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Drama

Film Review: Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla is back!

And this time the film is 100% Matthew Broderick free!

Movie Rating: 
7

Film Review: The Whisperer in Darkness

The Whisperer in Darkness

'The Whisperer in Darkness' tells the tale of folklorist and professor, Albert Wilmarth, who is skeptical of tall tales detailing strange creatures living in the deep hills of rural Vermont. After losing a public debate with Charles Forte (colorful editor of The Fortean Times, a journal devoted to bizarre theories and cryptozoological investigations) Wilmarth decides to investigate the stories by visiting a colleague who lives in the Vermont backcountry.

Movie Rating: 
9

Film Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Director Christopher Nolan completes his Batman franchise film trilogy, and we find Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) living a recluse in 'stately Wayne Manor' -- where he has remained for the past eight years. He hobbles about on a cane, and guests to the various Wayne Family charity balls snigger that 'Wayne probably has eight-inch long fingernails and is filling jars with his own urine, like Howard Hughes!"

Bruce's faithful butler Alfred (the inimitible Michael Caine, whose accent is still hard to place) is glad Master Bruce has managed to 'stay out of that awful cave.' -- but he's constantly trying to get him back out into the world.

The world forces itself upon Bruce in the form of a terrorist named Bane (biceps provided by Tom Hardy) who wears a scary-looking mouthpiece, kills people, all while sounding like the narrator for 'Masterpiece Theater'. As usual, Batman wildly underestimates his nemesis, and pays the price.

Movie Rating: 
9

Film Review: Contagion

Contagion Poster

Starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslett, Lawrence Fishburn and Jude Law.

At first blush, watching a documentary about Matt Damon's career didn't seem like a good way to spend my movie ticket budget, but then I realized that Contagion was about a different kind of viral infection. Our story begins with Gwynneth Paltrow's character as Patient Zero -- picking up a deadly new virus while in Hong Kong. As the infection spreads across the globe the brave bureaucrats of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) fight to understand the virus and fight it. Fast-paced and utterly believable, this is about how I imagine a real viral threat would affect the world.

Movie Rating: 
7

Film Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

 Gary Oldman has been in two of the films that I have seen at the cinema recently. In the first one he played a melodramatic dead wizard with shaggy long hair, a beard and a thousand yard, Order of the Phoenix stare. In Tinker he plays a non-descript, real world spy named George Smiley who dresses down and has NHS style glasses. Oldman only has to wiggle his foot in a certain way before his character uncrosses his legs and stands for you to forget who he really is, or was in another life, and immerse yourself in this murky, cold war thriller.

Movie Rating: 
10

Film Review: Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother

This is a movie about Ned (Paul Rudd) the world's greatest hippie, and the film's titular heroic idiot. When hard times force Ned to return to his mother's house he is thrown into the lives of his three sisters and his innocent honesty and earnestness causes all of their lives to collapse into creative anarchy.

This reviewer was ready to savage this film about a super hippie, but the magical hippie foiled all my plans. Goddam hippies!

Movie Rating: 
8

Film Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America Poster

After being deemed unfit for military service multiple times, 90-pound weakling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.

Set during World War II, Rogers must battle military public relations agents, Nazis, and finally a threat far worse than even Hitler -- The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) whose target is not Europe, but the world itself. Marvel continues to enhance their cinematic mileu with another worthy comic book adaptation.

Movie Rating: 
7

Film Review: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

Hello, here I am again, almost a year since my last post. While I probably do have a lot to say about debt ceilings, Amy Winehouse, Norway and space shuttles, my input today is, as always, a movie review.

Much like me, Terrence Malick does not produce a lot of content, just five films in the last forty or so years. If I said in my review of There Will be Blood that Daniel Day-Lewis is a bit of a lazybones, Malick seems to be almost monumentally lazy. This is not to say that he produces poor movies though; impenetrable, dialogue light and abstruse, but never bad or unambitious. After exploring colonialism and the beginnings of America last time and the battle of Guadalcanal the time before, this time Malick is focussing on life, God and the history of the universe itself.

Movie Rating: 
7

Film Review: Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks Poster

Kevin Costner turns in a stellar performance as Mr. Brooks, a successful businessman, philanthropist, husband and doting father. Mr. Brooks has a secret life, however. He's also a serial killer. After being lauded by the larger community for his philanthropy and named 'Man of the Year' he gets in his car with his lovely wife Emma (Marg Helgenberger, largely unused here) and a man appears in the back seat. The man (named Marshall, played perfectly by William Hurt) remarks that what Brooks really wants to do is check out the dancers. Mr. Brooks is addicted to murder, you see, and Marshall is his evil side, and he wants a fix.

Movie Rating: 
8

Film Review: Defendor

Defendor Poster

There's a new hero walking the dark streets of Hammer Town -- he is Defendor. His archenemy is the nefarious Captain Industry. With no super powers (or combat skills) this lone hero defends the weak and the helpless. He doesn't use guns ("Guns are for cowards."), relying on a WWI trench club to mete out his own brand of street justice.

By day he is Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), a construction worker with an I.Q. in the 80 point range.

Defendor is a compelling mix of comedy and drama, exploring what it really means to be a hero.

Movie Rating: 
8

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