expendables3

The Expendables 3

I liked the first “The Expendables”, but somehow more in theory than in practice. Sylvester Stallone and other old school action stars getting together and kicking ass? Count me in. Now, to me, “The Expendables 2” awesomely built up on that concept and actually delivered a classic action flick, with tons of bloody thrills and hearty laughs. Unfortunately, this third episode doesn’t continue to improve on the formula. It rather feels tired and repetitive, despite the numerous attempts at shaking things up. After facing off…

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boyhood

Boyhood

It kicks off with Coldplay’s “Yellow”, the first of many great music cues in the film. I’ve always loved that song and it always felt cinematic to me, which is the first of many moments of resonance for me in the film. The other thing you realize right from the get-go is that writer-director Richard Linklater really lucked out when he cast Ellar Coltrane, the young actor he would depict growing up from 6 to 18 years old. You’re immediately taken in by his big…

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Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Wallpaper

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

10 years after the events of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, the evolved apes now live in a village in the woods outside of San Francisco, having built a little society for themselves. Meanwhile, most of mankind has been wiped out by the simian flu, but a number of survivors still live in a colony in the city. Both sides haven’t crossed paths in years, but they do again early in “Dawn” and spend the rest of the film in a state of…

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The-Fault-in-our-stars

The Fault in Our Stars

I honestly can’t remember the last movie that made me cry. It’s been years, really. Well, I’m sure I won’t forget this one! I mean, how much sadder can you get than a film about young people dying of cancer? Now, here’s the thing: that isn’t the thing that got me. What’s most moving about this adaptation of the 2012 John Green novel is that these young people are so full of life and love. That’s what you come out of the theatre with, not…

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2014 log (7-8-9)

(2 Jul) Silver Linings Playbook (2012, David O. Russell) 85 [ I love these recent David O. Russell movies. They take a familiar genre and make it feel fresh and exciting. Here, you’re pretty much dealing with a romantic comedy, except it’s often frantic and full of nervous energy, both in the way the characters behave and in the way the film is put together, and you have to catch up to the storytelling, which rushes forward, dropping bits of backstory left and right… Plus,…

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edge-of-tomorrow-535eb2d3b4b56

Edge of Tomorrow

“Groundhog Day” and “Starship Troopers” are two of my favorite movies, so a mash-up of them would be right up my alley, right? Well, yeah! Based on the 2004 Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel, it stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, a US media relations officer who’s never seen any real combat and who’s even a bit of a coward.  The film deftly establishes via a rapid montage of news footage that aliens landed on Earth five years ago and have since invaded most of Europe.…

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X-Men

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Some of the very first comic books I read as a kid were from the “Uncanny X-Men” run by Chris Claremont, including such influential story arcs as “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and yes, “Days of Future Past”. So I was pretty excited to see it come alive on the big screen, in a movie that also happens to mark the return to the series of director Bryan Singer, 11 years after “X2: X-Men United”. Plus it was shot in Montreal, which is pretty cool! “The…

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Noah

Noah

“In the beginning, there was nothing.” Here it is on screen, straight out of the Bible, the tale of the early days of the world and mankind. At first and on a few occasions afterwards, we only get flashes of Genesis: a snake, an apple, a rock. But fear not: later on, Noah himself tells us the story of Creation as it unfolds on screen in one of the film’s most brilliant sequences. I went to Catholic school and I’m rather familiar with the Bible,…

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2014 LOG (4-5-6)

(2 Apr) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014, Anthony & Joe Russo) (10 Apr) L’Auberge espagnole (2002, Cédric Klapisch) (12 Apr) Bears (2014, Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey) (24 Apr) Million Dollar Arm (2014, Craig Gillespie) (25 Apr) Les Poupées russes (2005, Cédric Klapisch) (3 May) 40 Is the New 20 (2009, Simon Boisvert) [ review ] 70 (17 May) Blue Jasmine (2013, Woody Allen) 85 [ This film is most notable for Cate Blanchett’s exceptional, Oscar-winning performance as a woman slowly but surely losing…

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Joaquin-Phoenix-in-Her-Still-2

Her

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a “sad, mopey” letter writer who’s going through a divorce. While he’s feeling lonely and vulnerable, he buys a new operating system for his computer and smartphone that uses artificial intelligence and that basically takes the form of a virtual person: Samantha (the voice of Scarlett Johansson). He instantly feels like he can truly relate to her and they become friends, and then more than that… Which brings up all these existential questions about the nature of being and about our…

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