Blog Archives

Princess Mononoke Movie Review: Revisiting an Animated Classic

Princess Mononoke is a wondrous animated film made in 1997. Writer/director Hayao Miyazaki’s rich imagination plays with many themes in a manner that draws you into his inventive story of forest spirits, warring humans and cursed animal demons in ancient times, yet it’s challenging to fully articulate why it resonates. In part, Princess Mononoke’s cautionary tale explores human beings’ relationship with nature, an eternal conflict that is as timely and relevant now as it was 20 years ago. It also has something to say about the price we pay when we lose touch with the belief that the transcendent is life itself.

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Dunkirk Movie Review: Christopher Nolan’s WWII Epic is a Must Watch Film

Dunkirk movie review continues below.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming Review – “Marvel’s biggest superhero comes home”

Spider-Man: Homecoming movie review. Minor spoilers below.

As mentioned in previous reviews, I was cautiously optimistic about Wonder Woman and Logan heading into 2017. On the contrary, I was pretty sure that in the hands of Marvel Studios, Spider-Man: Homecoming would turn out to be at the least a good superhero flick.

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#Let’s Talk “Control”: Joy Division’s Ian Curtis and the silent epidemic of male suicide

#Bell Let’s Talk is a multi-year program to raise awareness on mental health issues. Each time you tweet on January 25, 2017 using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

To help raise awareness and empathy, I’m highlighting a specific aspect of mental health that does not get enough attention: the silent epidemic of male suicide.

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Superhero Movies of 2016 Ranked Worst to Best

This year has plenty to offer fans of superhero movies.  The cinematic universes expanding and superheroes battling each other is all the rage. Also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles returned in the sequel Out of the Shadows (Full Review Here). For the rest of the superhero movie lineup, here’s a personal take on how they all stacked up.

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The Girl on the Train Movie Review: Emily Blunt in Psychological Thriller

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The Girl on the Train (2016) Review
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans

The Girl on the Train is a missing persons mystery that manages to be somewhat satisfying despite the lack of genuine thrills.

Adapted from Paula Hawkin’s novel, The Girl on the Train is about psychological manipulation.  It reveals how memories and perception is impacted by isolation, abuse and emotional anguish. The story is a deeply troubled portrait of female characters primarily told from an unhinged woman’s point of view.  

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The Assassin (2015) is Meditative and Devastatingly Beautiful

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In case you missed it, this post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur on Foreign Language Films (2013-present).

Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien won the award for best director at the 68th Cannes Film Festival for his brilliant work in 2015’s The Assassin. Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s unique vision transcends The Assassin from a martial arts film into an art-house cinematic experience. However, I wouldn’t expect The Assassin to be highly influential in the wuxia genre, not because it isn’t deserving to be, but it purposely avoids many traditional tropes and conventions for what makes for a crowd pleasing, popular martial arts film that few directors and movie studios would likely follow in his forward thinking footsteps.

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Movie Roundup: Are you Excited that Pixar is Focusing on Making More Sequels?

Pixar’s line up of sequels includes the summer blockbuster Finding Dory and will carry through 2019 with Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and the long-anticipated The Incredibles 2. From 2020, there are no further sequels planned. Pixar president Jim Morris recently shared some thoughts about why certain sequels don’t happen. “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,” Morris explains. “A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”

What do you think about Pixar’s approach to making sequels? Which Pixar movie would you love to see a sequel?

Movie Roundup is a feature where I give quick impressions on some films I recently watched and/or on movie related topics.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows “Heroes in a Half Shell Ain’t Half Bad”

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) (Non-Spoilers)
Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Brian Tee, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Gary Anthony Williams, Stephen Farrelly

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ kid-friendly action and cheesy, slap-stick humor is aimed at a younger target audience. If you no longer wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons or the phrases “Cowabunga” and “Turtle Power” don’t illicit nostalgia, it could be a tough movie to sit through.

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Genre Grandeur: How does Fast Five hold up five years later?

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This post is originally written for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur on Heist Movies. For all the reviews in this feature, check out Movie Rob’s site.

Fast Five is the very first film in The Fast and The Furious franchise I ever watched. I’m not a snobby movie watcher. I love superhero films and summer blockbusters like a lot of other people. But I overlooked this franchise thinking it would be a hollow, soul less action flick. Okay, this franchise is never going to win an Oscar for best picture. It is a fun, testosterone fueled ride and I can see why it’s one of the biggest, most popular action movie franchises around.

The fifth installment surprisingly makes for a good entry point into the franchise for me. It’s arguably the best in the franchise to date. The action sequences are exciting and well directed. There’s enough character beats to give the story some heart. With so much going on and so many characters, this could have been a hot mess. Director Justin Lin has a firm hand on the steering wheel, never letting the story go off track. He’s also got a strong eye for the visuals, knowing how to frame scenes for maximum suspense and bringing an energetic flair to daring, insane stunts.

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