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Showing posts from August, 2014

Review - Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), R, 102 minutes - Nine years after its predecessor, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For finally made its way to theaters last weekend. Those with either a keen eye or memory (or both) may remember that this film was one of the honorable mentions on my Most Anticipated Films of 2013 list. That was before further delays pushed its release to the end of this summer (and a repeat appearance on this year's list). Sin City: A Dame to Kill For showcases the same grim, gritty, stylized violence that fans of Frank Miller's work have come to expect on either the page or the screen.

Much like 2005's Sin City, the key with this film is to remember that it is an anthology, a collection of stories occurring in the same universe, even overlapping at times with the events appearing in that film.  As a result, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not a typical sequel or prequel.  This installment is comprised of the following stories: Just Another Saturday Night…

Review - Chef

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Chef (2014), R, 114 minutes - I've heard a lot of great things about Chef since it was released earlier this summer and I was pretty excited when I was finally able to watch it last week. It is a smaller film that first hit theaters back in May so there's a pretty good chance that it's no longer playing at a theater near you.  The good news is that it looks like it will be available on blu-ray/digital/On-Demand in about a month.

Written and directed by Jon Favreau, the film is about Carl Casper (Favreau), a chef who was once known for his creativity and who now finds himself at a crossroads in his life and career after a very public confrontation with food critic Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt). At the urging of his ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) and with the financial backing of his ex-wife's ex-husband Marvin (Robert Downey Jr), Carl opens a food truck named El Jefe. With the help of his son Percy (Emjay Anthony) and his former line cook Martin (John Leguizamo), Carl b…

Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), PG-13, 101 minutes - This reboot of the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise came out last weekend and has already been successful enough at the box office that a sequel has been announced with a scheduled 2016 release.  That's all well and good, but what I had heard about the film itself over the past week was that it fell flat and wasn't really all that good.  I tend to try not to let a bunch of critic-speak sway my desire to see a film, but sometimes that's difficult to do when the prevailing opinion is negative.  I had a little free time earlier today and I decided to give it a shot and what I found was a film that at its core, got the TMNT vibe down pretty well.

Now admittedly, there's not much depth to the story here, but honestly, upon re-watching the original 1990 live action Ninja Turtles movie prior to seeing this, there wasn't much there either.  This go around, the world's favorite wisecracking teen…

Review - The Giver

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The Giver (2014), PG-13, 94 minutes - The Giver is based on the 1993 story of the same name written by Lois Lowry and is the latest post apocalyptic/sci-fi society young adult novel to be adapted to the big screen.  I've never read The Giver myself, but having been fourteen back in 1993, I was definitely a part of the target demographic and remember it being pretty popular among classmates.

This film version of The Giver takes place in a future utopian society created after an unnamed great war.  The elders who founded the community believed that the source of all misgivings and conflict in life was emotion.  They built a society devoid of emotion, which was accomplished by sterilizing the population of their memories and instituting a strict set of governing rules.  Everything from recognition of color (that of objects or even skin tone) to the enjoyment of music was lost, all in an effort for absolute equality.  The lack of emotion also means that no one has the desire to devia…

Review - Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), PG-13, 121 minutes - After being fairly successful at avoiding spoilers on the internet (or from others who beat me to seeing it), I was able to check out Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday afternoon.  Most people are probably wondering 'who the hell are they?' or 'what on Earth is going on with a talking raccoon and tree?'.  To be honest, my previous exposure to these characters is lower than normal when it comes to the Marvel films.  What I do know is that what little I've read was well written and very entertaining.  From the time Marvel announced that Guardians of the Galaxy would be joining their Cinematic Universe (MCU), I've been very excited (it landed on my Most Anticipated Films of 2014 list).  Since the Guardians have never been even remotely mainstream (until the last year or so), a theatrical adaptation of their adventures posed the biggest question mark of any Marvel project to date and rightfully so.  But before I g…