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Tangled (2010)
They're taking adventure to new lengths.
Filmmaker(s): Byron Howard, Nathan Greno

When the kingdom's most wanted-and most charming-bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs.

Drawing Love Sometimes the inner narrative is clear. The outer narrative is fine enough to sell tickets to parents, thinking this is what their kids want and their kids returning the favour. You’ll have to read elsewhere for how well this is done. What fascinates me is...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Tourist (2010)
It all started when he met a woman.

American tourist Frank meets mysterious British woman Elsie on the train to Venice. Romance seems to bud, but there's more to her than meets the eye.

Charade This film is quite an achievement, because it attempts to reproduce a form from 40 - 50 years ago, without any adjustment. The form is simple, being a variety of a con movie but without announcing itself. It involves a couple and adventure; only late in...


Published February 23, 2024
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Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
Something big is going down.
Filmmaker(s): Rob Letterman

Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.

Action Figures There is something brilliant about this project, something absolutely brilliant. You will find it hard to locate in the storm of distracting bad decisions elsewhere. The bad? Well, you can read about that elsewhere. A cheap film factory and story meets the three Jack Black...


Published February 23, 2024
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True Grit (2010)
Punishment comes one way or another.
Filmmaker(s): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Following the murder of her father by a hired hand, a 14-year-old farm girl sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. Marshal she can find—a man with 'true grit'—Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn.

Pumice The Coens are important to me because they invented an approach to film that has had effect in the world of film, dreams and my life. What they are able to do is take us to the edge of a genre, showing us the limits...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Warrior’s Way (2010)
Assassin. Hero. Legend.
Filmmaker(s): Lee Seung-moo

A warrior-assassin is forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands after refusing a mission.

Edges I rushed to see this on the big screen because I expect it to go away quickly. This is another movie where the watching is itself not rewarding; the reward is in the awareness of sharing the experience of a risky, somewhat twisted experience. What...


Published February 22, 2024
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How Do You Know (2010)
How do you know it's love?
Filmmaker(s): James L. Brooks

After being cut from the USA softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with her current, baseball-playing beau.

Structure, Team Play Some filmmakers you just fall into. The ones I hold most dear are those that are both expert cinematic storytellers and attempt to reshape me. These are rare, but there is a second tier of cinematic storytellers; although they do not work at...


Published February 22, 2024
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The Next Three Days (2010)
What if you had 72 hours to save everything you live for?
Filmmaker(s): Paul Haggis

A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of murdering her boss. Her husband John would spend the next few years trying to get her released, but there's no evidence that negates the evidence against her. When the strain of being separated from her husband and son gets to her, John decides to find a way to break her out.

Pregnant I don’t like Paul Haggis as a man. His work does nothing for me; I am not altered or improved by experiencing his shapes. But I have to admit that the man knows how to tell a story. He engages, and those working with him —...


Published February 22, 2024
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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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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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