• Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.- Werner Herzog

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)- An Emotionally Inept and Overindulgent Bookend to an Unnecessary Trilogy that Loses its Sense of Magic and Wonderment

There’s something truly exceptional at the heart of what Peter Jackson has accomplished this past decade with his undeniable love for the works of J.R.R Tolkien, mostly in how he has masterfully and flawlessly created a known, palpable, and fully realized fantasy world that rivals the best of the epic Universe builders including Cecil B. … Continue reading

Movie Review: American Sniper (2014)- Eastwood’s Detached Direction and Jason Hall’s Predictable Script Result in a Shallow Exploration of a Complex Man Who Deserves More

Though there’s plenty political framing, moral posturing, and opportunistic grandstanding on war there always seems to be a missing emphasis on the soldier’s experience, or rather an acknowledgment and understanding on what war means to a soldier, how it effects a soldier, and what can be done in the aftermath for a soldier. First-hand confessions … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Gambler (2014)- An Occasionally Entertaining yet Thoroughly Empty Remake that Fails to Match the Original’s Poignant Character Study or Existentialist Themes

As it is with all unsuspecting remakes not many people will really recall the original 1974 The Gambler; a sort of existentialist exercise of carefree bravado in the world of high stakes gambling written in autobiographical context by the great James Toback, directed with unrelenting grittiness by Karel Reisz, and featuring a charismatic performance from James … Continue reading

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)- A Literalist Interpretation of the Classic Biblical Epic that Loses Grip on its Important Themes due to an Uninspired Script, Misguided Direction, and Mediocre Acting

In response to the incessant whining from proselytizing atheists on their minority religious opinion not being recognized or heard, agnostic and rabid non-believing comedian Marc Maron said, “because it’s shrill and annoying and no one really wants to hear it.” Self-righteous atheist evangelicals are very real whether they’re the four horseman of the non-apocalypse—Richard Dawkins, … Continue reading

Movie Review: Still Alice (2014)- An Earnest and Occasionally Devastating Illustration of Disease that Makes Up for Bland Direction and a One Dimensional Narrative with a Gripping Performance

An unfortunate part of the human condition is the deterioration of our mortal bodies where the development of maladies—some more debilitating and horrifying than others—erode our known sense of self that eventually leaves behind an empty shell of our former being. The cruelest of illnesses might be Alzheimer’s; an unstoppable attack of mental attrition that … Continue reading

Movie Review: Wild (2014)- A Beautifully Resilient yet Occasionally Flawed Cinematic Journey of Feminist Strength, Personal Acceptance, and Transcendental Freedom

Nature is an elusive entity; an aspect of life that has mystified us with its insurmountable beauty, promised us peaceful solitude and transcendental freedom for those willing to attain it, and has served up harsh realities due to its unforgiving changes that prove that underestimating its force can be a tragic downfall. It seems nature … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Imitation Game (2014)- A Standard British Drama That Finds Modern Significance in its Occasionally Simplistic Character Study

Nothing is more tragic than witnessing the bright light of a promising mind—creative, intellectual, or otherwise—being snuffed out far before their time and even more tragic when the reasons behind their end are a result of thoroughly antiquated, discriminatory, and unjust notions that have, for the most part, evolved over time. One of these elusive … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Homesman (2014)- An Uneven yet Devastating Feminist Critique of the Male-Centric Western that Deconstructs the Romanticism of the Genre

The prospect of the western frontier has always brought with it sweeping hope filled refrains of new beginnings, the freedom of opportunity, and the wonders of success that were explored with optimistic fervor in the classic worlds of John Ford, Raoul Walsh, and Howard Hawkes. However, these borderline naïve depictions of the west as an … Continue reading

Movie Review: Inherent Vice (2014)- Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson’s Latest is a Satirical Embodiment of the Post-Noir 70s that is Humorously Absurd, Allegorically Resonant, and A Product of Nostalgia Filmmaking

Anyone who has ever read a Thomas Pynchon novel knows that it’s quite the daunting task as his ambitious storytelling is guided by an articulate yet passive prose that randomly maneuvers through an ethereal haze of eccentric characters, a detailed tapestry of literary influences, and a blend of varying expressionistic tones. These qualities sound vaguely … Continue reading

Movie Review: Foxcatcher (2014)- Bennett Miller’s Atmospheric and Understated Thriller Showcases Refined Performances but Misses the Mark in Thematic Relevance

The elusive concept of the American Dream has become a sort of repetitive target for the realm of cinema mostly because, like all ideals, there are cracks to be exposed and tragedies that showcase its failures either in focusing on the inability to achieve its benefits or focusing on those who abuse its possibilities. Ever … Continue reading

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