Category: "Reviews (Archive)"

Children of Men Review

Futuristic Dystopias are exciting to imagine, and there’s a certain thrill to seeing filmmakers execute a vision of what could be. Alfonso Cuarón, however, ruins all that fun in “Children of Men.” The world in 2027 is bleak, chaotic and hopeless, and the Mexican-born, London-based director puts us in the thick of the mayhem. Based […]

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Call Me by Your Name Review

“Call Me by Your Name” recounts a magical whirlwind of a summer young romance in the ‘80s, but shares very few qualities of most films that have told a similar story. Luca Guadagnino’s film fits squarely in the definition of arthouse rather than in the mainstream or even “indie” mold of nostalgic romantic comedy.

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Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench Review

Damien Chazelle’s debut feels somewhere between a Jim Jarmusch indie and an Astaire-Roger musical. Here’s a filmmaker with a deep love of the movie musical trying to make it work on a shoestring budget. The musical genre begs for rich production, so Chazelle tries to circumvent it with a nontraditional script; the central relationship is […]

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Pitch Perfect 2 Review

The surest way to ruin a great, original comedy is to give it a sequel. Fortunately, in all the ways that “Pitch Perfect 2” is pointless, it’s equally harmless. The movie knows it’s a studio cash-grab, and the effort behind it shows, but the care-free attitude from the onset also appropriately lowers expectations.

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review

Maybe it wasn’t impossible, but in 2011 it seemed highly likely that the aging Tom Cruise and the “Mission: Impossible” series could keep going after three films spanning 10 years (and all earning merely “decent” marks). Then “Ghost Protocol” hit theaters and made doubters bite their tongues. That being the case, “Rogue Nation” keeps those […]

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Battle of the Sexes Review

The battle for equal rights for women is far from over well into the 20th century, but it’s hard to imagine anything happening today that would make a spectacle of it like the  Battle of the Sexes did.

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Win It All Review

Chicago-centric writer/director Joe Swanberg has teamed up yet again with Netflix and his favorite everyman actor, Jake Johnson, for another straight-shooting comedic drama in “Win It All.” Although Swanberg bets once more on his honest-to-goodness, real people living everyday life approach to storytelling, this film has a much stronger narrative focus, marking another step forward […]

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Raw Review

A veterinary school freshman (Garance Marillier) develops a taste for raw flesh in the feature debut of French filmmaker Julia Ducournau. Part horror film, part coming-of-age drama, “Raw” is a visceral gut-punch of a film both in story and visuals, to the point that it is not recommended for the squeamish. That said, it’s gore […]

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Charlie Wilson’s War Review

Wasn’t sure what I would end my Tom Hanks marathon on, but after just watching “American Made,” the subject of  this film felt very relevant. This review comes from February 11, 2009, which would make it a second-semester college film. That’s right, I did things like watch “Charlie Wilson’s War” instead of partying.

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The Green Mile Review

It’s hard to include this review in this Tom Hanks appreciation series, because I didn’t write about Hanks’ performance, but the rest of the pickings include reviews that were very short and admittedly weak (and also didn’t mention Hanks’ performance). Anyway, “The Green Mile” is a great movie! This review is from July 17, 2010.

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Splash Review

With this next Tom Hanks archive review, I have to admit that I’m cheating. I have watched “Splash” before, but never reviewed it; in fact, I don’t have reviews of any 1980s Hanks films, and I wanted to get something posted from his earlier work. So last weekend I watched “Splash,” which enchanted me when […]

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Captain Phillips Review

Jumping way forward in time for my next Tom Hanks archive review (in the spirit of T.Hanks-giving) to probably his best performance of this decade, though I suppose it’s neck and neck with “Sully,” given the similarities. I’m not sure how this didn’t make it onto the site, possibly because I was too late to […]

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Philadelphia Review

Because Thanksgiving is approaching, I thought I’d do a month of reviews from my archive of films starring Tom Hanks (or, T. Hanks). This is perhaps my oldest written review of a Hanks film.

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Alien: Covenant Review

Like a madman creator trying to play God, Ridley Scott and the team behind the “Alien” prequels “Prometheus” and now “Alien: Covenant” keep running the same experiment with slight variations, never quite able to replicate the excitement of that initial moment of creation (1979’s “Alien”). There’s nothing wrong or bad about either these precursor films, […]

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Power Rangers Review

First they came for the TV shows of kids who grew up in the ’80s. It was only a matter of time before they came for my shows. As for how this big-screen adaptation fairs, color me indifferent.

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