Author: Jared

BIRDMAN Movie Review

BIRDMAN is a thrilling and exhilarating step for director González Iñárritu (BÍUTIFUL, 21 GRAMS). The flowing camera work, the raw, organic acting, the lighting and sets all come together to create a fast, smart, funny, electric film. Designed to look like one long take (though actually not), BIRDMAN keeps tight focus on the characters as they prepare to mount a possibly ill-conceived production of Raymond Carver’s WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE. BIRDMAN’s nearly unflinching, obsessive eye for Riggan (Keaton) and the people near to him creates a crazy sense of groundedness: we have to stick with him, even while...

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THE GIVER Movie Review

Given the recent flood of young-adult-novel-adaptations, The Giver certainly isn’t a surprise. I (and I assume most others) was excited to see it mainly because of nostalgia. It was, after all, a not insignificant novel for many adolescent minds. Based on the 1993 novel of the same name, THE GIVER is a story I’d guess most people of a certain generation are familiar with. In addition to being a fantastically entertaining book for adolescent readers, it was also required reading for seemingly every middle-school in the Midwest. It has also been rumored as a film for ages, before being purchased in 2007  and in...

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E3 2014: UBISOFT Press Conference Round-Up

“Starts big, then goes pffffft” Like most of the big press conferences, Ubisoft didn’t reveal any huge surprises this year at its “media briefing”. Most of that stuff happened at last year’s E3. This year, we got to see the developments on some projects we previously knew about, and also some brand new games in the works that we either don’t care about or haven’t seen enough of yet to decide. For the second year running, THE DIVISION was the most promising of the bunch. Here (less a handful of the throwaway titles) is my rundown and thoughts for Ubisoft’s major featured games for the...

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GRAVITY Movie Review

When I was twelve years old I had my greatest movie going experience watching Ron Howard’s APOLLO 13. I became so sucked in that during the entire segment where Tom Hanks and his crew are offline and drifting around the freezing shadow of the moon, I remember physically shivering in my theater seat. I can’t say exactly why or how — maybe the AC was blasting — but I was unequivocally inside the movie. From the day I first heard rumors of the movie called GRAVITY to the experience of watching Sandra Bullock at the controls of the Chinese...

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A SINGLE SHOT Movie Review

If you know Sam Rockwell’s work and career, you know he’s not given the driver’s seat all that often (not often enough if you ask this writer). Although he’s turned in some utterly incredible performances, he hasn’t seen much recognition as a leading man. A SINGLE SHOT may stand to change that, for better or worse we have yet to see. The plot is not unlike that of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: a man takes a lot of money from a dead person and then other people come looking for the money. But A SINGLE SHOT is not...

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Jonze’s HER Movie Trailer: Promises Charm, Not Risk

This just in: I have watched the new trailer for Spike Jonze’s upcoming HER maybe a dozen times, and I have some thoughts. Featuring my new Hollywood crush Joaquin Phoenix (THE MASTER) as Theodore, HER looks set to captivate. But wait! before I get carried away, let’s have a thirteenth look. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QRvTv_tpw0[/youtube] It’s clear that the trailer is angling for the uplifting, quirky romance market. Let’s hope it’s only an angle, since the story as presented would be a small step backward for Jonze. He’s a superior filmmaker because of his capacity to take huge risks, to turn the...

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TO THE WONDER Movie Review

Though you’d really hope a movie with a trailer as astounding as TO THE WONDER would be incredible, it isn’t so. Obviously full of gorgeous shots and unreal places, Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER suffers hugely from his lack of evolution as a storyteller. More frustrating is his apparent lack of any effort or interest in that department, as he lately seems content to stop plot development at just meager bones, then flesh out into three-hour spectacles by essentially filming people wandering into still photographs. The movie ends up looking like a location scout’s dream, and while Malick is...

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Finally a GRAVITY Movie Trailer

It’s here! Finally, after an obscure, probably fake teaser in 2011 followed by a long stretch of absolutely nothing, Alfonso Cuarón’s (CHILDREN OF MEN) GRAVITY has been trailered. Feast your eyes: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufsrgE0BYf0[/youtube] It’s looking like this movie will be pretty much exactly what people hoped for after hearing “Cuarón” and “outer space” in the same sentence. (Though I always secretly hope that one day, a director will adhere to the fact that sound doesn’t travel in space. How cool would that be to see huge, silent explosions?) If this movie balances long stretches of the beauty of the void with...

