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Transcendence (2014)
Yesterday, Dr. Will Caster was only human...
Director: Wally Pfister
Thriller
Science Fiction
Drama
Mystery

Two leading computer scientists work toward their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.

Behind the Screens One of my angels die when I encounter a film like this. It has a mix of things that disturb and disappoint. A minor but essential problem is that the actors do a bad job. All of these men at least has had...


Published December 6, 2022
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Tombstone Canyon (1932)
Director: Alan James
Action
Drama
Mystery
Romance
Western

A range lawman (Ken Maynard) unmasks a black-cloaked phantom killer (Sheldon Lewis).

Haunted House meets Mystery meets Western I love watching these films from the early thirties. Rarely are they good in the way that I need as a modern viewer. But the story is not the one the movie directly delivers, but the larger story of movies...


Published December 6, 2022
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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Earth Will Fall
Director: J.J. Abrams
Action
Adventure
Science Fiction

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Lens Flare I’ve put Abrams in the same category as Soderbergh and Kubrick but only as a junior member. These are directors that do all the production stuff excellently, but whose creative life is in what the camera brings. They see the film not as storyboards...


Published December 5, 2022
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Luca (2021)
Prepare for an unforgettable trip.
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Animation
Comedy
Fantasy
Adventure
Family

Luca and his best friend Alberto experience an unforgettable summer on the Italian Riviera. But all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.

Post-Lassiter Engineering Pixar/Disney finally dumped John Lassiter over his profoundly offensive behaviour. As consumers, we still pay part of our ticket for his buyout, but get the benefit of the second story team, previously suppressed by his understanding of story mechanics. Some of these are great. I...


Published December 5, 2022
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13 Going on 30 (2004)
For some, 13 feels like it was just yesterday. For Jenna, it was.
Director: Gary Winick
Comedy
Fantasy
Romance

After total humiliation at her thirteenth birthday party, Jenna Rink wants to just hide until she's thirty. With a little magic, her wish is granted, but it turns out that being thirty isn't as always as awesome as she thought it would be!

Why Are Formulas Endearing? I just cannot understand why I find this endearing and repellent at the same time. I find it endearing because it sticks to tried and true formulas, and being easily hypnotised cinematically these formulas work on me. I am disturbed at the same...


Published December 4, 2022
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13 Moons (2002)
Ever have one of those nights?
Director: Alexandre Rockwell
Comedy
Drama

Things aren't looking so good for television clown Banana's career, and the fact that his estranged wife, Suzi, has just been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, Lily, just serves to compound Banana's despair.

Lost Characters You have a few choices when sitting down to write a story. One of these is to decide what sort of agency your characters have. To my mind, the best storytellers start with a world, a notion of sweeps within that world that creates...


Published December 3, 2022
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Killer Condom (1996)
The rubber that rubs you out!
Director: Martin Walz
Comedy
Horror

The plot takes place in New York, and in the present. In a Hotel called "Quicky" a professor blackmails a student of his into having sex with him. But when the professor puts on a condom, the carnivorous condom bites off his penis and disappears. Detective Mackaroni who gets the case thinks that the college girl just bit off her teacher's penis! Mackaroni goes to the motel himself to check out the crime scene, in the lobby he finds a gigolo named Bill and he asks him to follow him to crime room, there the two men attempt to have sex when they are suddenly interrupted by the attack of a killer condom.

No Protection When I enter one of these worlds, I expect risk. Not by itself of course, but paired with clever insight, unusual metaphor or sliding perspective. But above all, risk. Their risk is my risk. Quite literally, I enter these film relationships promiscuously without protection,...


Published December 1, 2022
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Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995)
Joust Do It.
Director: Michael Gottlieb
Adventure
Fantasy
Comedy
Family

A Southern California kid named Calvin Fuller is magically transported to the medieval kingdom of Camelot through a crack in the ground caused by an earthquake. Once there, he learns he was summoned by the wizard Merlin, who needs Calvin to save Camelot. Using dazzling modern inventions, can Calvin help King Arthur retain his crown and thwart the evil Lord Belasco?

Merlin's Reds The magic of the legend is that it is presented through the prism of Merlin's magic. It is the English thread of self-referential literature that balances the Spanish Don Quixote. In this thread, the teller is a magician and all of the "reality" we...


Published December 1, 2022
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Bloodsport (1988)
The true story of an American ninja.
Director: Newt Arnold
Action
Thriller

U.S. soldier Frank Dux has come to Hong Kong to be accepted into the Kumite, a highly secret and extremely violent martial arts competition. While trying to gain access into the underground world of clandestine fighters, he also has to avoid military officers who consider him to be AWOL. After enduring a difficult training and beginning a romance with journalist Janice Kent, Frank is given the opportunity to fight. But can he survive?

No Bruce Lee Bruce Lee invented a genre; Jackie Chan invented a genre; Sly Stallone invented a minigenre, all with various approaches to personal combat. But these guys deeply understood how film works so they could tap the relevant pressure points. Van Damme did not invent...


Published December 1, 2022
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Juwanna Mann (2002)
The only way he can stay pro, is to play (like) a girl.
Director: Jesse Vaughan
Comedy

A basketball star is booted out of the NBA when his on-court antics go too far, so he poses as a woman and joins the WUBA.

Tootsie Got Game One of the most disturbing trends in film is how we have started manufacturing “special audience” films. They used to have their own lives, their own autheticity. Here we have a mindless copy: “Tootsie” plays basketball. This goes beyond dumb and stereotypical —...


Published December 1, 2022
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