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  • Tel Aviv on Fire

    Tel Aviv on Fire

    ★★★½

    History, politics, and cultural differences funneled through the lens of a soap-opera drama which becomes the cute and quirky vehicle to follow Kais Nashif, an aimless shlub who uses the dialog of the characters to discover his true self.

    TEL AVIV ON FIRE, an international film festival award winner, introduced me to director Sameh Zoabi. While the cast brings depth to this story, I was completely involved with Zoabi's compassion and delicacy with what could have been a very tense…

  • 127 Hours

    127 Hours

    ★★★★

    Danny Boyle's visual style and Simon Beaufoy's writing connect beautifully with the emotional biography of canyoneer Aron Ralston in 127 HOURS. Planted by James Franco as Ralston, this fast-past, energized story cements Boyle's authenticity behind the camera infusing jarring and unforgettable sounds, a voyage through music, and a relationship of one reflecting, enduring, and searching for a will to survive.

    Those unfamiliar with this story should preface the film with a reading of Ralston's BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD…

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  • 1900

    1900

    ★★★½

    When beginning this 317-minute, 1976, Bernardo Bertolucci directed epic, you must realize that this is a 317-minute 1976 Bernardo Bertolucci directed epic. The scope and size of Bertolucci's is powerful. The bold choice of colors, the intensity of each scene, the use of both sex and violence to weave his tightly woven story together is breathtaking. But, this isn't the film for everyone. Joseph and I have talked about those "cinematic vegetables" that may not be enjoyable upon first bite,…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    ★★★★

    Not quite a superhero film, though it bears the Marvel stamp. More of a space-pirate, band-of-losers, FOOTLOOSE-referencing, physical media respecting, for-the-love-of-all-that-is-1980s, man-did-Lee-Pace beef-up, James-Gunn-keeps-it-in-the-family, perfect summer blockbuster involving a talking raccoon and an empathetic tree. Gunn's ability to handle such a big movie was not without some jagged edges (misuse of secondary characters with accents, flat villains, Howard looked horrible!), but this is nearly 100% stronger than any other Marvel film to-date. As someone worried about the cineplex of the…