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2018-01-23T17:41:04.364Z
0
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There’s an entire category of films which I call teen dystopia cinema. You’ve seen some of these movies, I’m sure, whether it’s The Hunger Games, Divergent, City of Ember, The Golden Compass, The Mortal Instruments, The Fifth Wave, and, of course, The Maze Runner. Maybe it’s simply because teens make up such a large percentage of the movie-going public that this is such a popular theme. Then again, odds are good that we adults are...Read More

Are we simply the sum of our memories? That’s a problem, if so, because our memories are inevitably tainted and altered by events that happen subsequent to any given point in our lives. Which leads to the question: can you trust your memories? Those are the key questions underlying the indie sci-fi thriller Rememory, and they’re darn interesting to consider. More provocative, however, is a device that lets you relive memories, an invention that also...Read More

Based on a popular sci-fi / western / horror / fantasy series by uber-author Stephen King, the film The Dark Tower is as much of a sprawling incoherent mess as you’d expect with a series that doesn’t neatly fit into a single category. It’s also good entertainment and worth watching, with lots of Easter eggs referencing other King properties, some hidden, some on flashing neon signs. King treads familiar ground with the basic story: Jake...Read More

There’s an inherent level of absurdity to any war, decisions made and tactics created that make sense back at HQ but are horribly out of kilter with the reality of the man in the trenches. Films like Catch-22 have captured this in a comic way, but the darker, gritty Estonian war drama 1944 shows another side of World War II that few people know: Estonia was first seized by Russia early in the war, then...Read More

Film critics end up on a lot of movie distribution lists and some days it can be overwhelming how many invitations we receive to watch indie, direct to video, or even direct to streaming movies. There are plenty of movie festivals too, so that even the most banal of films can get some big screen time and garnered a few positive reviews. But are they all good? Do they all break new ground or offer...Read More

What happens when you die? Is there a bright light, a tunnel and you travel to your heavenly or hellacious destination? Or do you have your entire life flash before your eyes cinematically as you head towards the eternal judge St. Peter? There are few more profound questions in all of philosophy and religion than the mystery of life after death. No surprise, lots of films have been made that touch on this theme, including...Read More

Rarely does a film grab me from the very first frame, pulling me into a world of imagination and wonder, offering up a compelling, fascinating and peculiar story, but that’s exactly the experience of watching the brilliant film The Shape of Water. It’s best described as “phantasmagorical” and is a love story between a lonely cleaner at a creepy Cold War research facility and a creature from the Amazonian jungles. But there are so many...Read More

The original 1982 film Blade Runner is one of the darkest, most existential and most profound movies in the entire science fiction genre, a landmark that has influenced all science fiction since. Set in the future, it takes place in a perpetually dark, urban world where off-planet work is so hazardous that replicants, synthetic, genetically engineered humans, have been created to help humanity spread to the stars. Until the most advanced of them, Nexus 6 units,...Read More

One of the great joys of studying history is that there are so many fantastic and exciting stories left untold. The bravest of heroes, the most cowardly and despicable of backstabbing conspirators, the obsessive greed of despots and the nobility of commoners, all captured in the pages of history. From both a historical and religious perspective, few groups are more interesting than the Knights Templar, however, whose exploits have been mostly hinted at or obliquely...Read More

The line between gaming universes and reality has always been a bit fuzzy, whether it’s the 70’s angst some parents felt towards their children playing D&D and being adversely influenced to more modern video games that make us all raving maniacs. Prior to the introduction of engaging computer and video games, stories that blurred the lines revolved around board games. The imaginative original 1995 film Jumanji revolves around three children who are pulled into the...Read More

The great Star Wars saga last ended on a dark note at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens [my review] with scrappy rebel fighter Rey (Daisy Ridley) having finally found the semi-mythic Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in his remote island hideaway. The Rebel Alliance was in a shambles and the Empire was clearly on the ascendancy with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as heir apparent to its new incarnation, The First Order. In the latest...Read More

The line between gaming universes and reality has always been a bit fuzzy, whether it’s the 70’s angst some parents felt towards their children playing D&D and being adversely influenced to more modern video games that make us all raving maniacs. Prior to the introduction of engaging computer and video games, stories that blurred the lines revolved around board games. The imaginative original 1995 film Jumanji revolves around three children who are pulled into the...Read More

The great Star Wars saga last ended on a dark note at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens [my review] with scrappy rebel fighter Rey (Daisy Ridley) having finally found the semi-mythic Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in his remote island hideaway. The Rebel Alliance was in a shambles and the Empire was clearly on the ascendancy with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as heir apparent to its new incarnation, The First Order. In the latest...Read More

One of the great joys of studying history is that there are so many fantastic and exciting stories left untold. The bravest of heroes, the most cowardly and despicable of backstabbing conspirators, the obsessive greed of despots and the nobility of commoners, all captured in the pages of history. From both a historical and religious perspective, few groups are more interesting than the Knights Templar, however, whose exploits have been mostly hinted at or obliquely...Read More

Rarely does a film grab me from the very first frame, pulling me into a world of imagination and wonder and offering up a compelling, fascinating and peculiar story, but that’s exactly the experience of watching the brilliant film The Shape of Water. It’s best described by the word phantasmagorical. It’s a love story between a lonely cleaner at a creepy Cold War research facility and a creature from the Amazonian jungles, but there are...Read More

The original 1982 film Blade Runner is one of the darkest, most existential and most profound movies in the entire science fiction genre, a landmark that has influenced all science fiction since. Set in the future, it takes place in a perpetually dark, urban world where off-planet work is so hazardous that replicants, synthetic, genetically engineered humans, have been created to help humanity spread to the stars. Until the most advanced of them, Nexus 6 units,...Read More

What happens when you die? Is there a bright light, a tunnel and you travel to your heavenly or hellacious destination? Or do you have your entire life flash before your eyes cinematically as you head towards the eternal judge St. Peter? There are few more profound questions in all of philosophy and religion than the mystery of life after death. No surprise, lots of films have been made that touch on this theme, including...Read More

Film critics end up on a lot of movie distribution lists and some days it can be overwhelming how many invitations we receive to watch indie, direct to video, or even direct to streaming movies. There are plenty of movie festivals too, so that even the most banal of films can get some big screen time and garnered a few positive reviews. But are they all good? Do they all break new ground or offer...Read More

Are we simply the sum of our memories? That’s a problem, if s, because our memories are inevitably tainted and altered by events that happen subsequent to any given point in our lives. Which leads to the question: can you trust your memories? Those are the key questions underlying the indie sci-fi thriller Rememory, and they’re darn interesting to consider. More provocative, however, is a device that lets you relive memories, an invention that also...Read More

Based on a popular sci-fi / western / horror / fantasy series by uber-author Stephen King, the film The Dark Tower is as much of a sprawling incoherent mess as you’d expect with a series that doesn’t neatly fit into a single category. It’s also good entertainment and worth watching, with lots of Easter eggs referencing other King properties, some hidden, some on flashing neon signs. King treads familiar ground with the basic story: Jake...Read More