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So much of Hollywood is driven by spectacle. There’s a bigger-is-better ethos at work that drives more and more of the industry with each passing year, often crowding out some of the less flashy fare. Yet one could argue that movies work even more effectively as a medium for delivering smaller, more intimate stories. Bigger might be better, but sometimes, smaller is superb.

Take “Blackbird,” the new film directed by Roger Michell. A remake of the 2014 Dutch film “Silent Heart,” “Blackbird” is the story of an ailing matriarch bringing her family together for one final celebration of their lives together before her death – a death that she intends to be entirely on her own terms.

Featuring an absolutely stacked cast, “Blackbird” is a heartfelt meditation on the familial complexities that come with death and a look at how an impending loss can impact our choices. It’s a movie about choices and wrestling with the consequences of those choices and how, in the end, we must allow people to make those choices for themselves.

Published in Movies

There are a lot of reasons to dislike a movie. Perhaps the story doesn’t appeal to you. Maybe the performances fall flat or the visuals are uninteresting. Maybe you resent how a beloved character or franchise was treated.

But all of those reasons have decisions behind them. Whether you agree or not, the filmmakers involved have had a distinct idea with regards to what they want the film to be. That doesn’t mean it’s a GOOD film, but at least it knows what it is.

Something like “The Mountain Between Us” is something altogether different – and much worse.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:22

‘Collateral Beauty’ pretty terrible

Once upon a time, Will Smith was one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, part of that small cadre of actors who could bring big box office through little more than the virtue of their name. Will Smith was one of those guys.

Sadly, he is definitely not that guy anymore.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:50

Bear of a name draws criticism

On Dec. 7 of this past year, Kate Winslet and husband, Ned Rocknroll, welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Bear Winslet, into the world.  Naturally, the majority of the population seemed to find some sort of issue.  

This isn't anything new. In recent years, the general public has always found something to complain about when it comes to celebrity baby names. 'Bear' isn't even the most unique one. For example, Kim and Kanye named their baby girl North, making her name North West. Holly Madison named her daughter Rainbow Aurora. Chef Jamie Oliver and his wife, Jools, named their four children Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear Maurice. Magician Penn Jillette named his son Zolten, and his daughter Moxie Crimefighter. Nicholas Cage named his son Kal-El after Superman's kryptonian name. Hell, Racheal Griffiths named her son Banjo in 2007. 

Published in Style

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