Movie Review – The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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Before the events of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), we learn of Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the misunderstood evil sorceress who will become queen and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya had an affair with the Duke of Blackwood and is now with child. Unfortunately, the Duke committed filicide, sending Freya into a rage, unleashing her cryokinesis. The two sisters separated as Freya turned toward the Northern Lands and began her icy rule. Determined to rid the world of love; convinced that it is a weakness, kidnaps children to raise them as soldiers called The Huntsmen. Two particularly talented warriors are Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain). The secret couple, secretly wed and live relatively harmoniously, that is, until their discovered by Freya. There are only two laws in Freya’s Queendom: Love is forbidden, and Freya demands absolute loyalty. The penalty for breaking either law is death (of course). Both Eric and Sara resist, but Sara is apparently killed in the fight forcing Eric to flee, starting his story in Snow White and the Huntsman. As that story ended happily ever after, the peace didn’t last long. The infamous Magic Mirror has been stolen and in the wrong hands, its power could be used to rule the world. The only one trustworthy enough to retrieve the Mirror and place in a safe place, hiding it from all is (conveniently) our Huntsman and some friends made along the way.

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Movie Review – The Martian

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All is well on the mission of the Ares 3. The manned mission to Mars, is on time and on schedule; nearing the end of their trip to the red planet. After a disastrous windstorm threatens the safety of the crew, the order is given to abort mission and return to the Hermes spacecraft, then Earth. During the evacuation Botanist and mechanical engineer Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is struck by flying debris and separated from the crew. During the height of the storm, Captain Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) presumes that Watney perished in the storm and evacuated the planet safely.  Continue reading “Movie Review – The Martian”

MOVIE REVIEW: Mama

mama08If you think it’s tough being a single parent, try doing it after you’ve been dead for over a hundred years. A CGI rendered, shape-shifting apparition is the matriarchal menace in this nonsensical horror tale about two feral little girls who are brought back to civilization after mysteriously surviving for several years in the woods of southern Virginia. Needless to say, they have trouble adapting to society, due in part to a jealous ghost that is not only responsible for their relative well being, but is also part of their adoption package. Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Mama”

MOVIE REVIEW – Zero Dark Thirty

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Leave your opinions of torture at the door, this is a film where they’re going to be used.  Let’s face it.  Waterboarding was used.  To great extent during many years.  And too much extent.  And this is a film that does not flinch when it comes to showing it used in some gritty scenes.  The key goal, the search for Osama Bin Laden.  The cost of getting there…there is no cost.

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MOVIE REVIEW – Zero Dark Thirty

From the moment it opens to its climatic end; Zero Dark Thirty and it’s director Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker & The Hurt Locker) puts you through the ringer emotionally. Unfortunately for Bigelow, this film has been subjected to extra scrutiny. It’s unflinchingly realistic depictions of waterboarding, less than humane conditions at unnamed CIA “Black Sites” and suicide bombings is where Bigelow excels. However, it draws its greatest criticisms from these scenes. So much criticism that, the Intelligence Committee will investigate Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers’ CIA access.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty

92976_galZero Dark Thirty is nothing if it isn’t meticulously put together, and that seems like enough to qualify this smart, painstaking film for my top three of 2012, if not the last five years, particularly because of  how scrupulously it treats such a delicate topic without catering to any obvious agendas. Though Oscar buzz has been surrounding this thing almost since its inception (which was initially slated to be a different story, since writing commenced before Osama bin Laden was killed), it breaks what might be considered the traditional mold for awards season, a stoic beast amongst a barrage of emotion-rich fare. That said, the film is a cinematic masterpiece that will probably get shortchanged in some category by the Academy (seeing as Kathryn Bigelow claimed hers for The Hurt Locker four years ago, typical politics have inevitably kicked in. She wasn’t even nominated this year for what is superior to her previous work). Thankfully, politics is something this film lacks almost entirely; it is primarily objective, purposefully unsensational – with perhaps the exception of its final 30 minutes – and unapologetic in almost every facet of the story. Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty”

MOVIE REVIEW: Coriolanus

‘A place calling itself Rome’ looks a lot more like war-torn Serbia in Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes’ version of the politically charged Shakespeare tragedy. Not as much an update of the play as an application of the script to a more relatable era (with a treatment by Gladiator and Hugo screenwriter John Logan), the film replaces the archaic battle implements of ancient Rome with the automatic weapons and Kevlar of modern warfare. Initially bearing a visual resemblance to something like Green Zone, with which it shares cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker), Coriolanus is a film altogether different in its mixture of elements. But the politics and language, for all intents and purposes, remain the same. Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Coriolanus”

The Help Comes Home For The Holidays

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DreamWorks Studios has announced the DVD and Blu-ray release for their hit film The Help on December 6, 2011.  Want to know all of the details?

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