Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

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Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

/ 3 Comments

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

By now you’re on board with this story or you’re not. Everything about the latest interstitial from middle earth feels like a middle, an entertaining if thinly plotted hero’s journey between the last Hobbit movie and the next. On HFR

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

By now you’re on board with this story or you’re not. Everything about the latest interstitial from middle earth feels like a middle, an entertaining if thinly plotted hero’s journey between the last Hobbit movie and the next. On HFR

/ One Comment

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

This devotional piece from Martin Scorcese (based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis) wavers between inspired moments of heresy and long stretches of being just another Jesus movie. While in its way wholly respectful to the prophets, it disrespects sacred

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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

This devotional piece from Martin Scorcese (based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis) wavers between inspired moments of heresy and long stretches of being just another Jesus movie. While in its way wholly respectful to the prophets, it disrespects sacred

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

/ One Comment

Gravity

It’s rare for a movie to sustain a high level of tension for its entire running length. Gravity achieves this feat by playing in real time, or close to it, opening with a set piece that clocks in at 13

/ One Comment

Gravity

It’s rare for a movie to sustain a high level of tension for its entire running length. Gravity achieves this feat by playing in real time, or close to it, opening with a set piece that clocks in at 13

/ One Comment

Star Trek Into Darkness

The rebooted Trek franchise is already feeling like a dog-gnawed sneaker. One of the few still-twinkling christmas lights in JJ Abrams’ otherwise overstretched and underbaked portfolio is boldly going nowhere at the second instalment. Benedict Cumberbatch makes an arresting and articulate

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Star Trek Into Darkness

The rebooted Trek franchise is already feeling like a dog-gnawed sneaker. One of the few still-twinkling christmas lights in JJ Abrams’ otherwise overstretched and underbaked portfolio is boldly going nowhere at the second instalment. Benedict Cumberbatch makes an arresting and articulate

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Upstream Color

It’s not every day you get to puzzle out a serious experiment in cinematic narrative, so here’s your chance. Crimes are committed using some sort of telepathising mind-worm and two victims get together to solve, revenge and repair what was

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Upstream Color

It’s not every day you get to puzzle out a serious experiment in cinematic narrative, so here’s your chance. Crimes are committed using some sort of telepathising mind-worm and two victims get together to solve, revenge and repair what was

/ 2 Comments

World War Z

The zombie genre’s relentless advance achieves infection of the upper hollywood echelons as Brad Pitt goes the way of the axe and the head shot. Zombiedom’s transmutation from resurrection to viral plague now seems complete (when was the last time

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World War Z

The zombie genre’s relentless advance achieves infection of the upper hollywood echelons as Brad Pitt goes the way of the axe and the head shot. Zombiedom’s transmutation from resurrection to viral plague now seems complete (when was the last time

/ One Comment

Blue Jasmine

It seems Woody Allen fans found Blue Jasmine to be the offering that did the most for quite some time to satisfy them, while doing the least to meet their expectations. It is one of the bleakest films in his

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Blue Jasmine

It seems Woody Allen fans found Blue Jasmine to be the offering that did the most for quite some time to satisfy them, while doing the least to meet their expectations. It is one of the bleakest films in his

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Evil Dead (2012)

Cold turkey and demonic possession – two great things that go great together? Uruguayan youtube prodigy Fede Alvarez’s revisitation of Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead story is overworked and laden with backstory, tortured childhoods, personal journeys, and plans that really

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Evil Dead (2012)

Cold turkey and demonic possession – two great things that go great together? Uruguayan youtube prodigy Fede Alvarez’s revisitation of Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead story is overworked and laden with backstory, tortured childhoods, personal journeys, and plans that really

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Frances Ha

Though brushed by Fame and bearing a translucent overlay of Manhattan and and its Parisian forebears, Frances Ha seems for the most part to have spilled out of Lena Dunham’s Girls-iverse, its female protagonist in an extended tragi-comic freefall toward

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Frances Ha

Though brushed by Fame and bearing a translucent overlay of Manhattan and and its Parisian forebears, Frances Ha seems for the most part to have spilled out of Lena Dunham’s Girls-iverse, its female protagonist in an extended tragi-comic freefall toward

