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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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Whenever asked what my favorite movie of all time is, I inevitably answer The Silence of the Lambs.  I had a job back in 1991 that involved me driving around town and delivering cheap items that people got in return for their donations to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and often took time out to goof off.  I was 19, after all, and teenagers are not the most reliable workers. 

I also went out and saw almost every movie I could at the time.  So, one January night, I made sure I finished the rounds I had to do on the far west side (at least, it was at the time) of Phoenix and slipped in to see this movie, knowing very little about it other than there was a cannibalistic serial killer involved.

Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is an FBI trainee who is trying hard to make her way in what is obviously a man's world, as she is constantly treated with barely concealed contempt from her colleagues.  Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), her potential boss in the profiling department she is aiming for, i…

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

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It's rare when you see a cult movie in its genesis.  I'm not talking about the films that Quentin Tarantino or Richard Rodriguez do these days that are tributes to older films and which they hope might join their company.  Those are good, but they try too hard.  True cult films end up so no matter what the filmmaker's original intentions.

More and more, the intentions of the Wachowski siblings have come under question.  They started off simply with the lesbian-tinged heist film Bound, and then made a grand leap with The Matrix.  They promptly fell on their faces with the sequels, and have yet to recover.  In fact, the last time they got any critical accolades at all was with V for Vendetta, and in that case it was only a writing credit. Largely, the movies they have directed have been expensive failures.

Which, in some cases, is rather unfair.  Cloud Atlas had its faults, but it was still creative and enjoyable in many ways, and much better than either of the Matrix seque…

No Country for Old Men (2007)

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I realized when I was watching this how long it had been since I had seen a new movie by Joel and Ethan Coen.  I have always been one of those people that thought they did on and off films.  Blood Simple, Miller's Crossing and Fargo have all earned their place in American film history.  I recently began to appreciate Raising Arizona (which I originally had a problem with because they made us look like Southern hicks instead of Southwestern ones) and The Big Lebowski.  Maybe it depends on what time in your life you see certain films.  I still don't have fond memories of suffering through Barton Fink.

In truth, O Brother, Where Art Thou? was the last Coen Brothers movie I remembered seeing until I remembered the True Grit remake was from them.  Their early noire films and their connections with Sam Raimi caught my attention long ago, but for some reason their later stuff escaped my notice.  Therefore, I missed No Country for Old Men when it came out.  Still, I heard enough abou…

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Of the relentless Marvel superhero films, so far the Captain America series has been the one that I have enjoyed the most.  Yes, there is Guardians of the Galaxy, but that has been limited to one movie so far.  I'm hoping it continues being as enjoyable as the Cap has been.

This time around the Avengers are in a bit of trouble.  Turns out no one was really appreciative of what happened in Sokovia (turns out thousands dead due to Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) creation of Ultron was not the best P.R. move).  After a botched attempt to apprehend the terrorist Crossbones (Frank Grillo) results in the death of a few hundred people, including a delegation from the African nation of Wakanda, the United Nations decides to step in and demand oversight of the Avengers. 

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is concerned that the Sokovia Accords will do nothing but tie their hands and make it impossible for the Avengers to do their job.  Tony Stark, on the other hand, is suffering a crisis of c…