Updated on August 29, 2013, 8:33 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Recently I had the great pleasure of being invited to the private screening of the new indie feature Indigo from writer and director John Hawthorne Smith and his production company La Mancha Films. The film stars Skyler Pinkerton, Dana Pelevine, and Nicholas Brendon. It's a refreshingly dark indie film that was magnificently well done.
The story is about Eli Casey, an up-and-coming photographer and recovering heroin addict, who implodes after his son is kidnapped. He separates from his wife. He stops working. He gives up. As a favor to his agent, Eli begrudgingly agrees to shoot a wedding. While there, he takes a picture of a suspicious couple who offer to bribe him in return for deleting certain photos. Eli refuses. The next day, Eli discovers that the flower girl at the wedding disappeared and Eli sets out to conquer his demons and save the girl.
It's a tense thriller that never has a dull moment, as each scene moves at an even pace. It's an on the edge of your seat thrill-ride from beginning to end as you watch Eli descend deeper and deeper into a dark underworld. Upon reaching the film's end you've experienced something completely uncommon in American cinema, however if you're familiar with the French New-Wave and Italian Neo-realism you'll see similarities to the films from those same masterful European filmmakers.
The cinematography by Aidan Schultz-Meyer was spectac...
Updated on May 17, 2013, 10:38 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
First let me start with stating that spoilers will follow in this review as this movie cannot be properly analyzed without at least discussing these spoiler filled plot points. If this is an inconvenience and you wish to see the movie unspoiled then please see it first before reading this review. That being said this was a great continuation of the new Star Trek series brought to us by director J.J. Abrams.
The movie opens with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) in command of the USS Enterprise and not following the "Prime Directive" rules set by Starfleet when he chooses to save his friend and colleague Spock (Zachary Quinto) from certain death. This sets up the necessary distance that Kirk and crew need to have from Starfleet as they embark on a mission of vengeance of both a commanded and personal nature. The mission is to kill John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) after he has bombed a secret Starfleet facility and assassinated much of the high ranking officers at Starfleet headquarters. More on the story will follow in a bit.
First let's talk about the writing and performances in general. Overall it was very well written and acted. Chris Pine is great in the role of Kirk, continuing to develop what he started in the first movie. As well Zachary Quinto is great as Spock, and continues to play the half-Vulcan, half-human, first officer of Enterprise with great poise and humility. However, it is Benedict Cumberbatch who steals the show as the main antagonist Khan. Did I just spoil that plot point? Yes, John Harrison is in fact real...
Updated on May 10, 2013, 5:26 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
The Great Gatsby was first a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in 1925, and set in 1922, it is one of the great American novels that depicts the Roaring 20's in all its glory. The book has been adapted into movies throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st. The first movie adaption was done in 1926, and is claimed to be the most faithful adaption. It is a lost film, but as the years continue to pass by it is unlikely any copies of the complete film will emerge. All that remains is the trailer, which is in the National Archives. There was one made in 1949, then the most famous screen version with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby was done in 1979, followed by a made-for-TV version in 2000. The latest adaption hit theaters in 2013...
The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Gatsby), Carey Mulligan (Daisy Buchanan), Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway), and Joel Edgerton (Tom Buchanan) was released in theaters on May 10, 2013. Critics met it with mostly negative reviews, but for the most part it's not as bad as they make it out to be. In fact, it's a pretty decent adaption that captures most of the essence of the book. Naturally there are a few changes, and it seems to focus more on the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy while completely ignoring the relationship between Carraway and professional golfer Jordon Baker (Read More & View Comments
Updated on May 3, 2013, 8:58 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Iron Man 3 completes the journey Tony Stark started in the first film released in 2008, and takes place after the events of The Avengers (2012). It is a fun adventure, and a good movie. It surpasses the second Iron Man film, but isn't nearly as good as the first. Now, I need to warn you that I am not familiar with the comics, and thus will only be rating the movie based on how it works as a film by itself and as part of the whole Iron Man trilogy. Let me begin with the story…
The movie begins with a very Shane Black (writer & director) style voice-over, which honestly didn't quite fit into the world established in the first two movies. It didn't quite work too well either as it felt like a lazy way to tell exposition instead of showing it. Nonetheless the movie gets moving quickly enough, and it maintains a pretty quick pace for its two hour running time. Although the story tended to feel a little disjointed, it worked. There were some things that were done well to comedic effect, but likely pissed of fan boys. Guy Pearce worked effectively as the antagonist, and it's in large part because he's such a fantastic actor. Character development wise Tony had better development than the second, but not nearly as good development as the first. However, what they establish as his short-coming at the beginning of the film is overcome by the end.
Updated on January 13, 2013, 3:34 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
The movie begins with a black screen and sounds of calls and other radio chatter regarding 9/11. We then find ourselves in Pakistan on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Yes, the movie begins with a torture scenario to ascertain information. No, the whole movie is not about how torture got CIA operatives reliable intelligence that led them to Bin Laden. It was one method used early on, and quickly is proven to be a so-so method.
Kathryn Bigelow did an amazing job in bringing this gripping story to the screen. It truly is a manhunt that will be remembered throughout history as one of the most harrowing and challenging for the world’s greatest criminal. Bin Laden may be labeled a terrorist, but in the end he’s nothing more than a criminal who orchestrated the mass killings of thousands of people. The film portrays the manhunt in a similar fashion to Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece La battaglia di Algeri (1966). The cinematography has that same documentary style grittiness to it, and splices real news footage amongst the shot footage.
The main protagonist, Maya (Jessica Chastain), is a dedicated CIA operative who spends nearly a decade fixated on hunting down Bin Laden. Chastain nails her portrayal of this headstrong woman who sees a connection that her colleagues fail to recognize. It’s because of her devotion to finding a courier believed to be Bin Laden’s go to courier that the compound he was hiding in was able to be discovered. The film presents this challenging operation in exactly the manner that befits...
|Older Posts →|