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Movie reviews

The Films of John Huston: Treasure of the Sierra Madre

July 19, 2010
The Films of John Huston: Treasure of the Sierra Madre

After The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre is probably Huston’s most famous film—the two may vie for the title of best known. It’s a great movie in the sense that The Godfather and Casablanca are great movies: memorable characters, rich in themes, steep in action, imminently watchable.  The kind of “old” movie...
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Movie Review: Cyrus

July 16, 2010
Movie Review: Cyrus

Cyrus is the kind of independent movie that makes me love independent movies, so it might seem paradoxical that I don’t want to write this review. I just want to tell you to go directly to your nearest theater and see it, without knowing anything about it beforehand. But I do have to write...
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Movie Review: Inception

July 16, 2010
Movie Review: Inception

I guess statistically speaking, it was bound to happen.  If you see enough movies, eventually you are going to witness a great movie that just doesn’t do it for you.  Such was the case with Inception.  I was poised to love the movie and declare it a cinematic masterpiece, if not one of my...
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Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

July 14, 2010
Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

If you saw the trailer for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and thought to yourself, “YES.  I have been waiting for this.  The team that brought us National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets have made another film starring Nic Cage that looks a bit like Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I...
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The Films of John Huston: Across the Pacific

July 12, 2010
The Films of John Huston: Across the Pacific

First off, let me admit that I jumped the gun getting to Huston’s war documentaries before covering 1942’s Across the Pacific. But I’m kind of glad I did, because it provides a nice break between Let There Be Light and Treasure of the Sierra Madre—two very intense films. Pacific is much lighter and a...
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Movie Review: I Am Love

July 9, 2010
Movie Review: I Am Love

I Am Love opens with a flurry, as the expertly-trained uniformed staff of an haute-bourgeoisie Milanese manufacturing family prepare for the Christmas season birthday of the leonine patriarch. The family members arrive, each magnificently attired (this being Milan, after all), and the soup (soup playing a crucial part in this film) is ladled from...
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Movie Review: Micmacs

July 9, 2010
Movie Review: Micmacs

It takes a lot to make me sympathize with arms dealers, especially the really ruthless, pure evil ones, but Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s relentlessly whimsical and quirky Micmacs very nearly succeeds. The movie opens promisingly enough, with a beautifully shot (by Tetsuo Nagata) prologue high in style and speed. As a child Bazil is effectively orphaned...
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Movie Review: Predators

July 8, 2010
Movie Review: Predators

While its 1987 predecessor Predator took its sweet time setting up the action, Predators starts off at breakneck speed, with a man hurtling through air, frantically trying to get his parachute open.  The wind whips around him, and as he plummets toward a certain death, he appears to be a goner. Of course, at...
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Movie Review: Despicable Me

July 8, 2010
Movie Review: Despicable Me

Who would have thought that two of the best movies of the summer would be animated family fare?  First we had Pixar’s wonderful Toy Story 3, and now we are treated to Despicable Me, the debut film by production company Illumination Entertainment. By the looks of this fledgeling feature, we have a lot to...
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The Films of John Huston: The Battle of San Pietro, Let There Be Light

July 8, 2010
The Films of John Huston: The Battle of San Pietro, Let There Be Light

Okay, finishing up the documentaries this week with two stellar, if unnerving, entries: 1945’s The Battle of San Pietro and 1946’s Let There Be Light. I mentioned last week that Report from the Aleutians came under some scrutiny from the Army, but these two were lucky to have seen the light of day (pun...
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