Transcendence: Movie Review

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TRANSCENDENCE
In the tradition of many flawed but fascinating science fiction films, Transcendence tries to be about ideas, but also has to build a story around them. In that way it's imperfect, but if you're in the mood there's a lot of great ideas to chew on, and some good, creepy portrayals of future tech. Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall star in the film, and if you like the cinema...

Oculus: Movie Review

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Oculus is Blumhouse's latest horror flick to hit the screens and introduces a haunted mirror as the next thing to be scared of after Paranormal Activity's Toby and Insidious' The Further. Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites play a pair of siblings who are on a quest to stop that terror.

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films': Tokyo Story (1953)

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Tokyo Story Jaime April 2014
Despite the locality that its title may imply, Tokyo Story is a universal story about parents growing older and facing loneliness.  There is an increasing gap between them and their children.  Despite the love among these family members, legendary Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu explores this quiet tragedy with great sympathy.  He is a filmmaker so simple in his...

Draft Day: Movie Review

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DRAFT DAY
Ivan Reitman's Draft Day may look like a sports films, but it's more of a workplace comedy as Kevin Costner deals with the most stressful day of the year as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who -- with his job on the line -- starts the day by making a trade for the number one pick of the draft. Though it takes a while to get going, once the film gets up to...

Only Lovers Left Alive: Movie Review

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Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive, the latest film from Jim Jarmusch, offers the same sort of zone out pleasures of his early films, though the jokes are often more fragmentary. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star in this story of vampires named Adam and Eve, who exist in the night but battle little of the same old "immortality is a drag" posturing of previous vampire films....

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films': Rio Bravo (1959)

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Rio Bravo Jaime April 2014
There is so much to praise about Rio Bravo, but let's begin with the story.  Written in part by Leigh Brackett, here we have a rare female screenwriter whose credits include The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and none other than The Empire Strikes Back.  She began her career writing science...

Dom Hemingway: Movie Review

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Jude Law is a changed man in Dom Hemingway. The British actor best known for his good looks and intense dramas, is trying his hand at comedy. As the film's title character, he's an ex-con desperately trying to make up for lost time with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke). Dom Hemingway has the makings of a solid redemption story, but it sells itself...

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films': Yojimbo (1961)

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Yojimbo Jaime March 3 2014
A few weeks ago I reviewed Kurusawa's Red BeardYojimbo, like Red Beard, is a strong film on a technical level.  But even perfect technical execution isn't always enough.  Here, Kurosawa doesn't falter into heavy moralizing as he does in other works, but he nevertheless falls short of providing a more relatable...

Noah: Movie Review

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Darren Aronofsky's Noah is finally opening in theaters. The film's based on one of the most popular and vital figures in the Bible. Aronofsky attempts to show the character as a flawed man struggling with his calling. It's a commendable effort, but somewhere along the line, Noah goes from unlikely hero to possible villain. The...

Divergent: Movie Review

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Neil Burger's Divergent is the latest young adult blockbuster to hit theaters. Shailene Woodley, who, up until Divergent, had only appeared in an ABC Family TV show and a few indie films, carries the first installment with humility and wit. Her heroine, Tris, is brave, selfless and beautiful, which are all things to admire in a young female protagonist. Woodley is joined by a...

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films': Juliet of the Spirits (1965)

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Juliet of the Spirits Jaime March 2014
The imagery alone is hypnotizing at times, and you get the sense that these films might still be enjoyable even without sound.  Juliet of the Spirits is a highly expressive movie, one that puts color and strong emotional tones to great use.  But that's about as much praise as I can give.

Cheap Thrills: Movie Review

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E.L. Katz's black comedy thriller Cheap Thrills is finally hitting theaters this week. Starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner and Sara Paxton, the film follows two high school buddies in serious need of cash, who magically run into a rich couple looking to have some fun. Cheap Thrills is more than just a bloody thriller, it's a film with a message....

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Movie Review

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One of the things that's been great about "Phase Two" of Marvel's Movie plans is that we're now safely out of origin stories. No longer do these movies focus on how a superhero became a superhero (or how a team became a team), now they get to play, and it's brought new life into a genre that could have easily run out of fashion. Captain America: The Winter Soldier...

Muppets Most Wanted: Movie Review

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After their somewhat triumphant return in 2011's The Muppets, the titular gang is back for the sequel. And if the first new film was a little too interested in nostalgically making the audience like the characters again, the new film lets them have an adventure. And it's mostly fun, if a little lumpy and maybe a smidge too long.

Bad Words: Movie Review

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Perennial nice guy Jason Bateman gets nasty in his directorial debut, Bad Words. He revels in bad behavior and worse language as an angry adult making trouble at a televised kids' spelling bee. The Players: Director: Jason Bateman Writer: Andrew Dodge Cast: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn,...

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films': Senso (1954)

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Senso Jaime March 2014
Senso is set during the 19th century at a time when Italy was fighting against the intervention of Austrian forces in places like Venice As I had mentioned in my review of Italian director Luchino Visconti's The Leopard, for the restoration of this technicolor gem, we have Martin...

Teenage: Movie Review

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The tale of the teenager began way before Marlon Brando or James Dean graced the silver screen. Matt Wolf's documentary Teenage, based on Jon Savage's book, tells the poetic and tumultuous story of the invention of the teenager circa 1975. There's rare archival footage of Jitterbugs, Boy Scouts,...

Need for Speed: Movie Review

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Fast cars, high speed chases and revenge make Need For Speed this week's popcorn flick. Starring Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper, this video game adaptation neither contributes nor takes away from the source material. The Players: Director: Scott Waugh Writers: George Gatins Starring:...

Reviewing Ebert's 'Greatest Films": Playtime (1967)

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Playtime Jaime March 2014
If viewed as a visual essay on modernity, Playtime ranks among the best of all film projects with similar ambitions.  Despite using subtle and sporadic dialogue, director Jacques Tati's film can be considered one of the best silent comedies ever made.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Movie Review

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Wes Anderson has a magical ability to create vibrant and eccentric worlds for his characters to reside in, something readily apparent in The Grand Budapest Hotel. The lighthearted, thrilling adventure is a welcome surprise, and a fantastic film that will lure you into this amusing tale.