Movie Review: The Magnificent 7

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Here we go again. Another lazily rehashed piece of American cinema, polished with a fresh coat of hi-res CGI. With a cast that tries to mimic the original, instead of actually updating the product for a modern audience; we have another reason to “Netflix and chill” instead of fighting traffic, exorbitant ticket prices, bland concessions, glowing phones, loud popcorn munchers and mouth breathers, just to see something that was better (in this case) 56 years ago. The story of The Magnificent Seven (1960) was conventional back then. The film, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954); arguably the most retold story in cinema, has inspired countless adaptations. From Suicide Squad (2016) to The Wild Bunch (1966), the idea of hiring/forcing a band of misfits to protect/defend a town/village from an evil businessman/gang is old business. With classic Westerns sliding further away from the mainstream conscientiousness, the Magnificent Seven remake seems doomed to be future background noise when it premiers on cable TV next year. The Magnificent Seven however, makes a simple but effective changes to the story; effectively making the film feel like an update, and not a carbon copy remake. Replicating the sights and sounds of a film is loads easier than recreating the emotional content felt by my parent’s generation, yet director Antoine Fuqua manages the improbable.  Continue reading “Movie Review: The Magnificent 7”

Movie Review – Jurassic World

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Twenty-two years after the debacle on Isla Nublar, Jurassic World is open for business. Dr John Hammond’s vision has come to life and business is booming. Like any other business, especially a theme park; Jurassic World must reinvent itself to stay relevant. The scientific discovery of genetically engineered dinosaurs from fossilized mosquitoes is passe and park visitors demand more. At least, that is what current fiscal projections predict. Unwilling to let profits slide, park owner and billionaire Simon Masrani (Iffran Khan) has his geneticists cook up a hybrid dino that’s bigger, faster and stronger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Indominus Rex, as it’s known, will surely bring home the bacon. Until its imminent escape, that is. 

Meanwhile, on another part of the island, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is an experienced Velociraptor trainer who is instructed by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to inspect the cage for the Indominus. The cage was supposed to hold the Indominus and was supposed to be impossible to escape. Oops. Right on cue the Indominus escapes. Head of park security, Hoskins (Vincent D’onofrio) wants to use Owen’s trained raptors to hunt the I-Rex. If successful, iN*Gen, Hoskins’ employer could find use for raptors on the battlefield. Claire’s nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) are visiting the park today (of course) and are caught in the middle of it all when the I-Rex breaks loose. 

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Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians AssembeledI’m going to start this review with a note of caution. I want to make things very clear from the beginning that, this will not be a normal review.You won’t find any spoilers in this space. Nor will you find any discussion of the plot at all. This is because of the notion that you follow one of two schools of thought about this film. You are reading this review to either confirm your suspicions of how awesome the movie really is; or, you’re on the fence about seeing a movie that stars a raccoon and an emotional tree. I found myself in the latter camp and wasn’t impressed by the 17 minute IMAX 3D sneak peek, shown last week. I knew little about the Guardians going in and had little faith in James Gunn, whose credits include Slither (2006) and a little movie called Super (2008). 

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Movies Review – The Lego Movie

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The Lego Movie isn’t the story of Ole Kirk Christiansen; a Danish toymaker whose plain plastic building bricks were first made of wood. As interesting as that story is, The Lego movie is another mis-marketed, 3D, CGI-fest that should’ve been a movie that is definitive of a generation.  The premise is a flimsy as a Lego city mat causing the film to drag on a bit. However, one shouldn’t let a strong script or developed plot dissuade you from seeing this yourself. The level of detail is astounding and dare I say, physically unbelievable; and that’s just in the Warner Brothers’ logo.

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MOVIE REVIEW – Moneyball

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When you were in high school and were picking fellow kids for sports teams how did you pick?  Be truthful now…  I’m sure a lot of you out there picked your friends, the popular kids, the ones that always played sports.  But if you think about it really hard, you likely weren’t picking primarily on athletic ability.  Sure, popular people can be good in sports, but people that don’t necessarily fit the image of perfection, be it in popularity or athletic perfection can be really good players too.

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