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Friday, 23 September 2016 10:03

'The Magnificent Seven' worth a shot

Western remake features engaging action, talented ensemble

The cinematic Western has been making a bit of a comeback in recent years. There have been some critically-lauded offerings - last year's Best Picture-nominated 'The Revenant,' for example, or this year's celebrated 'Hell or High Water' that have helped the genre regain some of its once-massive cachet.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 10:20

Into the woods again - 'Blair Witch'

Sequel fails to capture groundbreaking spirit of original

Whether you loved it or hated it, there's no denying that 1999's 'The Blair Witch Project' proved to be a groundbreaking film. The microbudget found-footage horror thriller was a game changer not just in stylistic terms, but in marketing terms as well. It offered a new path to making movies and to selling them.

Published in Movies
Friday, 16 September 2016 17:34

The eyes have it - 'Snowden'

Film fails to capitalize on compelling story, excellent performances

The ability to tackle controversial figures and/or subjects is one of the greatest powers the cinema possesses. Filmmakers can use their art to tell stories that they feel need telling in the manner in which they feel those stories need to be told.

Published in Movies
Saturday, 10 September 2016 14:41

'Sully' makes a splash

Film recounts 'Miracle on the Hudson'

Most of the time, filmmakers have to work fairly hard to bring forth the drama when it comes to movies based on real people and real events. 'Based on a true story' tends to lean harder on 'based' than 'true.'

Published in Movies
Friday, 09 September 2016 14:53

'The Disappointments Room' accurately titled

Dull, derivative horror movie fails on every possible level

2016 has been a strong year for the horror genre. While many of the blockbuster releases have fallen short of expectations, studios have seen a fair degree of success both critically and commercially with smaller-scale horror movies. There have been a lot of good ones.

Published in Movies
Sunday, 04 September 2016 17:23

'The Light Between Oceans' shines

Historical romance tugs hard at the heartstrings

Having our heartstrings tugged is one of the reasons that we go to the movies. Finding those moments of emotional connection can be a huge part of the cinematic experience. However, if a film goes to that well too often if it tries too hard to get us to feel it can come off as a little disingenuous and/or manipulative.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 09:11

If it ain't broke - 'Mechanic: Resurrection'

Action sequel offers thin narrative and ludicrous violence

In a lot of ways, Jason Statham is a bit of a throwback.

 

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 10:24

'Ben-Hur' a Biblical bore

Dull, disinterested remake fails to resonate

While there have been a number of successful offerings, the reality is that the summer of 2016 has been marked by a preponderance of underperforming films particularly those that fall into the category of sequel and/or remake/reboot.

Published in Movies
Friday, 19 August 2016 15:56

Bro-ing to war - 'War Dogs'

Film elevated by strong central performances

One of the most overused phrases in the world of movie marketing is 'Based on a true story.' Essentially, it gives filmmakers carte blanche to use as much or as little of a story's truth in the course of making their movie.

Published in Movies
Sunday, 14 August 2016 16:46

Streep's perfectly imperfect pitch

'Florence Foster Jenkins' a tale of indefatigable passion

Just what is it with Meryl Streep and singing these days?

Published in Movies
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