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Sanctum (2011)
The only way out is down.
Action
Thriller

Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team—including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out.

Enclosed We still have things to discover about 3D movies. It is not at all clear that market forces and corporate interests will drive us toward more powerful art. A basic problem is whether the brain will allow itself to be fooled. I suppose it can...


Published February 17, 2024
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The Woman in Red (1984)
He's head over heels and headed straight for trouble!
Director: Gene Wilder
Comedy
Romance

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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Cold Souls (2009)
A soul searching comedy.
Director: Sophie Barthes
Comedy
Drama
Fantasy
Science Fiction

Paul is agonising over his interpretation of 'Uncle Vanya' and, paralysed by anxiety, stumbles upon a solution via a New Yorker article about a high-tech company promising to alleviate suffering by extracting souls. He enlists their services—only to discover that his soul is the shape and size of a chickpea.

Hummus This is depressing, because it is not merely bad, it stomps on some very precious ideas. The fault is in trying to be Woody Allen; even he fails most of the time. There is a deep concept here, but it is obscured by the attempt to...


Published February 16, 2024
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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)
Why would a man frame himself... for murder?
Director: Peter Hyams
Thriller

Remake of a 1956 Fritz Lang film in which a novelist's investigation of a dirty district attorney leads to a setup within the courtroom.

Fixing, after the Fact Here is a project for film students: take this film, a loser, and make a great movie from it. I think I would add new footage about the hidden story here (the hooker), present the thing nonlinearly, shift the narrator and the...


Published February 16, 2024
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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2009)
There's A Storm Coming
Action
Thriller
Crime
Mystery

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
Director: Charles Ferguson
Documentary
Crime

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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Brand Upon the Brain! (2006)
Director: Guy Maddin
Drama
Mystery
Comedy

Guy and his sister grow up on an island. His domineering mother keeps watch over everything from the tip of a lighthouse, his eccentric father experiments in the basement laboratory. Then there are the orphans, on whose heads the adoptive parents later find puzzling wounds. Another brother and sister pair is sent to the island: the Lightball Kids, two detectives that are meant to bring light into the darkness. The brothers and sisters are all yanked into the emotional roller coaster of first love, while something cryptic comes to light in the parents' house.

Jalapeno Water Here’s the problem: Maddin is an impressive filmmaker. He is important and has made at least two films that are important to me. But he is not a very interesting person. So when he applies his mastery to making a personal film - a...


Published February 16, 2024
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Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
Off the map, things get strange.
Director: Werner Herzog
Documentary

Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger go to Antarctica to meet people who live and work there, and to capture footage of the continent's unique locations. Herzog's voiceover narration explains that his film will not be a typical Antarctica film about "fluffy penguins", but will explore the dreams of the people and the landscape.

Death in the Ice There is no denying the man. He has already changed me, and others. Interestingly, it seems that this is less by design than by accidents that occur because he chooses to put his camera in places where the cosmos is unstable. Sometimes it...


Published February 16, 2024
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Silk (2007)
Come Back, or I Shall Die...
Director: François Girard
Drama
Romance

Based on the best-selling novel by Alessandro Baricco, this visually stunning film tells the story of a French trader who finds unexpected love far away from home.

The Folded Letter Gosh, yet another movie with a delicious idea, but mediocre execution. The thing is boring in a pretty way and vaguely calls up romantic notions of singular love. You may not make it until the end, but I urge you to, because the...


Published February 16, 2024
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Crop Circles: Quest for Truth (2002)

Space Between Circles The documentary is an elastic category that doesn’t know itself. Like the crop circles that are the subject of this one, they in more or less intriguing and attractive manner, secure that our need for a ‘message‘ will impose a narrative. Nominally, documentarians are...


Published February 16, 2024
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