Archive for category: Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

31 July, 2014 (06:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

The giant apparatus required to create a 21st-century comic-book/sci-fi/action movie is expensive and unwieldy. Little wonder so many of these behemoths eventually collapse under their own weight, content to destroy a city while laboriously setting up the next installment in the franchise. Even the good stuff—Robert Downey Jr.’s antic presence in the first Iron Man, […]

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Film Review: ‘Mood Indigo’

31 July, 2014 (06:53) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Michel Gondry’s capacity for imagining wacky designs and adorable contraptions is so boundless he makes Santa’s elves look like dull-witted slackers. The French director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind is on some kind of perpetual adolescent overdrive, his brain inventing new bits of business as though nobody’d ever asked […]

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Videophiled: A different kind of Biblical epic in ‘Noah’

30 July, 2014 (19:19) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Darren Aronofsky takes a very different approach to the Biblical epic in Noah (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) a film both earthy and mystical. This isn’t the Old Testament prehistory we’ve seen before—Aronofsky draws from both Christian and Jewish religious texts to fill out the story (which is actually quite short in the Bible) and offers […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’

29 July, 2014 (09:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Film history is filled with legends and stories of what could have been great (or at least interesting) films but were never made for one reason or another. Such projects are all potential, giving fans the chance to dream of masterpieces that could have been without having to face the reality of compromise and transformation […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ (1920)

26 July, 2014 (07:48) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Stage and screen legend John Barrymore took on the good doctor and his vicious alter ego from the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel in this silent horror classic, adapted as much from the stage play by Thomas Russell Sullivan as from Stevenson’s original book. It wasn’t the first adaptation of the story but it became […]

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Film Review: ‘And So It Goes’

25 July, 2014 (08:06) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Should you encounter a curmudgeon, someone so bitter and grouchy he seems unredeemable, fear not — there is a sure-fire remedy. Simply put this killjoy in the presence of a live birth and have him deliver a baby. It always seems to work in movies, anyway. Case in point: And So It Goes, a middle-aged […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘The Wind Will Carry Us’ at 15

24 July, 2014 (15:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

We didn’t know it at the time but The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) was the end of a distinctive mode of cinematic engagement for Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami. He had won the Palm d’or at Cannes in 1997 for A Taste of Cherry and had become the figurehead for Iranian cinema for his unusual mix […]

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Film Review: ‘Boyhood’

24 July, 2014 (07:20) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The title Boyhood suggests something definitive, perhaps even a statement on the essential nature of growing up. Which is not at all what this movie is. Made up of stray moments, occasional bits of melodrama, and a gentle sense of time drifting by, the film is much better represented by its working title: 12 Years. […]

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Film Review: ‘Cannibal’

24 July, 2014 (07:17) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Most of the conventional horror is contained in the first 10 minutes. A surgically precise evocation of a lonely gas station at night gives way to reveal someone stalking a driver and passenger. A deliberate crash ensues. A dead woman is taken to a mountain cabin, where the stalker selects a knife from his collection […]

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Film Review: ‘I Origins’

24 July, 2014 (07:12) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It begins as a science thriller: Researchers narrow in on absolute proof that the eye evolved in nature. Such confirmation would give the lie to creationists who sometimes use the complexity of the eye as evidence for an “intelligent designer,” which is another way of saying God. Alas, I Origins has more than science on […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Trans-Europ-Express’

23 July, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Alain Robbe-Grillet is best known as an experiment novelist in the nouvelle roman movement of the fifties and as the screenwriter of Alain Resnais’ elegant yet conceptually daring French nouvelle vague landmark Last Year at Marienbad. But Robbe-Grillet was also a filmmaker in his own right. He directed ten features in a career that spanned […]

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Review: ‘Capone’

23 July, 2014 (09:53) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 46, December 1975] While the gangster genre has its fair share of anti-heroes portrayed as psychotic delinquent types (perhaps a fair working definition of the cinematic hood), and while those types help define an aspect of the genre, they certainly aren’t confined to the set boundaries of its form and […]

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Videophiled: ‘Transcendence’ and ‘Sabotage’ fail

22 July, 2014 (18:36) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Transcendence (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, Cable VOD) marks the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, Oscar-winning cinematographer to Christopher Nolan. His visual intelligence, however, doesn’t transcend the dead weight passing as a script in this confused science fiction thriller starring Johnny Depp as a computer science genius whose mind is uploaded to an experimental computer […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Big Gundown’

20 July, 2014 (10:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Sergio Leone is unarguably the godfather of spaghetti westerns. He directed its first international smash of the genre, defined the spare, savage style and mercenary sensibility, and made stars of journeymen actors Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. But he was far from the only director who made his mark in the genre. Among the […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Wind and the Lion’

19 July, 2014 (17:17) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

John Milius occupies a curious place in the culture of American filmmakers of the seventies. In the age of new, young, maverick voices, he’s the rugged American individualist with conservative politics and iconoclastic heroes. He’s fascinated with military culture and imperialist adventure, caught up in the tension between American isolation and intervention, in debt to […]

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