bul·ly: [bool-ee] Show IPA noun, plural bul·lies, verb, bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, adjective, interjection
A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
That is what a dictionary explanation of bully is. A bully is something we all know. It’s something that has been in pop culture since post war American and invention of TV. From Leave it to Beaver to the Gooch in Diff’rent Strokes to even Peter Parker’s school life before becoming Spider-man. It’s something that has been fed to us as part of growing up in the modern world and all you have to do is just stand up and make a show of force. Well that’s easier said than done. The film Bully by Lee Hirsch shows bullying for what it is today for most kids in America.
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Would you ever think of Will Ferrell, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal together in a movie? How about a Spanish language movie? A movie that is a telenovela like the stuff you’d see on Telemundo or Univision. Yeah that’s what they made and it’s called Casa De Mi Padre, a comedy that feels like Tarentino’s & Rodriguez’s Grindhouse but for comedy in terms of keeping to the format of filmmaking. The fact that they stay so close and never break character or deliberately wink at the audience is what makes this a nice achievement of doing an interesting and new comedy.
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There are probably going to be a lot of people going to the theater this weekend to see John Carter, who think this is a new thing. They’ll probably compare it to a multitude of movies they’ve seen over the years; all the lasers, aliens, and ships with heroes, quests, and princesses to save. The one thing they won’t know is that John Carter is one of the pulps – stories that inspired many of the science fiction and fantasy stories – that has graced the screen and page for close to century. For Andrew Stanton, in his first live action feature he might’ve done the job of making the next Star Wars with one of things that inspired Star Wars in the first place.
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So far over the past 10 years or so there have been a lot of Hollywood action movies that have had the US military are a major part or the focus. The soldiers are never shown in a poor light really but I guess after awhile someone had the idea â€œHmm, I wonder what it would be like if we a made a movie about soldiers with soldiers?â€ That’s what we have here in Act of Valor, a Hollywood action movie where all the SEALs are played by ACTUAL SEALS. This movie is almost like G.I. Joe the REAL real American hero.
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Over the last decade there have been a lot of stories told about the police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in film and television. A lot of times the story tellers are trying show an in depth or humanized side of the men and women that worked there in the 80s and 90s. Named after the police division Rampart is another one of these types of films. A character study of a hard to find redeemable police officer in the late 90s the film tries to show a fully realized portrait of middle age man as he starting to unravel as times change.
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For a long time Studio Ghibli has been making some of the best films in the world. Animated of not, before there was even a Pixar, Ghibli was crafting films that were far and above what people in states were used to in a animated feature. Fully realized worlds and lush beautiful hand drawn animation bring the world of The Borrowers to life in The Secret World of Arrietty. Like plenty of their earlier films they take themes and stories you might be used to and find a interesting and new way to tell their version of the story.
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The spy game is a tried and true genre for Hollywood. It seems like every month or so there is a new movie out about spies doing things and backstabbing and saving the western world or something. It’s also the cold part of the year where we see a genre movie starring Denzel Washington. The name of this one is â€‹Safe Houseâ€‹ and this time he’s joined by Ryan Reynolds in this story with snapping necks, car chases, and high powered gunfire all to get this one man who holds some important secrets.
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So you’re sitting there in theater waiting to watch a movie and you see the trailers right? You see this movie come up with Mr. Avatar Sam Worthington and he’s on ledge of the building and then the title comes up on screen, Man on a Ledge. Your first thought is-you’re kidding right? Like Really? Really. That’s the best you can come up with. Then you see the rest of the cast, oh Ed Burns I like that guy. Elizabeth Banks-yeah I like her too. Ed Harris, that’s my man right there. So now you’re thinking you want to see this movie huh. Well let’s just see about that.
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A World War II Flying Ace action movie. You know been there, done that before. You’ve seen it a young group of guys all from different places together in Europe fighting the good fight. Fighting Nazis. So why in the world is Red Tails so much of a big deal. Lucas on shows, articles in the New York Times all about how long and hard he’s been trying to make this movie. Well let’s just talk about the 80 pound Gorilla, it’s because it’s a film all about Black Soldiers. A big budget Hollywood spectacle all about and starring Black people. Now ain’t that something.
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Over the past couple of years or so Steven Soderbergh has given audiences small film experiments after one of his big time Hollywood releases. First was the non-actor differently released to multiple formats Bubble in 2006. Next was his porn star Sasha Grey starring picture The Girlfriend Experience. Now we have this one, Haywire, an action spy revenge movie starring MMA star Gina Carano. Like the other this is small genre picture of sorts on a smaller scale than what we’re used to seeing from him but all the while fun to watch.
