movie reviews

McFarland, USA

by Cap'n Carrot on February 20, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Miracle. The Rookie. Cool Runnings. Remember the Titans. Walt Disney Films has a talent finding true stories and adapting them into surprisingly moving films. Hell, even Eight Below was better than it had any right to be. Sure sometimes the efforts limp to the finish line (remember Secretariat?), but more often than not the tales of struggle, perseverance, and overcoming great odds turn out to be solid family films.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

by Cap'n Carrot on February 13, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Well, at least the foreplay was mildly entertaining. The attempt by director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel to adapt E.L. Jamesnovel of the same name feels every inch a Hollywood adaptation of a trashy romance novel.

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Jupiter Ascending

by Cap'n Carrot on February 6, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Jupiter Ascending is insane (and only occasionally in a good way). The latest from the Wachowskis casts Mila Kunis in the starring role as an illegal immigrant house cleaner who is actually the resurrected matriarch of one the galaxy’s richest families. Despite being born on Earth, and having no memory of her previous life, based on her DNA Jupiter is entitled to her former estates and riches which her galactic progeny (Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton) will do anything to prevent from happening.

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A Most Violent Year

by Cap'n Carrot on January 30, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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I’ve never been a big fan of gangster movies. Writer/director J.C. Chandor A Most Violent Year, however, is more a character study than a focus on the questionable business practices of a successful immigrant businessman (Oscar Isaac) during one the most violent winter’s of New York City’s history.

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American Sniper

by Cap'n Carrot on January 16, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Adapted from the autobiographical story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood offers an old fashioned character study with strong patriotic leanings and not as much introspection as one might ultimately like. Bradley Cooper is terrific in the starring role of a soldier obsessed with serving his country and protecting his brothers-in-arms overseas while struggling with even the idea of life back home with his wife (Sienna Miller). The result is an engaging, if incomplete, story as Eastwood careful cuts away anything that doesn’t quite fit Kyle’s heroic narrative including an ending that leaves much unsaid.

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Inherent Vice

by Cap'n Carrot on January 9, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Is hippie noir a thing? Set in 1970 Los Angeles writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s novel of the same name follows the misadventures of pothead private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix). Doc is hired by his former girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston), whom he has never gotten over, to foil a plot involving the forced incarceration of her current married boyfriend (Eric Roberts) into a mental institution in his family’s attempt to grab his millions.

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The Imitation Game

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Code breaking is an art as much as a science and never was it needed, or more artfully accomplished, than by the British during World War II. Set during the middle of Second World War, The Imitation Game follows an unlikely group of scholars, mathematicians, linguists, chess champions, and intelligence officers who were thrown together with the singular goal of breaking Germany’s unbreakable code known as Enigma. Enter Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who might have been the biggest hero of the war if every advancement he made in cryptology (including the creation of the first computer) hadn’t been state secrets until well after his death.

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Unbroken

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Mash-up The Bridge on the River Kwai and Rescue Dawn, while oversimplifying it for mainstream audiences, and you’ve got something that looks quite a bit like Angelina Jolie‘s directorial debut. Unbroken isn’t a bad film, but unwilling to color outside the lines Jolie takes a remarkable story and offers us a paint-by-number hero tale that only marginally entertains while struggling to celebrate a man’s inspirational journey as a prisoner of war during World War II.

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Into the Woods

by Cap'n Carrot on December 24, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Based on Cheryl Strayed‘s real-life experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as the troubled new divorcee with no real hiking experience who latches onto the unlikely project of a 1,100-mile solo-hike as a means to deal with the mistakes of her past.

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