/ No comments

The Place Beyond the Pines

A new Ryan Gosling vehicle that isn’t a fastback 2008 Bullitt Mustang. So is it the sequel to Blue Valentine, given this is the same director? Or is it Drive, given he’s a badass on a motorbike trying to muscle

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The Place Beyond the Pines

A new Ryan Gosling vehicle that isn’t a fastback 2008 Bullitt Mustang. So is it the sequel to Blue Valentine, given this is the same director? Or is it Drive, given he’s a badass on a motorbike trying to muscle

/ One Comment

Oblivion

If you don’t mind your futuristic production design looking like an off the plan real estate brochure, Oblivion is a watchable post-catastrophic sci-fi. Humanity appears to have moved out of home, Tom Cruise and his assigned companion (Andrea Riseborough) are ensconced in

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Oblivion

If you don’t mind your futuristic production design looking like an off the plan real estate brochure, Oblivion is a watchable post-catastrophic sci-fi. Humanity appears to have moved out of home, Tom Cruise and his assigned companion (Andrea Riseborough) are ensconced in

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Zero Dark Thirty

How should Hollywood approach real world stories about black ops, geopolitical espionage and covert vested interests, around which whirl clouds of doubt and conspiracy? According to Zero Dark Thirty, you tell something close to the official story and let it

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Zero Dark Thirty

How should Hollywood approach real world stories about black ops, geopolitical espionage and covert vested interests, around which whirl clouds of doubt and conspiracy? According to Zero Dark Thirty, you tell something close to the official story and let it

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Chronicle

This found-footage mashup of X-men and Akira is another meeting of low production values and teen movie cliches, the kind where the low budget is a means to break into the mainstream rather than break out. Its premise of alien-artifact-sourced

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Chronicle

This found-footage mashup of X-men and Akira is another meeting of low production values and teen movie cliches, the kind where the low budget is a means to break into the mainstream rather than break out. Its premise of alien-artifact-sourced

/ One Comment

Les Miserables

With every line sung rather than spoken and much of it internal monologue rather than dialogue, Les Miserables and musicals like it redraw the rules of what is cinematically permissible. Melodrama flourishes while realism diminishes in value almost entirely. In

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Les Miserables

With every line sung rather than spoken and much of it internal monologue rather than dialogue, Les Miserables and musicals like it redraw the rules of what is cinematically permissible. Melodrama flourishes while realism diminishes in value almost entirely. In

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Killing Them Softly

Director Andrew Dominick does a creditable job treading some very familiar territory, as weary hit man Brad Pitt tidies up the aftermath of a poker robbery.  The right people die and the ledger is balanced. Pitt’s reaper manages to intrigue with

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Killing Them Softly

Director Andrew Dominick does a creditable job treading some very familiar territory, as weary hit man Brad Pitt tidies up the aftermath of a poker robbery.  The right people die and the ledger is balanced. Pitt’s reaper manages to intrigue with

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Grey Gardens (2009)

Thankfully not the grotesque vanity project one might have feared, this unflinching yet respectful biopic offers some worthwhile context and understanding of the Beales phenomenon, even if Barrymore and Lange’s evocation of the two Edies can never hope to entirely

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Grey Gardens (2009)

Thankfully not the grotesque vanity project one might have feared, this unflinching yet respectful biopic offers some worthwhile context and understanding of the Beales phenomenon, even if Barrymore and Lange’s evocation of the two Edies can never hope to entirely

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Side Effects

Side Effects uses its mystery thriller plot to steer us through a what-if about the potholes and legal pitfalls of the socio-psycho-pharmaceutical complex. This is done in a similar fashion to Soderbergh’s earlier Contagion, which masqueraded as a star strewn

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Side Effects

Side Effects uses its mystery thriller plot to steer us through a what-if about the potholes and legal pitfalls of the socio-psycho-pharmaceutical complex. This is done in a similar fashion to Soderbergh’s earlier Contagion, which masqueraded as a star strewn

/ No comments