Archive for February, 2010

Oscars 2010: Best Foreign Language Film

We often forget that the Oscars are primarily a celebration of American cinema and American opinions about other country’s cinema. Thus, we have the “Best Foreign Language Film of the Year” category. With 10 Best Picture nominees, we might not be long for a debate about whether Foreign films should count. For example, you can’t […]

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Oscars 2010: Best Animated Feature

What a year for animation. I mentioned it back when I did my 2009 Year in Review but I can’t state it enough. With the advances in CGI and some of the brightest minds in filmmaking (namely the folks at Pixar and one could argue James Cameron), the animated storytelling medium is rivaling its live […]

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Review: An Education

It’s easy to forget that “An Education” takes place nearly a half century ago. The coming-of- age of a 16-year-old girl is one thing, but in the context of the 1960s, it’s a whole other ordeal. The way women’s roles have changed in society over the years is staggering and “An Education” is a reminder […]

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Review: Burma VJ

I saw this back at Columbia, Missouri’s True/False film festival in February 2009. Now it’s Oscar-nominated. I wrote up a short review at the time. The Western world concerns itself with issues like that of bias in the media. In Burma, journalism is illegal. The impact of “Burma VJ” is pretty straightforward. These VJs, living […]

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Oscars 2010: Documentary Features and Shorts

A lot of people who love movies leave out one genre in particular: documentaries. I always try to include the most compelling documentaries of each year into my steady diet of movie-watching. I usually end up watching about two every three months or so. As a journalist and cinephile, I’m obligated to like documentaries. I […]

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Weekend Preview (2.26.10)

Wow, already we enter the last weekend of the winter period for movies. Don’t worry, I’m fully aware winter weather isn’t going anywhere, sadly enough, but with March around the corner some slightly more interesting films are just weeks away. For now, however, we get a buddy cop comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan […]

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Review: The Wolfman

The goals of today’s reboots have been to update the originals with the special effects of the modern era and add complexity and depth to cinema’s most memorable characters. This is only half true for Universal’s long-delayed “The Wolfman” remake. The full-moon transformations of man to werewolf are enhanced with top-notch gruesome CGI, but the […]

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Oscars 2010: Animated and Live Action Short Films

Short films are on the rise. There have always been short films and most feature filmmakers got their start by making short films since they’re easy on the pockets if you’re an amateur, but in our YouTube video society, there’s an interest in short films. You can find virtually anyone’s short film on the Internet […]

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Oscars 2010: Original and Adapted Screenplays

When a film does well, it’s usually the director that gets all the credit. There are many cases where the director and writer are one in the same, but the director is the position of prestige. In a director-centric movie world, few people walk out of the theater and say “wow, that was a killer […]

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Review: Shutter Island

Many people questioned acclaimed director Martin Scorsese choosing to helm a pure genre film in the psychological thriller “Shutter Island,” but the marriage of one of the masters of crime drama and a Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone”) novel is as close to an ideal match as it sounds. Although Scorsese is capable […]

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Weekend Recap: Box office shutters and shudders

Anticipation is a powerful tool. Released six months after it was scheduled and millions of TV spots and trailers later, Shutter Island finally opened this weekend and to the tune of an impressive $41 million. Despite an R rating and opening in fewer theaters than most of last week’s big films, it defied my box […]

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“The Apartment” (1960) – 4/5 Stars

Acclaimed writer/director Billy Wilder strikes again with another humorous and romantic comedy in “The Apartment.” But more important than another triangular love story from the “Some Like It Hot” creator is the actor he brought along with him: Jack Lemmon. Though “Hot” was his breaking out party, “The Apartment” really boasts the range of the […]

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“Braveheart” (1995) – 4/5 Stars

When you watch “Braveheart” you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen it before. That’s because “Braveheart” did it first. James Horner’s thematic bagpipe music that could make a grown man cry is nearly replicated in his score for “Titanic” (although “Titanic” won him the Oscar). The highly skilled love and revenge-fueled hero is all […]

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Weekend Preview (2.19.10)

Last weekend’s miraculous performance at the box office is a tough act to follow, even if you’re Martin Scorsese. With a combo of Valentine’s and President’s Day in one weekend, records were simply destroyed. Only one film vies to compete with those films in week two and that’s the long-awaited Shutter Island, a period thriller […]

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Oscars 2010: The Music: Original Score and Song

There’s probably some great quote about music in film, but I’m too lazy to Google it. Simply put, even the silent movie era films were accompanied by music. That tells you how essential a score is to a film. Silence is bad and awkward in a film. That’s why every movie has a score, soundtrack […]

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