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Some days you need to see a film with some tough dude action. Pulling off heists, shooting guns, car chases and getting back at people. You know a movie with some solid punches to the face in them, hard stuff. This movie Contraband has all that in spades. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and some other great actors all having a great time on screen.
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It’s interesting to see an actor make the transition from being in front of the camera into being behind the camera. The film In the Land of Blood and Honey is the first film by Angelina Jolie as director and screenwriter. This film is about the Bosnian war and it focuses on two people who begin in romance but once the war starts end up on different sides of the conflict. It’s a film that explores many of the important points of the conflict from both sides. It’s also of note that it’s in the language of Bosnia, so it’s a subtitled affair at the cinema.
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One of the norms of the twenty first century is over conscious very feeling parents of the upper middle class urban type. You those type of parents that you think are a little too PC for their own good. They treat every little thing with their kids like Def Con 4 and their whole world will end. The film Carnage really perfectly captures this type of world. The two couples portrayed in this film is the perfect storm of upper middle class urbanite parenting nightmare.
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So it’s 2012 and supposedly it’s the end of the world soon so it must be time to get all the bad stuff out of the gate now. The Devil Inside is one of the found footage films that have constantly invaded the world since The Blair Witch Project. It shares look similar to Paranormal Activity in terms of how it’s filmed. See this film really doesn’t have many good points so this review will be nothing but negatives all the way down. It can’t be helped. The Devil Inside is the worst way to start out the 2012 film season.
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Every year there is a film that is released that is supposed to be for one and all, that heartwarming story of triumph and goodness. That is what this film War Horse is or at least tries to be. Directed by Steven Spielberg this film is one of his two holiday 2011 releases. This sprawling epic adapted from the children’s book and stage play of the same name.
The film begins in England where a young man Albert, played Jeremy Irvine has a connection with a newborn horse. His father then buys this horse to save his farm and Jeremy trains this horse and becomes very much attached to Joey, what he named his horse. When World War I erupts his father sells his horse to military much to Albert’s dismay. Joey is then made into a cavalry horse and from that begins a journey through Europe during the entire war that spans time in both sides of the war.
To be completely frank this film is about the horse and not Albert. Albert actually disappears for a major part of the film. You’re supposed to root for and feel for Joey. Joey is shot in scene and frames like any heroic actor in any other big film. War Horse is made very well, the directing is excellent, score solid for the type of film this is and the acting very well done if not a saccharine. The one thing though is that War Horse feels like huge big budget production of a hallmark network movie special.
For some it might be hard to buy seeing all these scenes and situations built up around a horse. Joey makes a friend in the army who was once his rival, he loses said friend in a scene to the horrors of war and capture. Joey faces a tank, he befriends soldiers of both sides, and Joey hides out to evade the enemy. We have seen all these things before in other war movies but never with the hero as an animal, at least one that isn’t a Disney talking hero.
Spielberg does some great things with the war scenes. They are huge and sprawling shots of the trench warfare of the time. There is also some great work with use of chemical warfare of the time in one great scene. There are also some great scenes of a grandfather character portrayed by Niels Arestrup and a young actress Celine Buckens as his granddaughter Emilie that were really interesting and film could’ve used more of that to give it a bit more heart.
For the most part this film is very manipulative with how it’s trying to tug at your feelings. Most are going to call this one of the best films of the season or year but while this picture is executed superbly it’s not really earned its heart one bit. Many may enjoy it and if it looks like it’s for you then please do but for those that are iffy about a film about a horse you should probably stay clear.
Tin Tin is one of the most beloved comics and characters in the world. The adventures of this boy reporter traversing the globe in search of treasure and mystery has entertained generations. One of those many is Steven Spielberg in which such influence you can see in his past work with the character of Indian Jones. Spielberg has taken all he’s done to craft a very exciting and lush action adventure film for young and old alike.
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Over the past couple of years The Millennium trilogy have captivated audiences all over. When it was announced that an American Film version was being made many questioned the reasoning being that a Swedish version already existed. Even with the announcement that it is David Fincher helming the production didn’t stop the doubts from still being raised. Those fears should be quelled by the stunning piece of filmmaking.
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It seems as of late the entertainment world has fallen back in love with the spy genre. While it’s great to have such great films in the genre like Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, it’s also great to balance it out with some completely over the top save the world spy epic. Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is the movie for that. With Tom Cruise back as Ethan Hunt with a new cast of a new team members Mission Impossible brings a nice piece of summer blockbuster in during the cold winter.
