January 31, 2015

DVD Review: Fury


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Men o' war...

Ocean's Eleven co-stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt both had World War II movies released in 2014. Clooney's pic, The Monuments Men, which he also directed, was a sometimes lighthearted look at the unsung heroes of the conflict: the men tasked with preserving Europe's priceless cultural history. In contrast, there's nothing lighthearted whatsoever about Pitt's Fury, which takes an uncompromising look at the brutality of war through the eyes of five men crammed into the iron and steel innards of an M4A3E8 Sherman tank.

January 30, 2015

Film Review: A Most Violent Year


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How to make it in America...

The year was 1972, and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather had moviegoers captivated with its tale about a power struggle within the ranks of an Italian-American crime family. Fast forward 43 years, and writer/director J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year finds itself treading in similar territory. Not that its main protagonist — played by Oscar Isaac — is a mafioso. However, both films can be viewed as being about immigrants pursuing the American dream, putting A Most Violent Year — set in 1981, a record year for crime in New York City — in some very good company.

January 28, 2015

Blu-ray Review: The Judge


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Drama in the first...

Based solely on its title, it's understandable if moviegoers might mistake The Judge for just another courtroom drama. But with a powerhouse cast that includes the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Vincent D'Onofrio, Vera Farmiga and Robert Duvall, the film is much more than your ordinary legal potboiler. Its director, David Dobkin, is best known for his comedic body of work; and while there are certainly comedic aspects to The Judge, the movie is really a character drama of the highest order — one that's all about family, owning up to our mistakes, and finding redemption in the eyes of those we love.

January 27, 2015

Blu-ray Review: The Guest


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Halloween has been Terminated...

Arriving on the heels of their darkly funny and twisted slasher flick You're Next, director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett's latest project, The Guest, is a balls-to-the-wall action-thriller in the vein of eighties genre fare. But in contrast to the most recent wave of big screen shoot-em-up throwbacks, this sly homage doesn't just rely on bombastic action set-pieces and moviegoers' nostalgia. No, The Guest is something else entirely — a bloody, subversive and self-aware romp in which the man of the hour, Dan Stevens, blows audiences away in the title role.

January 23, 2015

Film Review: Still Alice


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Remember me...

Our memories define who we are — they inform our hopes, influence our dreams and guide our sense of purpose. The notion of losing our memories is a frightening prospect, but it's the reality faced by the millions of people around the world afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. And in Still Alice, writer/directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's powerful and poignant film adaptation of neuroscientist-turned-author Lisa Genova's bestselling novel, Julianne Moore plays one such person, a woman struggling to retain her identity and dignity while grappling with her inevitable fate.