Tag Archives: cinema

This Is It! A fitting eulogy for the once and future King of Pop

8 Nov

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This Is It (PG) 121 min. Directed by: Kenny Ortega.

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I am not a Michael Jackson fan.

Like many others, I listened to the music, sat there patiently waiting for the Black and White video to premiere on MTV, and found sadly I couldn’t turn away when the media circus went critical mass in the late 90s. But through it all, I always found following Michael to be more of a social obligation than the genuine interest of a true fan. When he died, I acknowledged the tragedy, but I didn’t think much more on it. Now, with Kenny Ortega’s ‘This Is It’, the bittersweet daydream of a concert that will never be, I’m finally beginning to realize why Jackson had rightfully earned the title ‘King of Pop’. Continue reading

‘Fourth’ is a close encounter of the questionable kind

6 Nov

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Nov. 6th, 2009–

For all those who want to go into The Fourth Kind as fresh as possible, check out my spoiler free review over at Atomic Popcorn. For everyone else, feel free to stick around but know that I’m going to get into some of the more specific details of the film and you might want to clear out. Nothing too spoiler-heavy, but some of whats working or not working in the film is difficult to discuss without revealing elements that the marketing folks have done a reasonable job of hiding.

ATOMIC POPCORN REVIEW OF THE FOURTH KIND

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Crispin Glover brings THE BIG SLIDE SHOW to The Charles on Nov. 19th

3 Nov

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Great Scot! It looks like George McFly himself is headed to Baltimore this month and he’s bringing some interesting work with him. The actor will be appearing at The Charles  for one performance of his Big Slide Show at 7:30 p.m. on the 19th of November.

Crispin Glover, best known for his work in Back to the Future (arguably the most normal thing he’s ever done) is an actor who has always positioned himself just off-center from the norm. Glover, who proudly displays Helli0n as his middle name, has made eccentricity and outsider antics an art form. Literally, he’s made it art, and he’s bringing a portion of it to The Charles with him when he comes. Continue reading

‘Prince of Persia:Curse of the Black Pearl’ trailer arrives!

3 Nov

Nov. 3rd, 2009–

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Wow. I’m wondering if Disney even knows how to cut good trailers anymore.

I wish I could be more excited for this one. Afterall, it’s one of the big summer tentpole movies.

It took me  a few moments to process Donnie Darko as a swashbuckler, but more than that, it’s the 1999 Mummy sand fx that seem out of place here. I’m not digging the excessive use of digital imagery and the central plot seems like a cookie-cutter genre affair. For a movie with its own established franchise, Persia looks a bit too much like LOTR, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean stirred into a giant CGI stew. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition:Wendigo

18 Oct

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cinemagrade bChances are you might have heard of Larry Fessenden, and if you have, most of his buzz is probably coming off of this 2001 movie. Larry directed a creepy and sometimes off-putting vampire film called Habit early in his indie career and followed that movie up with this one. And after making Wendigo, he apparently became obsessed with the titular mystical beastie since both of his following efforts would feature the dark forest spirit prominently. The Last Winter was an eco-thriller with a ghost story wrapped around it, and his episode of Fear Itself, written by AICN’s Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan, was a grotesque little tale with Doug Jones as a most hideous wendigo.

But for my money, it’s this little feature here that works the best. Wendigo isn’t solely about some monster in the woods, though. It’s really about the ways in which children see the world as they grow up and tells the story of a little boy coming to grips with the difference between the phantoms of his imagination and the harsher dangers of the real world. It’s an odd spooky trip and whole chunks of it play like The Shining done documentary style. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Sauna

6 Oct

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Oct 6th, 2009–

cinemagrade b A.J. Anila’s Sauna is an odd and challenging  film. The Finnish horror feature is the second for its director and like his first, Jade Warrior, it’s a melding of genres; supernatural horror, historical drama and existential mystery.  A grim, cold and foreboding movie, Sauna is really about the price of sin and the nature of guilt. I’ve watched it twice now over the past few days, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. Continue reading

Fantasia 2009 Review: ‘Daytime Drinking’ Without the Hangover

24 Jul

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Daytime Drinking (NR) 116 min. Written and Directed by: Young-Seok Noh Starring: Kang-Hee Kim, Sam-Dong Song Cinematography and Original Music by: Young-Seok Noh

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 After seeing so many of the Fantasia Fest entries this year (and I’ve got a ton of reviews on the way) one begins to notice the overarching differences between the various strains of Asian film. China seems to still be primarily focusing energy on martial arts and historical action pictures; Japan is all over the wacky place with some really bold dramas and alot of comic-book fueled madness; Thailand is mostly concerned with how to actually kill its stuntmen during filming; and then, there is South Korea. In the past five or six years Korean film has leapt to the forefront of the cinematic landscape. Producing work both provoking, artistic and just plain-out entertaining, Korean filmmaking is in the midst of a significant evolution forward. When I look at movies like Oldboy, The Chaser, or the work of Kim Ki-Duk, what I see reminds me of the artistic explosion that occurred in the film world here in America during the 1970s. That era bought about a new viewpoint through which artists considered the opportunities the medium of film afforded. Continue reading