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Archive for June, 2011

The Maltese Falcon

* Note: This film is part of the 365 film guide I’m completing – the full list is on the tab bar above.

The year is 1941. A film by the name of The Maltese Falcon is set to release. However, little did the people involved know that this picture would transform their careers and the film noir genre forever. Read More

Rating: ★★★½
Francis Coppola vs. Sidney Lumet

Battle of the Directors

Good morning everyone and again welcome to another edition of Battle of the Directors. Last week was the attack of the 80′s with Cameron Crowe vs. John Hughes – which despite my own pick, was in favor of Mr. Hughes. “Don’t you forget about me” indeed Custard. Read More

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I’ve come to the conclusion that picking apart a film like Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the equivalent to mocking Sarah Palin or Glen Beck: all of which are so painstakingly embarrassing, uniformly idiotic, and quite frankly, a waste of time to put your energy into. Read More

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With A Little Help From My Friends

The time feels as if it’s transpiring quicker than lighting as of late. Not sure where the days are going. I suppose that’s life.

Now I’m sure many of you were very distressed that for the first time this month (gasp!) I didn’t post anything yesterday. Kidding aside, I’ve been in LA since Thursday night and my mind as been a bit off track. Reviews of some of the films I watched this weekend will be spread out and posted throughout this week. Read More

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Lolita

June 25, 2011 | 10 Comments | Featured, Old Format

Lolita

* Note: This film is part of the 365 film guide I’m completing – the full list is on the tab bar above.

Directed by the ever so masterful Stanley Kubrick, Lolita is a surprisingly lackluster affair with a script that’s neither as daring nor erotic as it so desperately wants to be. Read More

Rating: ★★☆☆
The Tree of Life

As the days transcend into weeks, weeks to months, months to years, and years to decades, I can guarantee you one thing: very few films will be as ambitious as Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life: a film  that’s both equal measures beautiful and didactic. Read More

Rating: ★★★☆
Bad Teacher

Directed by Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), Bad Teacher revolves around Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz): a foul-mouthed, marijuana smoking, irreverent 7th grade educator for a small school in Illinois – where apparently it’s way too easy to obtain proper teaching credentials. Read More

Rating: ★★★☆

Cars 2

June 23, 2011 | 6 Comments | Featured, Old Format

Cars 2

Speed Racer meets James Bond in John Lasseter’s less-than anticipated sequel, Cars 2: an action packed, periodically entertaining, and consistently uneven effort that strikes a wrong note at nearly every turn.

The name has changed, but the game and characters have stayed the same. Hot shot race car Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his pedestrian  tow truck pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) head overseas to compete in the Worlds largest racing venue: The Grand Prix. However, the film quickly shifts gears as Mater gets caught up in a spider-web like espionage plot – that involves high-octane action sequences through the streets of Japan and Europe. Read More

Rating: ★★☆☆
Cameron Crowe vs. John Hughes

Battle of the Directors

* Winner: John Hughes

If the numbers and comments are correct my pick last week, Stone vs. Eastwood, was the fairest matchup I’ve selected. Again, thank you for everyone who reads and comments on this site – you have no idea how much it means to me. Read More

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With A Little Help From My Friends

In the midst of summer I’ve managed to watch plenty of films. The best of what I’ve seen this week (reviews will come, if they haven’t been posted already) – The Truman Show, Chasing Amy, Inception, and The Conversation. Below, be free to talk about what films you’ve been watching lately. Read More

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The Conversation

* Note: This film is part of the 365 film guide I’m completing – the full list is on the tab bar above.

The Conversation is without a doubt one of the most subtle and spiritual films I’ve ever seen. Every frame in the picture is nuanced, juxtaposed with breathtaking cinematography and capped off by an unnerving leading performance by Gene Hackman. The movie is more than just a mystery, though. It’s ambitious enough to explore the difference between love and lust, right from wrong, dream from reality. Read More

Rating: ★★★½
Eddie Murphy: Delirious

* Note: This film is part of the 365 film guide I’m completing – the full list is on the tab bar above.

Let me paint you a picture: The date is August 17th, 1983 – we’re Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall – and an concert full of people of all races sit down to watch a man by the name of Eddie Murphy tell some jokes. Except, unlike a majority of his pasts skits on Saturday Night Live, Murphy’s act is full of cliches and stereotypical routines. The audience laughs at what they can – but mostly embrace laughter because of the presence on stage: Eddie Murphy.

Read More

Rating: ★★☆☆
Green Lantern

For a film that thrives off being fearless, The Green Lantern is awfully conventional in almost every area – never daring to go out of its predictable sap-happy realm.

The script written by Greg Berlanti (among others) is fluffy. The characterization here is cursed by the “one-trait” rule. And the film’s narrative arch hits every note you expect it to hit. Read More

Rating: ★★½☆
An Interview With Ed Randall

Today I’m honored to have Ed Randall on Duke & The Movies. He’s a broadcaster for the New York Yankees, baseball journalist for MLB.com, and long time host of Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball. In the spirit of Father’s Day, Ed’s collection of poignant and interesting interviews with some of baseballs most prominent players – is for the first time, since its original air dates, available on DVD all across the country. It gives me great pleasure to introduce, the great and successful Mr. Randall. Hope you enjoy our talk. Read More

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Chasing Amy

* Note: This film is part of the 365 film guide I’m completing – the full list is on the tab bar.

Unlike a majority of Kevin Smith’s body of work, Chasing Amy is a sincere, often thoughtful film on exploring sexual and emotional relationships between lovers and friends. Though it’s thoroughly clear that Smith’s scope is smaller than needed to fully capture the genuine feelings of his characters – “Amy” is an amiable dramedy that delivers enough laughs and poignant characters to be a successful, if not entirely unique entry into a genre consistently crowded with uninspired efforts. Read More

Rating: ★★★☆