DRIVE gives Gosling superhero status

September 18, 2011

In a film where each supporting character’s past is his or her handicap and downfall, a protagonist with no more than a face and a job becomes the one-eyed man, king of the film’s conflict and the only person with the freedom to be the good guy.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK is status-worthy cinema

September 30, 2010

If you considered a movie about the creators of Facebook an awkward and likely unsuccessful prospect, you weren’t alone. The controversies surrounding the inception of Facebook are well documented, and it’s rare that such a contemporary character profile works as both a bold, true portrait and as an entertaining film. “The Social Network” is that rarity. Inherently — and legally — the film must be a careful depiction of recent and true events, and it succeeds brilliantly.

Why I Missed the INCEPTION Trailer

September 19, 2010

The problem begins with trailers, the movie geek’s most tempting and yet least-fulfilling drug. The cry of “we don’t want to miss the previews — that’s the best part!” is well and alive these days — just not quite like it used to be. Trailers ruined movies for me, at least for a few years. I went full film geek and overdosed. And I promised not to go in that direction again.

CYRUS directors discuss improv style, careful process

July 5, 2010

“Cyrus” continues the Duplass brothers’ trademark improvisational directing style, which has gained them critical acclaim in years past. “There will be a writing process, and then we start shooting, and we really start seeing what (the actors) are like,” Mark said. “Then we start – even if we don’t put it in the script – tailoring the scenes and how we direct the scenes, going to their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses.”

Six years later, still ‘LOST’

May 22, 2010

Days before the Series Finale of LOST, my thoughts on the show and how the legacy of a show so epic in stature can be felt on the most personal levels.

Best of 2011: Film Characters (Caesar from RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES)

January 4, 2012

In revitalizing the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, director Rupert Wyatt and the team behind 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” turned to an emergent technology that previous installments couldn’t benefit from.

Senior Goodbye 2011

December 13, 2011

My time at the Daily has been limited, and as I look back on the past year and a half, my words, articles and meetings tend to blur together; the stack of papers coalesces.

TRAILER REVIEW: PROECT X too X-rated, not enough substance

November 2, 2011

The teaser trailer for “Project X,” which is due for release next March, calls the film “a celebration of bad behavior.” Considering its characters are a bunch of partying teens, that is ultimately a somewhat bland description, which matches the unoriginal impression the film leaves.

IN TIME ticks into a disappointing ending

October 31, 2011

The concept is a meaningful variation on our own society, albeit one with more codified and defined separations and wealth. Its psychological possibilities are fruitful and endless, and the film sets itself up to be exceedingly important, establishing weighty consequences to its own outcomes, both for its characters and for us.

MONEYBALL scores high

September 26, 2011

The journey of the A’s 2002 season is an engrossing look at how a few people revolutionize the game — the drama of “Moneyball” is the tough road to change a sport both celebrated and maligned as America’s oldest.

JURASSIC PARK not yet extinct

September 11, 2011

While “Jurassic Park” may be Spielberg’s quintessential special-effects film, it’s also one of the most affecting and cohesive pictures of his career.

Trailer Review: Fincher fascinates with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

September 7, 2011

Director David Fincher experienced a resurgence to the top of film industry with “The Social Network.” And if the buzz for his next film — the English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” — is any indication, he may cement his name atop that list.

COWBOYS & ALIENS Review

July 31, 2011

The director plays “Cowboys & Aliens” with a somewhat different hand — one that not many expected and few prefer. He plays it straight and serious, as if the film’s jumbled script could somehow rest on its own storytelling laurels. The simplicity of Universal’s posters comes full circle into a bland and poorly planned action-adventure that feels a lot smaller than it’s meant to.

BAD TEACHER Review

June 26, 2011

Directed by Jake Kasdan (“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”), Detroit native and son of ‘U’ alum Lawrence Kasdan, the film follows middle school teacher Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz, “Knight and Day”) whose primary goal in life — aside from seemingly belittling her students and alienating literally every single person she meets — is to find a super-rich guy with whom to settle down.

TREE OF LIFE is visually stunning but too ambitious

June 19, 2011

Movies are miraculous. Projected illusions of life, engineered to entertain and keep us in our seats, collected in the dark for hours on end – it’s all very silly, after all. But film taps something inside people that nothing else does, hitting a rhythmic visual chord that is – at least to an extent – organic and natural.

Franchises, superheroes and adaptations slated for summer film releases (June)

April 17, 2011

June is typically filled with franchise pictures, even if not so heavily as its bordering months.

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