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Wednesday, 20 April 2016 11:42

Jackie Robinson' goes deep

Ken Burns documentary a thorough portrait

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 14:19

Google mirth The Internship'

Vaughn-Wilson reunion never quite hits stride

When it comes to summer movies, most of the focus tends to be on the big-budget blockbusters. It's all about action sequences and special effects. Studios are looking to build and maintain franchises that's a lot of what the summer season has come to be about. The comedic offerings, on the other hand, tend to be hit-or-miss. 

'The Internship' aims to be a hit. It has two stars with comedic chops and a record of past success and one of the biggest companies in the world as its setting. There's a fair amount of potential here.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:36

42' hits a home run

Film tells the story of Jackie Robinson

I am a sucker for a good sports movie. It doesn't even really matter which sport the drama inherent to athletic competition in general often makes for compelling cinema. And that competitive tension can be mined for humor as well as drama. You don't even need to be a sports fan (though it undoubtedly helps). The very best sports movies are the ones that use what happens on the field as a way to speak to the larger issues of what happens off it. 

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 12:31

G.I. Joe: Retaliation' blows (up)

Action sequel unfocused and uninteresting

It's never a good sign when a movie misses its initial release date. Sure, there's always some excuse, but no matter what they wind up 'fixing,' you can rest assured that you're almost certainly not going to get a classic piece of cinema out of the deal.

'G.I. Joe: Retaliation,' the not-so-eagerly-anticipated sequel to 2009's 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,' was supposed to hit theaters last year, but it got pulled and (one assumes) frantically reworked before finally being released.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 12:26

The Host' with the least

Author Stephanie Meyer has a legion of adoring fans thanks to her best-selling 'Twilight' series of books. And the movies based on those books have grossed over $2 billion (yes, with a 'b') at the worldwide box office. So it stands to reason that Hollywood would leap at the chance to make a film of 'The Host,' Meyer's latest novel.

This time, it's aliens instead of vampires and werewolves. But never fear the empty-headed romances and ludicrous plot developments are still there. And really, what more could you want?

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:20

Texas Chainsaw Massacre' gets a requel'

Film tries and fails to reinvigorate classic franchise

Few genres inspire multiple franchise offerings quite like horror. There are the big ones, of course series such as 'Friday the 13th,' 'Halloween' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street' but almost every horror film that has experienced even a modicum of success has produced a number of increasingly terrible sequels/prequels/reboots.

For instances, we have the new 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' film; did you know that this is the seventh (!) installment of everybody's favorite chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface?

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:07

Dreaming the dream Les Miserables'

Musical adaptation doesn't quite connect

Adapting a beloved work into a new medium is always a tricky prospect. Maybe it's a great work of literature, maybe it's a comic book, maybe it's a stage play regardless, if a cinematic adaptation is being made, chances are that there is a fairly devoted fan base out there a fan base that will let you know on no uncertain terms if you screw up their baby.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:48

Killing Them Softly' with a big stick

Gangster movie suffers from overly aggressive message

There's nothing inherently wrong with using a film to send a 'message.' In fact, with the right combination of circumstances, a movie can manage to be effective both as an entertainment and as a conveyance of some larger truth.

However, when a movie allows itself to be overwhelmed by the message it is intended to convey, both the movie and the message wind up significantly diminished.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 16:15

Maine actors needed for 'Blue Potato' film

Creators of 'The Way We Get By' looking to depict life in Aroostook County

BANGOR - The husband and wife duo responsible for the award-winning Bangor troop greeters documentary 'The Way We Get By' are once again letting their creative juices flow. Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly are putting together their first scripted film about life in Aroostook County. It's called 'Blue Potato.'

"It's a coming of age drama that takes place during the fall potato harvest in Northern Maine, and it centers around two teenage boys entering their senior year in high school," explained Gaudet.

It's an idea the couple came up with after all the support and positive reactions they received from Maine businesses and residents following the release of their documentary.

"We were talking about what we should do next and that we should find another story in Maine. My brother posted some photos of the potato harvest on Facebook and I told Gita, 'Look at these, they're so beautiful,'" said Gaudet. "So we drove up there and thought it would be a great setting, but we didn't want to do another documentary. We wanted it to be scripted."

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 15:10

They sank their Battleship'

Sci-fi action film flawed and formulaic

Sometimes when we go to the movies, we're looking for complex stories about the sorts of trials and tribulations we encounter in real life. They're dramatized of course, but at their core, these are stories that could have happened to us in some way, shape or form.

And sometimes, we just want to see some stuff blow up. Guess which category 'Battleship' falls under? Surprise the movie based on a board game isn't overly invested in character development!

The film is centered around Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch, 'John Carter'), a ne'er-do-well troublemaker whose latest scrape with the law finally pushes his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard, TV's 'True Blood') to demand that Alex join the Navy. Flash forward a few years and Alex is progressing through the ranks, though he's never quite shed his inability to be bound by The Man's rules. He's also dating the lovely Samantha (Brooklyn Decker, 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'), a smart, tough woman who just happens to be the daughter of Alex's superior officer Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson, 'The Grey'). Because that's just how things work in movies like this.

Published in Movies
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