Tag Archives: literature

Cinema Bites #2: The Tell-Tale Heart

7 Oct

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Oct 7th, 2009–

Today is the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death  and what kind of Baltimorean would I be if I didn’t give the man credit? Well, I was hoping–prior to my illness here–to do something a bit more in-depth. I may yet. But for now, check out this short film that really does phenomenal job of bringing to life one of Poe’s finest short stories: The Tell Tale Heart.

All these years later, and this animation is still  haunting. The narration by the always great James Mason is perfect and can nearly drive you mad just by listening to it. This is easily one of my all time favorite short films and it’s based off of a classic story by one of the greatest authors to ever pick up the pen. Enjoy!

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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

Movie Review: ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Proves Faithful

1 Sep

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cinemagrade b Robert Schwentke’s adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s sci-fi drama The Time Traveler’s Wife both improves and dillutes its source material in almost equal measure. The result is a good movie–probably working better for starry-eyed romantics than logic-based sci-fi fans–that eludes greatness by playing it just a little too safe. However, navigating Niffenegger’s tangled and thought-provoking melodrama couldn’t have been easy and I’m grateful that the German director drew from it this sweet, sensitive and occassionally beautiful little movie. Continue reading

Trailer for Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lovely Bones’ finally arrives

5 Aug

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August 5th, 2009–

I read Alice Sebold’s odd and oddly touching novel The Lovely Bones a few years ago, while making daily trips on the Light Rail. It was an interesting and at times haunting read; simple, elegant prose and compelling imagery layered onto a human story. I enjoyed it very much but never quite understood the desire to make it a film. Peter Jackson is a great filmmaker and can bring some amazing visuals to the big screen (I even love King Kong) but he seemed like a far too literal minded director for this material.

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The trailer here suggests that I was wrong and that Jackson has found a way to take Sebold’s words and visualize them in his own way. Check out the otherworldly splendor and earthly heartache deep down in The Lovely Bones.

Maurice Sendak talks Wild Things, Spike Jonze, and the new movie!

28 Jul

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July 28th, 2009–

This is really cool. I’ve been a big fan of Maurice Sendak and his work ever since pulling that battered, old-glue smelling copy of Where The Wild Things Are off the school library shelf some 25 years ago.  Over the years, I’ve attempted to keep track of the man and what he’s been up to, but it’s neat to see him here reflecting passionately on his now 40 year old book. It’s also a good sign, and a vote of confidence, that Maurice seems to be just as excited and encouraged by what Spike Jonze has done with the movie. If you are a Wild Things fan, a Sendak or Jonze fan, or just love seeing people discuss their art then this will be a bright spot in your day.

If nothing else, you get to see some Wild Things clips and some great talking head stuff by Sendak.

Check it out HERE.

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Movie Review: ‘The Half Blood Prince’ is a worthy succesor

23 Jul

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG) 153 min.

 

cinemagrade A-Okay, I’ve been sitting on this one awhile. Being incredibly busy and having a ton of films to write-up, I haven’t gotten much chance to post lately and wanted to be able to hit several at once. So, consider this the first of a flood of new reviews rolling out over the course of today and tomorrow. And there is no better place to start than with David Yates’ newest inclusion in the Harry Potter series.

I saw HP6 last Thursday and it took me a few days to parse exactly how I felt about it. Admittedly, it took me a little while to warm up to this new Harry. I have enjoyed all of the Potter movies, including the two that jump-started the series, and I’ve read all of the books. In particular, I remember devouring Half-Blood Prince shortly after returning from my honeymoon; sitting curled up next to my wife in our small but cozy apartment, caught up in this tale of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and his growing battle with ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’. Continue reading

Will ‘Rashomon’ be the Curtain Closer for The Senator Theater?

17 Jul

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July 17th, 2009–

It’s kind of an interesting thing that this gets to be the 100th post of Cinematropolis, considering that the Senator had just closed it’s doors as I was setting up this blog, and now after three months of showing revivals, concerts and hosting mini-film fests that long dreaded auction date for the theater has finally arrived. Next week, the auction will occur, on July 21nst, and after that we wait and see whether or not The Senator will ever likely show films again. Is this the last flick to ever play the Senator? Obviously, no one knows that. I’m not even sure if this is even the last one that Kiefauber and company plan on showing. Continue reading