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Pawns Seize the Crown in ‘Life of a King’

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Games teach us life lessons, and so do movies. But movies can strip away all of the metaphor and hidden machinations, showing us the broad strokes of what happened, meaning we get the highlights and the outcome — the shorthand version of the message.  

Spike Jonze Binds the Artificial and the Human in 'Her'

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
In an undefined future-scape, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) drifts along, penning personal letters for those who have trouble expressing emotions, dictating them into a computer and then printing them out as “handwritten” hard copies to be forwarded to loved ones.  

Most Valuable Player of 2013: Forest Whitaker

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Do you recall the first time you recognized Forest Whitaker, when he was in the kind of role that made you take notice of his presence?  

Oscar Isaac Discusses His Great Performance in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Fitting for a film about a musician, the songs in Inside Llewyn Davis, the new release from the Coen Brothers, sneak inside your head past the images and actions onscreen, which is surprising because those frames have a haunting quality of their own.  

Top Ten Favorite Film Memories of 2013

0 Comments · Monday, December 23, 2013
Around this time last year, I happened upon a copy of Roger Ebert’s memoir Life Itself and found in his narrative how movies have become, for me, fragments of experiences, some of the most precious minutes and hours of my life. And so, what else can I do but share a few of the best from 2013?  

The Legend of Will Ferrell Continues

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is back, but San Diego is in the rearview mirror this time. Burgundy and his lovely lady Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) have made a home in the Big Apple and the big-time big-boy anchor desk looms, as the mack daddy of news anchormen Mack Harken (Harrison Ford) prepares to make an offer that cannot be refused.   

A Duped Documentarian Seeks the Truth About the Power of a Lie

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Audiences will sit down to Alex Gibney’s new film, The Armstrong Lie, wanting to believe that thoroughly disgraced cyclist and athlete Lance Armstrong will come clean in a far more humbling fashion than he did with Oprah Winfrey.  

Sex, Lies, and 'Vinyl': VOD Debut for Sonja Kinski

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The turning of the calendar page to 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of Steven Soderbergh’s breakthrough Sex, Lies, and Videotape, so it is somewhat fitting to end 2013 with a review of a new video-on-demand release.  

The Marvel Universe Leaps Across Formats in a Single Bound

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A quiet revolution began back in 2003 with the release of The Animatrix, a collection of animated short films that explore the history of The Matrix universe. And in the case of shorts “Final Flight of the Osiris” and “Kid’s Story,” the collection dared to fill in key information that would impact the ongoing series, including the back-to-back sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
  

The Conventional Odds Favor 'Catching Fire'

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Right off the bat, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has her very own I Am Legend moment. She’s in the restricted area outside District 12 with her trusty bow, surveying the land. The turkeys gobble-gobbling along better beware because she’s about to head off for her victory tour, celebrating her “win” at the 74th Hunger Games, and she’s not looking forward to playing the celebrity role that’s going to be expected of her.
  

'Charlie Countryman' Finds Love and Trouble Abroad

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
What are we supposed to expect from a character named Charlie Countryman played by Shia LaBeouf? Sure, LaBeouf sports a ratty hipster beard and stringy, unwashed dark locks and displays the unfortunate penchant of baring his body at the drop of a hat, which means he’s wandering down a decidedly different and more unsavory path than when we last saw him leading the charge alongside the Autobots in the first Transformers trilogy from Michael Bay.  

CAC Screens a Complex Documentary of Murderous Performance Art

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Re-enactments dominate the world of reality television. There is nothing new in the narrative framework of recreating scenes of true events for audiences to grant access to the resonant emotional impact of a situation, a soon-to-be looped moment in time. Sometimes, it is done in the service of memory and perspective.  

Steve McQueen Creates a Complex Human Portrait of Beautiful Brutality

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
From the first moment I walked out of the theater during a private press screening of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, I knew this film had the potential to spark discussion on the subject and history of race and race relations in the United States.   

The Alternative Spotlight: Black Cinema Rising

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Independent black cinema might finally be coming into its own and it’s worth focusing strictly on this moment. As a longstanding member of the Black Reel Awards, one of several entities that recognizes the best in black cinema each year, I find myself in the enviable position of having access to a number of films that rarely reach theaters in our area.
  

Saudi Arabian Film Shatters the Glass Ceiling

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Sometimes a story, told simply and effectively, changes the way we as an audience see another part of the world, the experiences of others and/or ourselves, all reflected in the moving images before us. What’s more, it can be startling when the impact, so profound and likely unexpected, cracks our cynical natures through its very simplicity.