Dope

Icarus, much like its mythological namesake, starts out openly enough. Writer/director Bryan Fogel, obviously undergoing a mid-life crisis, seeks to rise above his competition and win an long-eluded amateur bike race by subscribing to a doping program ala Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton. His gonzo-ish film about cheating the system then takes a serious turn…

Video-Game Action; Direct-Release Scripting

Let’s play nice and call Spectral an homage to a heap of sci-fi films and not a mash-up of clichés from all that has come before. A mash-up, yes, but certainly a nice-looking one at that. James Badge Dale, proving he had leading-man chops, as evident from HBO’s The Pacific, stars in first-time director Nic…

Suspenseful. Alluring. Slow.

Stoker is a surprisingly wonderful indie film written by an American television actor, directed by a Korean known for violent action flicks, all told in a suspenseful vein that Alfred Hitchcock would find suitably satisfactory, especially with the themes presented within: a loner child, daddy issues, an ignorant mother, a suspicious uncle, and death, death,…

A most excellent look at a personage of historical significance

Daniel Day-Lewis steals the show as the title character in Lincoln, but by all rights, the film itself could have been named Amendment XIII as the second act’s energy, as well as most of the third, is focused on the debate in the House to abolish slavery nearly leaving Lincoln as a mere witness to…

Charred, Not Hot

The fact that Ghost Rider is a b-comicbook character at best should bring no surprise that his movie owould be of similar ilk. Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance is the ultimate b-movie complete with b-grade actors (welcome back to the silver screen Christopher Lambert), a generic plot (the only way for the devil’s power to…

The "Fake Picture" becomes a real hit

In the film Argo, producer Lester Siegel, played by Academy Award winner Alan Arkin, puts forth real effort into making a fake film a success as a perfect ruse to rescue six wanted Americans hiding at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The triple-threat of Ben Affleck (Argo‘s Producer-Director-Star) must have…

The Town

Let’s admit to a solemn truth here: heist flicks are as formulaic as any other genre film. One grand heist leads to another, more often than not there is at least one car chase, the alpha male falls for a woman, said male decides to leave his life of crime, which leads to his final…

A Great Newspaper Story

State Of Play, the film from director Kevin McDonald and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, successfully incorporates the high points from the successful BBC miniseries of the same name but does something the series could not, which is the incorporation of the near-irrelevance of print media into a much-better-than-standard conspiracy thriller. In the film, seasoned newspaper writer…

Pick up your Crazy Heart

Country music, and I mean good, soulful music that both comes from and punches you in the heart, often tells an honest story, sometimes exaggerated. That story can have ups and downs, tell tales of love lost and love found, and probably makes more than one reference to drinking all night, bowling alley bar assumed….