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Monday, March 22, 2010

DVD Review: The Princess and the Frog

The first traditionally animated feature film from Disney since 2002's Home on the Range (and more importantly to little girls, the first to feature a new Disney princess since 1998's Mulan), The Princess and the Frog is a well crafted return to this cherished form of animation. While the film has its flaws and isn't playing on the same level of Beauty and the Beast or Sleeping Beauty, it's a step above more recent Disney 'toons like Hercules or Tarzan.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: Green Zone

With ads showing Matt Damon running around with an automatic rifle, Green Zone appears to be a more military version of the last two Jason Bourne movies. The thing of it is, Green Zone has the elements of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum we liked, including the often distracting shakeycam tendency Paul Greengrass likes to use, but it can't decide if it wants to go full tilt and be an all-out action movie or a political thriller. The result is that the picture ends up being neither.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: Shutter Island

Pushed back from release last October by Paramount, to what many consider one of the dead times of the calendar year, Shutter Island is a film that shouldn't slip by. Masterfully directed by Martin Scorsese, who captures great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, co-star Mark Ruffalo and a wide supporting cast of commendable actors, Shutter Island is something of a throwback to the days of Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers of lost identity, character twists and paranoia. But for audiences that have been exposed to just about every conceivable plot twist imaginable, Shutter Island manages to find a new direction to take as its complex and nearly incomprehensible storyline draws toward its conclusion.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: Surrogates

It's funny but Surrogates deserves the title I, Robot more than the Will Smith movie that came out in 2004. First and foremost, was Will ever a robot in his movie? Hell no but in Surrogates Bruce Willis can claim full metal jacket status. Secondly, James Cromwell, the actor that played the guy that made the robots in I, Robot, well, he’s the maker of the robots in Surrogates. It's like the people that made Surrogates saw I, Robot and said to themselves, "Hey, that’s a neat idea. Why don’t we do something like that too?"

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review: Whiteout

There comes a moment in Dominic Sena's Whiteout where our heroine Marshal Carrie Stetko (played by the usually British Kate Beckinsale) is about to face something horrific but it doesn’t come from a faceless killer’s snow axe or from the possibility of freezing to death in the Antarctic winter. The scene takes place in a doctor’s office and the horror of the situation comes from Stetko facing the aftermath of being exposed to sub-zero weather. I won’t spoil it further but let me add just this final note: what should have been a scene that left the audience squirming in silent horror turned into an unintentional funny moment where the people in my theatre (myself included) openly laughed at the absurdity of a poorly chosen line of dialogue. It’s these kinds of stupid moments that reduce Whiteout to being a sub-par thriller, one that had the potential to be better than it is.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: Batman - Arkham Asylum is one of the year's best games

If you have thought that the day would never come that someone could pull off a superb original video game that was based on a beloved comic book character let me introduce you to Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360, PS3). Ladies and gentlemen, here is the game that we’ve all been waiting to play since we could grasp that game controller between our meatware.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Exclusive: The pilot for the new V series reviewed

I was one of the kids from the original Star Wars generation when pop culture entertainment suddenly became obsessed with space ships, alien worlds and robots. If you didn’t live around the late 1970s to early 1980s it’s hard to illustrate just how big shows like the original Star Wars, Superman, Close Encounters and even the dodgier ones like Battlestar Galactica were to kids from that time. We ate it up the way that today’s teen girls and single moms looking for Mr. Right write the surname “Cullen” after “Mrs.” and their first name on the inside front covers of their Twilight books.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review: Watchmen

How do you film the unfilmable comic book? That’s been a question on the minds of fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, the comic book/graphic novel/whatever you want to call it, for two decades. Scores of filmmakers have attempted to scale that beast of a mountain and have failed to reach the peak until director Zack Snyder came along. Buoyed on the success of turning Frank Miller’s 300 into a hit film, Snyder asked for and received the movie project that is to comic books what William Shakespeare is to English literature. Every sneak peek at the film, from early looks at the costumes to that first trailer that came with The Dark Knight, have indicated that Snyder was making a Watchmen movie that was going to capture the source material faithfully. And he has but it comes with a cost.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Return of the Thing screenplay reviewed: Part 2

This is the second part of the review for Return of the Thing, a two-part mini-series that was in development in 2005 for the Sci Fi Channel. Click here to read the first part of this review or else you're going to be locked in a kennel with the rest of Clark's dogs.

 

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Exclusive: A look at the Return of the Thing screenplay

Antarctica, Winter, 1982. The two survivors of U.S. Outpost #31 face each other as the blasted remains of their camp burn around them. Both men are unsure if the other is who they say they are, but both also know that it doesn’t really matter right now. As they accept the inevitable they sit down across from each other and begin to pass a bottle of booze back and forth, never taking their weapons from off the other.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Spirit movie review

Central City has a protector, and he is The Spirit (Gabriel Macht), a mostly-invulnerable masked man with a mysterious past and an uneasy partnership with the police.  The Spirit fights crime, woos women, and tries to pin down his arch-enemy, the crimelord known only as the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson).  As our story begins, the Octopus has a new scheme that may just make him the most powerful being on Earth, provided it isn’t spoiled by the Spirit or the mysterious and aloof black widow named Sand Saref (Eva Mendes, stealing every scene—even when she’s just photocopied).

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