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Secrets of the Dead: Sinking Atlantis (2008)

Metastories Somewhere along the line, we lost the thread. The way we approach art has been transformed into a fixation on artist as celebrity. The practice of governing has been ignored in favour of fantasies about how we should be governed. It matters less what Johnny...


Published February 14, 2024
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Thor (2011)
Courage is immortal.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Adventure
Fantasy
Action

Against his father Odin's will, The Mighty Thor - a powerful but arrogant warrior god - recklessly reignites an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Shakespeare, Shouted I continue to maintain that the least imaginative and cinematically effective production group is not Michael Bay‘s, Jerry Bruckheimer‘s, or that gleeful combination of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It is Marvel, who time after time think a hard punch is an effective punch,...


Published February 14, 2024
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Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)
Director: Takashi Miike
Adventure
Action
Comedy
Western
Thriller

A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

An Unworthy Opponent Sometimes a film presents itself to you as a character, whole in definition, with whom you have to deal. This is possible either because the film has a soul that the artist has created, or because the filmmaker borrows one by hijacking a...


Published February 10, 2024
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Phantoms (1998)
For centuries they told us the terror would come from above. We've been looking the wrong way.
Horror
Science Fiction
Thriller

In the peaceful town of Snowfield, Colorado something evil has wiped out the community. And now, its up to a group of people to stop it, or at least get out of Snowfield alive.

Primeval Roles Whatever confluence of forces that were at work, when I saw ‘Lawrence of Arabia‘ I was dumbstruck. The sweep of the desert and its lonely complexities mapped thoroughly with the internal landscape this man revealed. Lonely, sexually obsessed but incompetent, determined to press through...


Published February 9, 2024
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Colombiana (2011)
Revenge is beautiful.
Action
Thriller
Crime
Drama

After witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, Cataleya Restrepo grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the mobster responsible for her parents' death.

Episodes of Death Long form is so hard that most films will do anything to get out of it. A standard escape is to have three acts that the viewer will accept as belonging together. Each of these can then be a small story by itself. And...


Published February 9, 2024
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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
When patriots become heroes
Action
Adventure
Science Fiction

During World War II, Steve Rogers is a sickly man from Brooklyn who's transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler's ruthless head of weaponry, and the leader of an organization that intends to use a mysterious device of untold powers for world domination.

Shifting Interiors It just doesn’t make any sense to me, how consistently bad Marvel‘s films are. Perhaps someone who loves the comics can be transported out of the movie into some well established fantasy world. In that case, all you need are a few cues. But...


Published February 9, 2024
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Cars 2 (2011)
Take a trip. See the sights. Save the world.
Animation
Family
Adventure
Comedy

Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

Killer TeeVee You can see Pixar being as Disney-fied at the same time Disney gets Pixar-ated. In this case, the experiments in a spatial camera all go away while the cartoon becomes an ordinary 3D production. And there’s too much story. It is a kid‘s movie, so...


Published February 9, 2024
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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
The invasion we always feared. An enemy we never expected.
Action
Science Fiction
Adventure

The Autobots continue to work for NEST, now no longer in secret. But after discovering a strange artifact during a mission in Chernobyl, it becomes apparent to Optimus Prime that the United States government has been less than forthright with them.

Panopticon Defects Sometimes you simply get proved wrong. I was wrong and I admit it. When I saw the first Transformers movie, I thought I was seeing something that advanced the cinematic vocabulary. The movie was still otherwise worthless, and the advance was in the service of...


Published February 9, 2024
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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
First Contact. Last Stand.
Director: Jon Favreau
Action
Science Fiction
Thriller
Western

A stranger stumbles into the desert town of Absolution with no memory of his past and a futuristic shackle around his wrist. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella and the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde, he finds himself leading an unlikely posse of cowboys, outlaws, and Apache warriors against a common enemy from beyond this world in an epic showdown for survival.

Golden Womb I’ll let others talk about the nature of the disaster here. There are so many disintegrated narrative chunks in this stew that you are forced to grab onto one. The one that fascinates me is what ‘the girl‘ is all about. In the sort of...


Published February 9, 2024
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