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THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES Movie Review

Writer-director Derek Cianfrance is fascinated by how relationships evolve over time. In BLUE VALENTINE he traced the life of a romantic relationship from beginning to end; in THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES he turns the camera on the relationships between four men—fathers and sons—over the course of fifteen years. Watching the trailers, it would be easy to assume the movie would be a brooding tale of a man who turns to a life of bank robbery to provide for his infant son. While partly correct, that is literally only a third of the story. PINES is split into three...

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LOOPER Movie Review

Time travel can be dangerous territory for a movie. The huge network of cause and effect, normally so… linear… gets thrown to the wind, and it can become near impossible to keep track of the when and where. People’s natural tendency to want to “figure it out” usually spells the death of these movies, as impossibilities and potholes pile up. So when a movie comes along that, though based in the concept of time travel, is not so intricately tied up with it that it becomes implausible, I get psyched. LOOPER, the latest from emerging auteur Rian Johnson (BRICK,...

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007 SKYFALL Movie Trailer

Besides the expected glimpses of Daniel Craig (COWBOYS & ALIENS) in beautiful locales, the heartstopping stunts, and the gunplay, the surprising star of the brand new, first teaser trailer for SKYFALL is the air of mystery. While Sam Mendes’s (AMERICAN BEAUTY, ROAD TO PERDITION) entry into the Bond canon will clearly be a sweet action movie as expected, the most tantalizing draw for me is the fact that the plot continues to be kept so well-guarded. This teaser does exactly what it needs to and not a bit more. [youtube]http://youtu.be/24mTIE4D9JM?hd=1[/youtube] Three things are clear from watching: first, some men...

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Latest viral video for Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS introduces us to "David 8"

Weyland Industries continues their viral marketing campaign leading up to the film PROMETHEUS with an unsettling and eerie advertisement for the new line of android, named “David 8”. David, portrayed by Michael Fassbender (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) can do things his human counterparts cannot. As each new viral video is released for Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS, the tone of the film is increasingly becoming very creepy indeed. PROMETHEUS lands in theaters June 8th 2012 and is high atop the list on the Never Ending Radical Dude Top 5 Most Anticipated Summer Blockbusters of...

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Full PROMETHEUS Trailer Is Here!

In case you haven’t heard, Fox Searchlight has released the first official trailer for PROMETHEUS, Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated return to science fiction filmmaking. The trailer premiered at WonderCon with Sir Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof in attendance to answer questions (or hedge around a straight answer, in some cases). PROMETHEUS is for me the one and only must-see movie of this summer. It looks gorgeous and terrifying and breathtaking, A truly great science fiction movie comes along too rarely; could this be one? See it for...

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Hidden Gems: DEAR ESTHER for PC

DEAR ESTHER has come a long way since its days as a HλLF-LIFE2 mod. The quiet, unassuming game—now a standalone that masterfully utilizes Valve’s Source engine—started its life under the constraints of a game whose mechanics were geared toward action and maneuverability. In its new form, DEAR ESTHER has become one of the most lush, dark, mysterious game worlds since MYST. Set on a rocky and desolate island, the game’s slowly unfolding mystery probes the caverns of one man’s love, loss, and grief. Players take control of a nameless character who arrives on one of the island’s wharves and...

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A taste of Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS

A couple days ago, Twentieth Century Fox released a three-minute clip as a sort of mini-prologue to Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS. No word yet if this is a clip from the movie itself, or just a standalone short — though it looks to be self-contained, and my guess is it’s not movie footage but was made especially for promotional purposes. In the clip, we see a man (Guy Pearce; MEMENTO) who identifies himself as Peter Weyland (yes, that Weyland, one-half of the namesake of Weyland-Yutani Corporation that was responsible for extrasolar colonization and that funded the missions to extract living...

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HBO’s LUCK premiere promises more than a day at the races

Last week HBO premiered their new series LUCK, and it looks like they might have found a new flagship series. Being set in the world of horse racing, LUCK explores all the aspects of the sport. From the pure thrill of the high-stakes race to the shady back-door deals; from the high-rollers in the clubhouse to the lowlifes in the grandstands; from the jockeys and trainers to the horses themselves; this series looks like it will deliver. The show also promises some truly amazing race scenes, with shots in the first episode that appeared to be filmed by horse-mounted...

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