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“Noah” – half review (C), half debate

This is not one of my standard film reviews that follows my usual structure of 1. Story, 2. Performance, 3. Opinion, 4. Justification, 5. Certification.  Instead, this is more of a monologue regarding the clash between the story told in this film and any religious account of Noah’s Ark. To be fair to writer/director Darren…

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“12 Years a Slave” – Film Review (A+)

    I was warned before watching 12 Years a Slave that it would be graphic and painful to watch.  It was.  I was told Chiwetel Ejiofor was equally worthy as Matthew McConaughey for his Best Actor Oscar in Dallas Buyers Club.  He was.  More than a generation ago, I watched Roots, which to me…

Back in the Day: “Dead Calm” (April ’89)

      In this week’s “Back in the Day,” we pick on, I mean, look at a good thriller that was Nicole Kidman’s breakthrough role as a damsel in distress – and wet clothes – aboard a yacht with a lunatic.  Back in the 80’s, many a teenage boy scoured the HBO guide to…

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Back in the Day: “Lean on Me” (March ’89)

  In this next episode of “Back in the Day,” I stretch 25 years back and look at Morgan Freeman’s first lead role.  More important than how good or not-so-good a movie it might have been are the personal connections I still have to it.  Click on the picture above and learn a few things…

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“Saving Mr. Banks” – film review (B)

I’m a huge Disney fan, so to see Tom Hanks, this generation’s Jimmy Stewart, bring Walt Disney to life in Saving Mr. Banks was purely adorable and left me misty eyed several times.  I visit DisneyWorld at least once every year.  I could take you from Splash Mountain to Space Mountain blindfolded.  I could tell…

Primer – film review (C++)

(The C++ is a joke for the computer crowd) It’s probably unfair to review Primer, an independent sci-fi time travel film, in the same way as other films.  For one, its budget was $7,000.  Yeah, only three zeroes.  One person, Shane Carruth, is listed as writer, director, actor, editor, and music composer.  He had to…

The 2014 Academy Awards – Predictions

Yup.  Just like last year, letting you know right now who, what, why, and how (?) will win the most of the not-everything-exactly-but-most of the importantest categories in this year’s race to hold the gold.  The gold, naked, thin-lipped man who seems to have a pretty good grip one of those swords that pierced the…

Dallas Buyers Club – film review (A)

Shelley Winters gained about 35 pounds for what turned out to be a Best Supporting Actress nomination for the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure. Conversely, Matthew McConaughey dropped about 35 pounds for his Best Actor nomination in Dallas Buyers Club, a film with six total nominations. Both die by the end of their respective films, and both…

The Monuments Men – film review (A-)

Let’s get a few things out of the way about The Monuments Men: Yes, it’s a true story, much more so than the usual “Based on/Inspired by a true story/true events.”  According to the Smithsonian Institute’s website, the film is estimated at about 80% accurate, but of course producers had to adjust things for the…

“Back in the Day” on the CK

Howdy and welcome to another post about movies.  I recently told you about a film and entertainment website called The Cinematic Katzenjammer at/for/on which I occasionally write film reviews.  I now have a weekly feature on that site, and it’s called “Back in the Day.” Amongst the staff at CK, I’m basically the resident grumpy…