The Little Prince - The Little Girl, Fox, and the Aviator featured review 

THE LITTLE PRINCE – A Masterpiece Lost to the Stars

For better and for worse, The Little Prince does a lot with very little. The film takes a short, surreal children’s tale and frames it within an all new story in the “real world” meant to contextualize the story’s importance. Despite the inherent arrogance of deciding a worldwide bestseller requires contextualization, the approach is actually largely effective… until it isn’t. Perhaps 50% of the film feels like an unquestionable animated masterpiece – gorgeous, thought provoking, and touching in ways that rival the best Pixar has to offer. Another 25% of…

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Charlie Cox as Daredevil and Jon Bernthal as The Punisher review 

DAREDEVIL (Season 2) – Punishingly Entertaining

In Season 2 of the standout Netflix/Marvel superhero drama, Daredevil, both the show and its titular hero begin to get comfortable with themselves, for better and for worse. Matt Murdock is tougher, more cocky, and is noticeably beginning to actually enjoy his violent escapades. Gone is the doubt and self reflection that plagued him in Season 1, which simultaneously makes him a more powerful hero and an insufferable know-it-all. What he’s gained in street cred, he’s lost in his ability to connect to others. Matt’s misguided descent in the world of his alter-ego is a crucial and purposeful part of his arc this season, but what’s interesting is that these same qualities extend to the show as a whole.

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Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot review 

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT – The Hottest Piece of Ass in the Middle East

Based on the autobiography of war correspondent Kim Barker, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT’s struggles are similar to those of every movie that’s “based on a true story.” It can’t quite find its theme and dramatic arc, because real life doesn’t have themes or dramatic arcs. In real life, stuff just happens, and we make sense of it as we go. It isn’t nearly as satisfying or succinct, but if WTF’s plot is merely a day-in-the-life, at least its subject is the constantly amusing and engaged Tina Fey as a fictionalized Kim “Baker.”

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Casey Affleck in The Finest Hours review 

THE FINEST HOURS – Damp Men Doing Brave Things

THE FINEST HOURS is as middling as films come, consistently engaging, but never quite hitting the thrilling heights that it could have with a tighter pace and a shorter running time. The film has the same struggle as many other dramas that have been “Based on a True Story.” Real life, even in phenomenal circumstances such as these, rarely plays out in a typical 3-act structure, with action rising into a climax, immediately followed by a satisfying conclusion. The upside, of course, is that a weight and legitimacy is added to the proceedings that you don’t get from pure fiction. THE FINEST HOURS benefits from this, but is hampered by a soggy third act, in which the tension deflates as slowly as the second act climax was built up. Action become repetitive, and then the film literally moves into slow motion as even the protagonists just seem tired and done with it all. This is meant to be played as a final beat of terror. What if our heroes are just too cold and tired to finish their journey to safety? But instead, it just leaves the audience feeling as cold and exhausted as the characters.

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Interviewing Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina review 

EX MACHINA – Digital Humanity

First things first. You need to see EX MACHINA! It’s one of those thrillers that can’t easily be summed up in a trailer, (and its trailers will, in fact, spoil the movie for you). A description of the plot may also seem shrug-worthy, though the simplest synopsis is that the Turing Test is performed. (*a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior or indistinguishable from, that of a human.) The film makes the absolute most of its premise, and ultimately asks the most important question a story can, “What…

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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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Daniel+Day-Lewis+as+Abraham+Lincoln review 

LINCOLN – What it Takes to Become a Great Man

I could nitpick Spielberg’s LINCOLN for maybe two scenes in the film that I thought were a tad on the clunky side. Besides that, I can find absolutely nothing to criticize it for. The acting is phenomenal. The dialogue, though difficult to decipher at times is magnificently written. The production value, cinematography and direction were all absolute top notch, and the story is something that every American needs to understand. The film is kind of like the true historical biopic version of THE DARK KNIGHT, where slavery is the Joker…

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Tiger+roars+in+the+boat+in+Life+of+Pi review 

LIFE OF PI – Visual Splendor and The Nature of Truth Understanding

LIFE OF PI will definitely be in the running for the best picture Oscar. It’s not a perfect film, but its theme is significant enough that I think everyone needs to see it. It discusses the nature and significance of religion, and more broadly faith, and even more broadly the effect that stories have on our perception of our lives. The story doesn’t offer up concrete answers, but it asks all the right questions. The CG creatures aren’t always flawlessly realistic, but they don’t need to be. They have all…

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Keira+Knightley+is+appropriately+sullen review 

ANNA KARENINA – A Bummer of a Period Piece

ANNA KARENINA is full of fantastic dialogue and performances, and the production design is sure to make lovers of period pieces swoon. The movie also has as much right to be classified as a “drama” than probably anything I’ve ever witnessed. With the exception of some awkward transitions, the script is masterfully written. However, I do take issue with the empty feeling I had by the story’s fatalistic conclusion. The film was overdirected by Joe Wright. It’s an unusual problem to have, but the camera angles and especially transitions are…

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Argo script reading review 

ARGO – Hollywood Saves The Day

ARGO may have missed a few opportunities with its source material, and a bit of the action may be fictional, but the film does a dang good job of telling a little-known story that America needs to be reminded of. While the Iranian public is the terrifying antagonist for the majority of the film, a prologue ensures that the audience knows from the get-go that they have good reason to be. The movie is about American individuals trying to clean up the trash of what America as a whole did…

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