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Edge of Darkness (2010)
Some secrets take us to the edge.
Filmmaker(s): Martin Campbell

As a seasoned homicide detective, Thomas Craven has seen the bleakest side of humanity. But nothing prepares him for the toughest investigation of his life: the search for his only daughter Emma's killer. Now, he is on a personal mission to uncover the disturbing secrets surrounding her murder, including corporate corruption, government collusion and Emma's own mysterious life.

Knowledge Aforehand Careful, this contains not only spoilers for this film, but the original teleplay as well. I’ve had the opportunity to see this close to the extraordinary original. In a fascinating superposition, both are by the same director. The original is one of the best long...


Published February 19, 2024
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Secretariat (2010)
The Impossible True Story
Filmmaker(s): Randall Wallace

Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery - with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin - manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.

The Good Mom ‘Seabiscuit‘ was a film worth watching. It was masterfully structured, as I noted at the time. It was not about a horse so much as the people of America coming from behind and besting the fat cats who had thrown them into penury....


Published February 19, 2024
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Cosi (1996)
When chasing your dreams... it helps to be a little crazy!
Filmmaker(s): Mark Joffe

Lewis, a young amateur theater director, is offered a job with a governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney institution. His project is overrun by one of the patients who wants to stage the opera Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart despite the fact that none of the patients are able to sing and none of them speak Italian. A comedy of errors ensues, but one which unifies the patients and their director in unexpected ways.

Madmen ‘The Ninth Configuration‘ was an interesting film. It was structured around comic madness determined to put on a Shakespearean tragedy. It took risks and was sloppy but it worked because the film itself was mad. The idea surrounded the thing and provided a real situation,...


Published February 19, 2024
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Eat Pray Love (2010)
Let Yourself GO
Filmmaker(s): Ryan Murphy

Liz Gilbert had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house and a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy, the power of prayer in India and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.

Selfishness Writing about how bad this movie would be about as boring as the movie. What is so interesting is why. I don’t know the book; I assume it has some engaging qualities for its target audience. But the quality of the book on which movies are...


Published February 19, 2024
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Wonka (2023)
Every good thing in this world started with a dream.
Filmmaker(s): Paul King

Willy Wonka – chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time – is proof that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible.

Paddington’s Twist I never was a particular fan of Dahl’s, but I do have to admire the coherence he brought to his projects. There were bad guys and good guys, children and mothers, yearning and magic. But these all occurred in a world that worked together....


Published February 18, 2024
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The Woman in Red (1984)
He's head over heels and headed straight for trouble!
Filmmaker(s): Gene Wilder

When a happily married family man, who would never consider an affair, meets a beautiful woman in red, he is totally infatuated and desperate to make her acquaintance. However, as he tries out various schemes to sneak out to meet her, he realizes that adultery is not quite as easy as it looks.

Different Favorite Color Some movies are good, most not. Of the ones that are not, they still can be fun. This project made money when it was new, but is now not only unengaging but repulsive. Why is actually engaging, because it just cannot be explained...


Published February 16, 2024
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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2009)
There's A Storm Coming
Filmmaker(s): Daniel Alfredson

After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in a hospital and is set to face trial for attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must prove her innocence. In doing this she plays against powerful enemies and her own past.

Invisible Ink I found this trilogy a drudge, getting more tedious in the later chapters. Yes, it is another all-powerful conspiracy story with a dogged detective who triumphs. The only attraction I can see is the border that is straddled here. Our girl is alternately powerful and...


Published February 16, 2024
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Inside Job (2010)
The film that cost $20,000,000,000,000 to make
Filmmaker(s): Charles Ferguson

A film that exposes the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Frippery Okay, with everyone else on the planet, I suffer because the economy broke. And I was curious about a documentary supposedly Oscar-worthy. This is very good storytelling, and economical filmmaking. But it is pretty damning to say of anything that Oliver Stone‘s simplification was richer. The...


Published February 16, 2024
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Sucker Punch (2011)
You will be unprepared.
Filmmaker(s): Zack Snyder

A young girl, institutionalised by her abusive stepfather, retreats to an alternative reality as a coping strategy and envisions a plan to help her escape.

Intersection as the Razor to the Eye By now you will know that this is a box office flop, presumably because it caters to a demographic that gets easily confused, and the more engaged watchers can’t muddle through. I will say that I admire the overall structure....


Published February 16, 2024
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Source Code (2011)
Make every second count.
Filmmaker(s): Duncan Jones

When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

Time and Times and Half Time An unfortunate rule in science fiction is that you have to explain the world. Thus, you have to maintain three story lines. One is the story that you give the viewers to get them from where they are to where...


Published February 16, 2024
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