PL Travers is having none of Walt Disney's shit review 

SAVING MR. BANKS – Disneyvisionist History

SAVING MR BANKS is a difficult movie to peg, and your enjoyment of it will likely depend on A ) How much affection you have for the MARY POPPINS film, and B ) How much you mind dramatized and loose interpretations of historical events. Taken at face value, the film is a quite charming, though it edges on schmaltzy. Looking past that, I constantly wondered what Mrs. Travers would think of the Disneyfication of her life. The acting is phenomenal, Emma Thompson especially. Looking past that, I wondered how accurate…

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Katniss in Hunger Games Catching Fire review 

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – Katniss’ Story Starts to Heat Up

I’m glad THE HUNGER GAMES is so popular. I’m glad for two reasons. The first is that Katniss is a well realized, strong, female protagonist, and we can’t really get enough of those right now. Hollywood needs to get over its chauvinist assumption that woman aren’t bankable heroes. The second reason, is that at its core, the series seems to be a sobering allegory for the extent of debauchery and entitlement that modern America seems headed towards. We can’t get enough of these right now either, as the First World…

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Kristoff and Ana's meet cute in Frozen review 

FROZEN – Disney Finally “Gets” Love

The best thing I can say about FROZEN is that Disney finally did it right. They created a modern fairy tale with meaningful, nuanced, and well-defined values that the plot never deviates from. The story has very clearly defined goals, and by the end, the lessons learned are also earned. (This differentiates the film from its recent peer, BRAVE, which had its heart in the right place, but did not earn its conclusion.) FROZEN’s greatest weakness (or rather, challenge) is that it starts a bit slow. The conflicts are personal,…

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Smaug greedily eyeing a Hobbit snack review 

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG – A Charming Adventure is Buried in Another Three Hours of Slog

However much you liked the first Hobbit film, you will probably like THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG a little bit more. If the first movie did it, the second does it more, and with a bit more payoff. Unfortunately, if the first movie did something poorly, it did more of that too. Among the film positive qualities: generally excellent acting, phenomenal cinematography, fun fight choreography, Smaug’s design and animation, and realizing that Legolas is basically the elven equivalent of a racist redneck jerk. Sadly as THE HOBBIT tries to out-epic LORD…

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Ender+and+Colonel+Graff+checking+out+the+game+room review 

ENDER’S GAME – Ender May Have to Settle for a Participation Award

ENDER’S GAME, I am happy to say, isn’t as mediocre as its schmaltzy, action packed trailers have suggested. In fact, it’s a pretty solid film, though it suffers the pacing issues of many novels-to-film. At its heart, it’s a meaningful story of a boy trying to to live up to his potential, but the film has less time than I’d like to explore what’s going on in Ender’s head. The best thing I can say for the film is they made some inspired choices in the actors they picked, most…

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Thor and Loki on The Dark World review 

THOR: THE DARK WORLD – Return of Meow-Meow

I can’t imagine anybody being disappointed with THOR: THE DARK WORLD… That is, unless they were expecting something other than the continuing narrative of Marvel’s version of the God of Thunder. I think the thing that impressed me most about the film, (other than the fact that it handily passed the Bechdel test), was that it didn’t strain to prove itself worthy. As a long time fan, it’s nice to see Marvel studios growing more confident in themselves. With each film they seem to further perfect the art of making…

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Sandra Bullock in Gravity review 

GRAVITY – A Visceral Survival Thriller Without Peer

You need to see GRAVITY. You need to see it in a theater (preferably IMAX). You need to see it in 3D. It matters little who you are, or what you are looking for in a film, GRAVITY will blow you away. It passes beauty to the point of being awe-inspiring. It passes suspense to the point of being a religious experience. It also may be the best performance of Sandra Bullock’s career. The film has flaws, but to bring them up in a mini-review would be to nitpick. When…

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The+dumbfounded+cast+of+World's+End review 

THE WORLD’S END – Throw a Few Back With The Master of Comedic Direction

Allow me to gush, for a moment, about my favorite director, the incredible Edgar Wright, because with THE WORLD’S END he has knocked it out of the park yet again. Each of Wright’s films are exceptional balance of humor, drama, and balls-to-the-wall-action, but what I appreciate most about him, is how he continually refines his style and challenges himself as an artist. THE WORLD’S END is not as riotous or as parodiferic (*TM) as SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, or SCOTT PILGRIM, but it does mark a dramatic shift…

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Smurfette+gets+naughty+with+Gargamel review 

THE SMURFS 2 – Surprisingly Watchable Family Entertainment

So… THE SMURFS 2. Finally saw it put together after working on it for months, and it turns out… it’s less cringeworthy than I’d imagined! The film is obviously written for young children, but the majority of the silly humor was actually fairly amusing. (Hank Azaria tears it up as Gargamel). Aside from the kitschy pop music, the film even more surprisingly comes across as legitimately heartfelt. In a clever exploration of Smurf lore, the story revolves around the (sometimes) unrequited love of step-parents, and then delves rather meaningfully into…

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A+Pacific+Rim+Jaeger+pulls+back+for+a+punch review 

PACIFIC RIM – “Elbow Rocket Engaged”

Pacific Rim is Hella Stupid Fun! It would be easy to nitpick the film to death, to dock it for the cliches, the silly characters, and their even sillier deliveries… but when it all comes right down to it the movie is just massively entertaining. Guillermo Del Toro has crafted the ultimate Saturday morning cartoon. Robots and Monsters beat the ever loving crap out of each other, and they do it in style. If this sounds amusing to you, you owe it to yourself to check the film out… in…

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