing the transition from page to script.  What it will not do is spoil the story; the hope and intent is elucidation, not ruination.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Green Lantern

In the pantheon of Warner Bros. superheroes, Green Lantern has always been second tier. When you spend a little time following what the Lantern does, it was easy to see why: he's a cosmic superhero with adventures set mostly in outer space, with plenty of strange looking aliens as his allies and also his enemies. Superman and Batman fought their bad guys on terra firma, and general audiences had an easier time understanding the motivations of both heroes (even though the Man of Steel himself was an alien.)

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 8

Weighing in at just over 800 pages, A Game of Thrones is full of plots and sub-plots, primary and secondary (and tertiary and ancillary) characters, major and minor leitmotifs, and foreshadowing of foreshadowing – to say it is a dense narrative is an understatement in the extreme, particularly considering its status as only the inaugural chapter of a much larger tale.  This column (It Is Known: An Analysis of Thrones) will act as a companion piece to both series, novel and television, analyzing each installment’s character beats and plot points as well as scrutinizing the transition from page to script.  What it will not do is spoil the story; the hope and intent is elucidation, not ruination.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Super 8

The way that I figure it, the part that Super 8 director/screenwriter J.J. Abrams most enjoyed watching in his latest film is when the Amblin logo comes up on the screen and hangs there for five seconds. Super 8 is a unabashed love letter to classic Spielbergian coming of age adventures from the 1980s: E.T., The Goonies, Explorers, Gremlins, Back to the Future. Strangely enough, the actual guts of Super 8 owe more to two of Spielberg's earlier movies, and ones that don't hang the story on pre-teens, namely Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 7

Weighing in at just over 800 pages, A Game of Thrones is full of plots and sub-plots, primary and secondary (and tertiary and ancillary) characters, major and minor leitmotifs, and foreshadowing of foreshadowing – to say it is a dense narrative is an understatement in the extreme, particularly considering its status as only the inaugural chapter of a much larger tale.  This column (It Is Known: An Analysis of Thrones) will act as a companion piece to both series, novel and television, analyzing each installment’s character beats and plot points as well as scrutinizing the transition from page to script.  What it will not do is spoil the story; the hope and intent is elucidation, not ruination.

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