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However rote and derivative the genre may seem, the underdog sports movie still has the capacity to overwhelm even the most cynical critical urges with the pure power of triumphant emotion. Rocky did it. Hoosiers did it. And believe it or not, the Ultimate Fighting Championship movie Warrior does it as well. Thanks to an excellent cast, increasingly fantastic fight scenes and a script where the sincerity far outshines the [...]

By on November 1, 2011

There is a moment in the middle of Midnight in Paris where Gil Penders, the films’ leading man and a hopeless romantic, muses that no work of art can equal the beauty of a great city. Just as Isaac felt about New York in Manhattan, or Vicki and Cristina felt about the Spanish capital in Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona, Gil is enamoured with the great French city from whence this film [...]

By on October 25, 2011

Chronicling the outbreak of a global pandemic, Contagion is a lot like the virus it depicts, surging through your bloodstream and into your brain, wracking you with fear, paranoia and moral indecision. Bolstered by a practically inconceivable cast, director Steven Soderbergh weaves multiple storylines — not dissimilar to his 2000 Oscar-winning drug drama Traffic — in order to show the effects of the disease on various levels of society. Succeeding [...]

By on October 19, 2011

A fantastic sci-fi horror film brimming with suspense and packed with elaborate special effects, The Thing is an example of genre filmmaking at its finest, while also standing out as one of the few examples of a remake that actually improves upon the earlier film. Unfortunately, I am referring to John Carpenter’s 1982 film – itself a remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World – and not the 2011 [...]

By on October 14, 2011

Joining Conan the Barbarian and Footloose as the latest B-grade eighties pop cultural touchstones to be remade, the new Fright Night, much like the old, tells the story of a suburban teenager who is flummoxed to learn that his new next-door neighbour is actually a vampire. Scripted by Buffy alum Marti Noxon and directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), the film is packed with obvious [...]

By on October 12, 2011

Director Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, Night at the Museum) has made a cozy career out of middling family films, and his latest effort, the robo-rumble Real Steel, is no exception. Set in a not-too-distant 2020 — you know it’s the future the moment you see wind turbines, as no government in the present would approve a renewable energy scheme — the film is based on a short story [...]

By on October 10, 2011

Craig Brewers’ previous films Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan — the former about a pimp reinventing himself as a rapper, the latter about an aged blues musician who takes a troubled nymphomaniac under his wing — are both infused with a hot, sweaty, down and dirty electricity that elevates them above their exploitative subject matter. So if Hollywood ever had to remake Herbert Ross’ Footloose — which, evidently, [...]

By on October 6, 2011

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s previous film, I Love You Phillip Morris, was one of the funniest and most moving romantic dramedy’s of the past few years, but went tragically underseen because it focused on a gay love story. Their follow up is a similarly heartfelt, but decidedly broader and more mainstream affair entitled Crazy, Stupid, Love. Juggling multiple love stories – not always successfully – is a film that [...]

By on October 4, 2011
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