Extended Thoughts: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Extended Thoughts: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The highly stylized and ever whimsical Wes Anderson has struck again with his latest gem, The Grand Budapest Hotel. A delectably decadent treat, the film unfolds as a kind of matryoshka nesting doll: a story within a story within a story. Peppered with his usual array of players, the troupe is joined by newcomers Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, and Saoirse Ronan...

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Extended Thoughts: A Field in England

Extended Thoughts: A Field in England

Ben Wheatley has asserted himself as the new face of avant garde cinema. From Down Terrace’s darkly comedic family crime story in 2009, to 2012’s bleakly hilarious Sightseers, nothing is by-the-book. Wheatley’s latest venture is no exception. Desolate, oddly funny, and visually volatile, A Field in England, while not a perfect film, certainly solidifies...

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Extended Thoughts: Ender’s Game

If there is one thing to get a passionate response from yours truly regarding Gavin Hood’s cinematic adaptation of Ender’s Game, it is not the social viewpoints and activism of the original novel’s author, Orson Scott Card. Yes, the man’s personal politics are vulgar and disturbing to say the least, but we’re nearly 30 years out...

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Sturm und Trek: Brief thoughts on the Con Game of NuTrek

[There are more than a few *Spoilers* in here, so beware of both the following text, as well as the comment section if you are concerned about such things] I have been falling off the summer movie blockbuster for some years now, there are fewer reviews of such in these pages, and the discussion revolves more around the box office and cultural acceptance of...

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Extended Thoughts: Chronicle

*Some Spoilers, Fair Warning* Perhaps a goofy co-incidence that Facebook filed with the SEC to launch its $5 Billion (with a B) initial public offering in the same week as this virally advertised film hit cinema screens. The dollar value for the filing is itself equal parts news-catcher, market-hubris and ultimately an underscore on where society, in the here...

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Extended Thoughts: Drive

I often find myself at a loss for words when trying to encapsulate my thoughts on a film. This is true with films that I love, films that I hate, and most everything in between. Truly, my appreciation for cinema as an art runs so deep that I cannot help but feel as if I have done a disservice if I do not spend ample time digesting what I have just seen before...

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Extended Thoughts: Submarine

Director: Richard Ayoade Story: Joe Dunthorne Screenplay: Richard Ayoade Producer: Ben Stiller Starring: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine MPAA Rating: R Running time: 97 min. It was nearly a year ago that those of us in the third row ventured to the Great White North for TIFF, and it was there that the discussion of the...

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Extended Thoughts: True Grit

With their love of American film genres, and a penchant for turning them inside out whilst still offering solid examples of whatever they do, be it the gangster picture (Miller’s Crossing), the noir (Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn’t There), the ‘based-on-a-true-story’ (Fargo, even if it sort of wasn’t), and screw-ball comedy (Intolerable Cruelty, Raising...

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Catfish: Why the ‘Hoax’ is Probably Fake

***Warning: In-Depth Spoilers of Catfish to follow*** Since its premiere at Sundance, the documentary Catfish has had more than its share of controversy. Many critics, bloggers and industry types have loudly challenged the filmmakers’ ethical stance towards their subjects and the credibility of their document (on occasion citing the film to be, if not liberally...

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Extended Thoughts: Another Year

    Mike Leigh’s tenth Feature film, assembled in the usual fashion of character and screenwriting collaboration with his actors, is very much his typical take on the various work-a-day folk in Britain. But then again, glancing at his C.V. you will see that his films which consist of mainly people talking and talking and talking have won pretty...

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