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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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Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)
Where were you when everything changed?
Filmmaker(s): Stuart Beattie

Ellie Linton, a teen from an Australian coastal town, leads her friends on an excursion to a camp deep in the woods, dubbed "Hell." Upon their return, the youths find that their town has been overrun by an enemy army, and their friends and family have been imprisoned. When the hostile invaders become alerted to their presence, Ellie and her friends band together to escape -- and strike back against -- this mysterious enemy.

Kids I suppose studios have genre classifications that would put this as ‘action,‘ with a (Australian) patriotic flavour. But my own personal genre classification system has this as a teen stereotype movie. Maybe 20-25% of all movies are of this type, even those featuring adults. I...


Published February 19, 2024
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The Book of Eli (2010)
Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Can't Tickle Shucks. I thought for the first 45 minutes that I had found a Denzel Washington film that was right for him and worth watching in ways he helps. Mixing Kung Fu and Jesus is alarmingly common, but this seemed more pure, more cinematic than...


Published February 19, 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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127 Hours (2010)
There is no force more powerful than the will to live.
Filmmaker(s): Danny Boyle

The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.

The Hand Left in the Thing There are so many filmmakers out there that I am still approaching many films the way they were intended to be approached: as self-contained works of art (or craft). But there are some filmmakers I know well enough to trust...


Published February 16, 2024
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Concorde’s Last Flight (2010)

Highly interesting documentary Concorde's Last Flight tells the story of this eventually ill fated super plane, which could fly from London to New York in three and a half hours and travelled at twice the speed of sound but it was it's final flight and the crash just outside Paris of Air France Flight AF4590 that ultimately sealed its fate. Ten years later the French Courts are still trying to discover just what happened and who, if anyone, was to blame.

National Narratives Superficially, this is a collection of interviews from people who built and flew what they consider the greatest aircraft ever built. They literally beam and cry as the story is told. The spine of the story is one of national pride, pride of two...


Published February 14, 2024
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Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Twice the awesomeness.
Filmmaker(s): Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five - Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. It is up to Po and The Furious Five to journey across China to face this threat and vanquish it. But how can Po stop a weapon that can stop kung fu? He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

Seeing Inside I’ve been in China for a month, discovering calligraphic cinematic principles. I had a chance to see this film while there and note two remarkable aspects. The first is that while this is wholly an American film in its obsession with fathers, character sculpting and...


Published February 14, 2024
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Marwencol (2010)
When his world was stolen, Mark Hogancamp made a world of his own.
Filmmaker(s): Jeff Malmberg

After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

Exposed Cathouse Tortures I saw this with a science documentary that bothered me because instead of giving us the worthwhile narrative of the actual events, it invented a narrative of ‘discovery‘ that was bogus and which occluded the cool stuff. This film settled me because it is...


Published February 14, 2024
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