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One of hardest things to do in film is to portray a person everyone knows or at least thinks they know. Marilyn Monroe is one of the people. She is an icon of Hollywood and a sex symbol but much of what we see of her on film is an image. Not much is really known of the person publically to humanize her other than that wink and smile. The BBC Films’ production My Week With Marilyn attempts to do that with Michelle Williams playing Marilyn.
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It’s been along time since The Muppets graced the big screen and entertained America with Fozzie bad jokes or Gonzo the Great’s weird stunts. The world has changed a lot too since The Muppets was a big deal in the world. Over the years they kind of faded into void, After the Disney bought them it seems like the Mouse didn’t know what to do with them in the kingdom. But now it seems that all they need was a fan with a little juice to go there and prove that world needed the Kermit and the Gang to play the music and light the lights.
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MADOFF ROBBED OF RICHESS BY THE PEOPLE HE STOLE FROM! That would be a welcomed fate back in 2008 when all the news of Bernie Madoff’s schemes came crumbling down and all those people saw their savings disappear. Something like that would have been paraded in the streets. Tower Heist is basically a take on that idea, what if some of those people stole some secret leftover stash from crook like Madoff wouldn’t that be FUNNY?
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Origin stories are not a new concept but as of late usually they are about some guy getting into some crazy outfit and fighting crime in a sprawling urban metropolis fighting for the common man. So it is at times nice to see a film that tries that with a less outrageous type of character. The Rum Diary is a film adapted from the novel of the same name. In some ways it feels like it’s an origin of the writer of the novel Hunter S. Thompson and in a way a prequel to the last film Johnny Depp play him in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
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Time is money. That’s a pretty old saying in business. Every minute wasted is someone’s money being wasted. In the reality at time it seems that the more money you have the more time you have. The times to go places, to have fun, to get up late or even not work for the day. The new sci-fi film, In Time take this saying literally in the world it sets up. This cool stylized sci-fi crime film sets up a future where classes rich and poor are separated by time, the ones who have and the ones who have not.
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Its that time of the year again. This is the time of the year where Adam Sandler has a new movie out. A time where it’s getting close to family time and I guess people need something to see where a whole bunch of people can enjoy themselves. Where fart jokes and pratfalls are king. Where you sit down and see funny face and hear funny voices. And with Jack and Jill we get Adam Sandler times two. Two times too many.
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20 years is a long time to be in a relationship with someone. It’s probably pretty hard to keep things the same level of intensity as it was when it first started. At times that could lead to people looking for something somewhere else either on purpose or accident. The film 3 by Tom Tykwer explores this in this drama set in Germany.
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Butch and Sundance. Famous outlaws of the American Frontier West of the later 19th century and early 20th. They also have a famous last stand, or did they? Blackthorn brings up the possibility of what if Butch Cassidy didn’t die and just lived out the rest of his days in Bolivia. So now old and weary what does this Blackthorn want and why should we care?
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What do you get when you take a down and out boxer, a son meeting his dad for the first time, some rock’em sock’em robots and a little Osamu Tezuka for flavor. You get Real Steel. A nice big screen boy movie full of toys and fighting and CG all over the place but at it’s heart is it’s a movie about a father connecting with the son he never knew and didn’t know he wanted to know.
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Bill Clinton. Howard Dean. John Edwards. Barack Obama. All these men, two successful at becoming POTUS and two not, somewhere did something to make their followers lose some faith in them. Be it infidelity, messing up one’s momentum or in President Obama’s case maybe not doing all the things the way everyone wants them has made at one time or another young people essential lose some hope, innocence and become more cynical. This is a major theme in the The Ides of March, the new film directed by George Clooney and starring himself and Ryan Gosling.
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What do you do when on a nice long weekend you and your friend go out to mountains to see your new vacation home? You plan to spend the time fixing and cleaning it all up. Then out of nowhere everything is turned upside down by the craziest people on earth. Sex crazed college kids are there to ruin your weekend by calling you a homicidal hillbilly. Let the hijinks ensue!
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Long ago in the far past that is 2001 there was a Short film series called The Hire and in this series Clive Owen played a character called the Driver. And the Driver would get hired and transport people in BMWs. The Driver was tough. Fast forward a year later and we meet The Transporter, played by Jason Statham. Now the character Statham played in this film is very much like Owen’s Driver but instead drives Audi cars. Now this led to great debate from action fans on who was better Owen or Statham? That brings us to Killer Elite, which it’s entire purpose it bring us this meeting on the big screen.
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