Work amidst the biomass

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Leviathan (2012) straddles the line between documentary and avant-garde; composed entirely from footage shot on a large fishing boat in the Atlantic Ocean, it hints at how life is lived on the boat, but exists primarily as a visual and auditory experience. Things happen, but there is no plot; our understanding is entirely derived from … Continue reading

Artifice, emotion, and truth

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Strangely enough, the genre description “deliberately artificial romantic melodrama slash Thai western” don’t do justice to Wisit Sasanatieng’s 2000 film Tears of the Black Tiger. The film is a postmodern pastiche of the most shallow and wonderful kind: ambitious, energetic, and entertaining, combining disparate clichés, both narrative and visual, to form something new and unique. … Continue reading

More than just the monster

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When Shochiku studio released The X From Outer Space in 1967, they likely had high hopes for their own successful kajiu eiga (giant monster movie) series, much like Toho Studios’ famed Godzilla (1954), which by then already had seven profitable features. Unfortunately for Shochiku, their monster Guilala failed to have the even modest success of … Continue reading

Why the book is better than the movie (With one notable exception)

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I have always loved watching TV. Yes, I said loved. I watch far too much and I blame my mother for that. She limited my TV watching when I was a kid. For a while growing up we didn’t even have a TV. (My babysitters were very bored after I went to bed.) I never … Continue reading

Super Mario Bros. (Yes, the movie)

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The recent video game film, Wreck-It Ralph (2012), has been called by some “the best video game movie ever made.” On the surface, that sounds like quite the endorsement, but if you dig deeper, such a title doesn’t carry much weight when you look at the rest of the sample in question. In short, it … Continue reading

The Golden Child

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Eddie Murphy has made plenty of odd films. But, at least his odd film of the 1980s was odd in an interesting way, not because he wore a fat suit. The Golden Child (1986) is odd, because it blends action, comedy, fantasy, and elements of Chinese mysticism. Sound familiar? Yes, Big Trouble in Little China … Continue reading

Style Icons: Sofia Coppola

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Born into a major Hollywood family, a lot of Sofia Coppola’s career has been critiqued as a product of nepotism. After all, it can’t be too hard to break into the movie biz when Francis Ford Coppola is your daddy. I’m not one of her haters though. Beyond her elegant and heart-wrenching screenwriting, her directorial … Continue reading

Hard Target

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Hard Target (1993) will always go down as “John Woo’s first American film.” But, it should also go down as a hell of a crazy movie. Crazy in an entertaining way no less (at least to me). In Hard Target you have a movie with mid-prime Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen (who always excels at … Continue reading

Hudson Hawk (Yes, Hudson Hawk)

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The range of my taste in film covers a wide area. If my tastes were represented by a country’s land area, it would be Russia. Despite my fiancée’s insistence that I don’t like any film made after 2000 — mainly because I had not watched Superbad until last week — I enjoy many different films. … Continue reading

Reclaiming that innocent and hopeful place

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The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. — Christopher Nolan I saw The Dark Knight Rises approximately 24 hours after the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado. I didn’t think twice when I purchased … Continue reading