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Blue Ridge (2014)
A rural tale of love and hate
Director: Vince Sweeney

Paranoid and unpredictable, J.T. lives a solitary life of used tires and decaying trailers. Despite his situation, J.T. wins the love of Sara, an innocent young girl left alone in the world after losing the last of her family.

Temporarily Fixed TeeVee There isn’t the slightest feel that this is a first film. The way things are framed, and the rhythm of the edits are first class. The main actors are superb. There is no story to speak of, just enough events to serve the purpose...


Published February 1, 2024
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Interstellar (2014)
Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Adventure
Drama
Science Fiction

The adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Dissymmetries, sight The good news that we have the brothers reunited and again working on circular narrative. Again, we have a powerful narrative arc that shifts in unexpected and engages in expected ways. The device is hackneyed: messages from the future, but is handled deftly. Where it...


Published January 24, 2024
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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Drama
Comedy

A fading actor best known for his portrayal of a popular superhero attempts to mount a comeback by appearing in a Broadway play. As opening night approaches, his attempts to become more altruistic, rebuild his career, and reconnect with friends and family prove more difficult than expected.

Parasitic Nests I have a particular interest in five different cinematic styles, worlds actually. One of them I have named the Hispanic style. It is characterised by: elements of magical reality, either in supernatural physics or synchronous connections. a belief that the world is rich, fecund. Occasionally female...


Published September 5, 2023
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American Sniper (2014)
The most lethal sniper in U.S. history.
Director: Clint Eastwood
War
Action

U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle takes his sole mission—protect his comrades—to heart and becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. His pinpoint accuracy not only saves countless lives but also makes him a prime target of insurgents. Despite grave danger and his struggle to be a good husband and father to his family back in the States, Kyle serves four tours of duty in Iraq. However, when he finally returns home, he finds that he cannot leave the war behind.

Focus I watched this like many others, consuming a rather simple story. Superficially, we are to admire this soul, both as an individual and representative of a collective who ‘serve’ us. As with Forgiven, we have some subtle exit from the story in the direction of...


Published March 26, 2023
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Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Manners maketh man.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Crime
Comedy
Action
Adventure

The story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Not that Kind of Tailoring From time to time in these comments, I remark on my surprise at how sophisticated young viewers are, and how they demand ever more complex and subtle self-referential folds. It gives me pleasure to realise that my flower children cohort were...


Published March 5, 2023
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Kite (2014)
Never underestimate a girl with nothing to lose.
Director: Ralph Ziman
Drama
Action

When Sawa's mother and policeman father are found victims of a grisly double homicide, she begins a ruthless pursuit for the man who murdered them. With the help of her father's ex-partner, Karl Aker, and a mysterious friend from her past, she becomes a merciless teen assassin, blasting her way through the dark world of human trafficking only to uncover a devastating truth

Raped This could have been a good movie. I’m particularly sensitive to the cinematic power of sexual exploitation — after all, that’s pretty close to much of the cinematic experience. And child molesting adds great power to the experience. Also, I like Manga’s sometimes honest approach to...


Published March 4, 2023
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The Lego Movie (2014)
The story of a nobody who saved everybody.
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Animation
Family
Adventure
Comedy
Fantasy

An ordinary Lego mini-figure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from conquering the universe.

Gamer Gate The outer story is about a kid and his dad who doesn't understand play. An inner story has tokens that elaborate on this, a story that is mostly flashiness. The animation is based on Lego and I am sure there is a large franchise...


Published February 26, 2023
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Lady Maiko (2014)
What does it take to be a lady?
Director: Masayuki Suō
Comedy
Drama
Music

Country bumpkin Haruko only ever wanted to become a maiko, an apprentice geisha. Initially rebuffed for lack of references, Haruko's strong accent intrigues a linguistics professor, who undertakes to coach her.

Adaptation The story itself is about adapting from a not ideal Japanese state to the purest state, a Geisha. In Japan, the rural north is considered to consist of country bumpkins, something like in the US we associate with the South. A Geisha’s training includes many...


Published February 24, 2023
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Nightcrawler (2014)
The city shines brightest at night
Director: Dan Gilroy
Crime
Drama
Thriller

When Lou Bloom, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.

Wet Spots There are some fine things about this that you can read elsewhere, There seems to be no lack of appreciation for the obvious things. What struck me was the role that Russo has. I am interested in films where the filmmaker — usually a man...


Published February 24, 2023
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Monuments Men (2014)
It was the greatest art heist in history
Director: George Clooney
War
Drama
History
Action

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed?

The Diary I am thankful that Clooney is working. I’ve heard him speak as himself; he is a good man, interested in good things. I forgive him his lack of range as an actor, because the characters he plays are so engaging. And he made “Good...


Published February 24, 2023
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