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[December 8, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
The Star (2017) is a lighthearted kind animated family film from Affirm Films, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures. Set during the nine months leading up to the birth of Christ, The Star tells the story of a young donkey and a little white dove who dream of getting out of Nazareth to join the Royal Caravan. With the help of Dave the dove, the donkey escapes his monotonous life at the mill and finds himself living under the roof of the newly-married Virgin Mary and Joseph. In their …

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[November 21, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
With Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the Thor franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the series receives a Guardians of the Galaxy-style makeover with comedy director Taika Waititi at the helm. As a result this new film feels dramatically different compared to the first Thor film, directed by Kenneth Branagh who brought a decidedly Shakespearian feel to the franchise. And while Shakespeare is known for both tragedies and comedies, Thor: Ragnarok is no Shakespearian comedy.
The story very loosely revolves around the Norse mythological prophesy of Ragnarok—a final …

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[November 9, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
With Blade Runner 2049, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve provides an admirable sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner. Set 30 years after the first film, the dystopian future Villeneuve presents is grimmer and bleaker. Advances in technology, collapses in the natural world, and questions of what it means to be human intensify as development of artificial intelligence and replicant bioengineered androids moves closer to achieving the reality of the slogan, “More human than human.”
In the first film “replicants”—derogatorily referred to as “skinjobs,”—were prohibited on earth. Pioneered …

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[September 29, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese

Every 27 years the town of Derry, Maine undergoes a series of tragedies often involving children. Lurking beneath the tragedies is a malevolent force, an evil entity feeding off the fear of its victims, stalking the weak and defenceless, hunting the put-upon and the outcast. What is this evil force? What is it called? “It.” This is the premise of Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel of the same name which tackles, among other things, the topic of fear. His book was first adapted for a two-part television miniseries …

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[August 19, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
Writer/director Christopher Nolan has done for the WWII evacuation of Dunkerque, France (code-named Operation Dynamo) what Steven Spielberg did for the Allied D-Day amphibious landing in Normandy, France (codenamed Operation Neptune). But where Spielberg’s 1989 film Saving Private Ryan left the French beach and the English Channel to tell a more conventional war-genre narrative, Dunkirk stays on the beach and in the beleaguered English Channel—making Dunkirk a more neatly-told story and, by order of magnitude, a more claustrophobic and relentlessly intense film. And Nolan does this without an …

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[July 5, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
Alien: Covenant is the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus. Both films, directed by Ridley Scott, are prequels of Scott’s original film Alien, an outer space horror film with the catchy tagline, “In space no one can hear you scream.” The premise of the original film and the prequels is the danger found in the void of space—not simply a lack of oxygen, food, and habitable land, but hostile alien life. The whole Alien franchise investigates the fears accompanying the discovery of alien life. Where the original Alien focused more …