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Showing posts from December, 2015

Review - In the Heart of the Sea

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In the Heart of the Sea (2015), PG-13, 122 minutes - This is a film that originally caught my eye months ago when I saw the first trailer.  Directed by Ron Howard and sporting a cast including Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, and Michelle Fairley it just seemed like a film that I would enjoy.  Especially considering my soft spot for period pieces.  In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of the American whaling ship The Essex and its crew, which set sail on a whaling expedition from Nantucket in 1820 and is based upon the non-fiction book of the same name (published in 2000).  This story is also presented as being the real-life inspiration for Herman Melville's literary classic Moby-Dick (published in 1851).

The Essex's expedition got off to a rough start as the heir of a well known sailing family, George Pollard (Benjamin Walker), was selected as the ship's captain over the much more experienced Owen Chase (Hemsworth).  Chase had previously b…

Review - Creed

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Creed (2015), PG-13, 133 minutes - When I first heard that there would be yet another entry in the Rocky franchise, I was admittedly a bit leery.  After all, there had already been six films chronicling the boxing career of Rocky Balboa, the last of which saw Sylvester Stallone's iconic boxer come out of retirement for one last bout in the ring.  I was afraid that the franchise may be going to the well one too many times (I actually enjoyed 2006's Rocky Balboa, which course corrected the franchise a bit after the mis-step that was 1990's Rocky V).  But then, as I learned more about how this seventh film came to be, and who was involved, I became more and more intrigued.  Apparently, Creed was the brain-child of up-and-coming writer/director Ryan Coogler, who had previously written/directed 2013's highly regarded Fruitvale Station (a film I have unfortunately not yet had the opportunity to see).  Anyway, he went to Sylvester Stallone with an idea for a film that would e…

Review - Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

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Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), PG-13, 136 minutes - 2005 was the last time we (the public) had the experience of a new Star Wars film in a theater.  And while that was an event, it was the final prequel film (Episode III - Revenge of the Sith) in a trilogy that to most, didn't live up to expectations.  The buzz surrounding this new franchise installment - the first under Disney's production - has been as abundant as I can remember.  Star Wars long ago transcended the typical movie-going experience and crossed over into the realm of pop-culture phenomenon.  Add to that the promise of the return of franchise-favorite characters under the watch of highly respected writer/director J.J. Abrams (who had already revitalized the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek franchises) and you've got a perfect storm that has led to this film opening at a box office shattering pace.

The Force Awakens picks up 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...', about th…

Review - Jessica Jones (Netflix), Season 1

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Jessica Jones (2015), TV-MA, 13 Episodes - November 20th saw the release of Jessica Jones, the second collaboration from Marvel and Netflix.  Similarly to the Daredevil series released back in April, this Netflix Original is set in a section of New York known as Hell's Kitchen, is comprised of thirteen episodes, and is connected to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

As the title states, the series follows Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), a woman who developed powers after a childhood accident: super strength and the ability to fly, or as she calls it 'jumping real high...and then falling'.  She's attempted the super hero gig in the past but it didn't work out the way she had imagined so she started her own P.I firm, Alias Investigations.  She's a bit of a loner and keeps the few friends and loved ones she has at arms length because of the danger she feels that she attracts danger.  Of course, events from her past have caused her to feel that way and a …