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  • Fifty Shades of Grey 2015

    ★★ Watched 12 Feb, 2015

    Jamie Dornan excels at playing the eponymous Mr. Grey in that he captures the darkness lurking below the surface. The way Dornan stalks the set, like a panther watching its prey, is completely riveting. Even when forced to do and say ridiculous things ("laters baby" and crawling on the bed eating toast), he retains his composure and intensity in such a way that you can see that he is almost totally committed to portraying this deeply complicated individual. Emphasis on…

  • Scorpio Rising 1964

    ★★★★ Rewatched 12 Feb, 2015

    Scorpio Rising is an intoxicating barrage of images of sex and death. James Dean's image, a sex icon and a tragic symbol of death, is repeated as well as other idols (Jesus/love and Hitler/death). The other, and much more focused on, image of sexuality and mortality is the gay bikers. Men of such overt sexuality committed to two lifestyles that put one closer to death. It isn't easy to live as a homosexual man in 1964 and the number of…

  • The Cell 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Jan, 2015 1

    Aside from experimental and surrealist films, The Cell is one of the most effective films I have seen to depict dreams and nightmares. While Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn star, the real highlights of the film are Vincent D'onofrio and, like Tarsem Singh's The Fall, the incredible visuals. From the sets to the costumes, The Cell is near perfect and with D'onofrio as the canvas to which Singh paints there couldn't really be anything wrong. The production is totally both…

  • Beauty and the Beast 2014

    ★½ Watched 09 Jan, 2015

    Fails to capture the magic of the story and adds a needless and ineffective sense of peril where it should be simply a love for the fantastic. Instead of using special effects to help create the enchanting atmosphere, it does the opposite. It uses the supernatural elements of the story as an excuse for an oversaturation of CGI characters and backdrops that don't really add anything tonally. At least this iteration of Beauty and the Beast is still creative and…

  • Macross Plus 1994

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Dec, 2014

    Macross Plus is either totally technophobic or a statement on the destructive power of the unchecked id. Either way, Macross Plus goes from a slow first act into an incredible second and third with an incredibly heavy finale. Its beautifully animated at times and highly emotional at others all the while maintaining a highly engaging sci-fi world with a lot to dream on.

  • Jurassic Park 1993

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 27 Dec, 2014

    Dressed in all black, Doctor Ian Malcolm is a chaos theorist. Loud and freewheeling.
    Dressed in all white, John Hammond is all about controlling nature. A quiet, but stern man.
    Between the two of them is Dr. Alan Grant; a man who's job is inching towards extinction via technology (the radar finding the bones and, explicitly said in the film, the eponymous Jurassic Park) who's next step in his "evolution" is to be a father. He detests this change and…

  • The Interview 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Dec, 2014

    Whenever I brought up the controversy surrounding The Interview my friends would usually put on a whiny voice and say something to the effect of "Ooo! I wanna see the James Franco movie because Kim Jung-Un doesn't want me to" and then continue on how Sony is just banking off of the controversy.

    While that may be true, it is definitely true that I wanted to see The Interview because Kim Jung-Un didn't want me to. Well, that and because…

  • Basic Instinct 1992

    ★★★ Rewatched 20 Dec, 2014

    "Tell me Nicky, were you frightened last night?"
    "That's the point wasn't it? That's what made it so good."

    Basic Instinct plays totally different than the typical noir. It is its differences that make it so remarkable and so much more memorable. Consider the first appearance of Roxy; she descends the staircase like so many starring femme fatales, but she's just a red herring. She's even mistaken for the real suspect, Catherine Tramell. Catherine Tramell is first shown, not in…

  • The Guest 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Dec, 2014 2

    Captain America meets Halloween under the brisk neon supervision of the director of You're Next. The Guest is thrilling as it is stylish. Its retro stylings help spice up the the already exciting action sequences as well as the almost trite notion of the surrogate brother/son that comes and makes everyone's lives better. That, and the great mid-film twist.

    Where You're Next focused on an upper-class home being intruded upon, The Guest has an outsider invade a middle-lower class community.…

  • Interstellar 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Dec, 2014

    What makes us human is what makes us survive. They don't send robots because robots can't improvise. They can't make decisions based on emotions like fear, desperation, hope, and, strangely enough for a Christopher Nolan movie, love.

    Interstellar stresses the importance of love in a way that is becoming more common in film. It's not just the romantic love that's important, but also the familial. It's not just love that's important, it's all those emotions that set us apart from…

  • Carrie 2013

    ★★ Watched 29 Nov, 2014

    A much less subtle interpretation of Stephen King's text where everything comes off as exaggerated and noisy. While it may not be as effective as Brian DePalma's masterpiece (it is hard not to make the comparison), Kimberly Peirce's Carrie still retains some of the core values and musters impressive ends to Carrie's aggressors. While the CG telekinetic effects are unremarkable, Carrie's vengeance is wholly satisfying. Even so, the comically unnuanced cast makes it hard not to laugh, but not enough for it to be appreciated ironically.

  • The Wind Rises 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Nov, 2014

    Entirely wonderful in the purest sense of the word. The joy of love, creativity, and dreams are all played out in a raw and spectacular fashion by none other than the king of love, creativity, and dreams: Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is passionate about not only the grand moments of Jiro Horikoshi's life, but also of the smaller moments. A brief kiss. A short expression of gratitude. A series of numbers being written on the page. All these brief…