Under the Dome
Jun25

Under the Dome

For months, I have had Under the Dome earmarked for watching, and then Monday morning came and the storm knocked out my electricity. Thank goodness for On Demand. What is Under the Dome, you ask? A TV mini-series that is adapted from Stephen King’s 2009 novel of the same name. In the pilot, we find ourselves in Chester’s Mill, a small town in Maine. Within the first five minutes, something nefarious is underway: A blond stranger, Dale...

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Hannibal (TV series 2013)
Jun19

Hannibal (TV series 2013)

On the surface, there is much to admire about Dr. Hannibal Lecter. A 20th century Renaissance man, he’s a brilliant psychiatrist, a gourmand, well-read, and an aficionado of opera and the symphony. But underneath his mask of sophistication and civilization, there lurks the stuff of nightmares. Lecter is, after all, a serial killer and a cannibal. His meals might come from the pages of Larousse Gastronomique, but beware of the...

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Man of Steel
Jun14

Man of Steel

I have never been a Superman fan. And I think it has to do with a couple of things. First off, I like my superheroes conflicted and dark; a character that straddles that line between good and evil. And Superman always seemed to be the quintessential all-American jock; a Boy Scout; a guy who sings in the choir and helps seniors cross the street. He bores me. Second, writers typically fixate on Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane....

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Jan29

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

The first time I saw a trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, I was conflicted. It looked pretty hokey, and yet it could have gone either way: It could have been clever, hyper-violent, and fun, OR it could have been groan or snooze-inducing terrible. Unfortunately, it’s the latter. Co-written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, Hansel & Gretel begins, quite literally, at the beginning. A brother and sister are taken, by their...

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Mama
Jan21

Mama

In 2008, writer/director Andres Muschietti made a 3-minute short titled Mama. It aroused the interest of writer/director/producer Guillermo Del Toro, who helped to fund a feature length, fully developed version. This was clearly a good decision on Del Toro’s part, because on this, its opening weekend, Mama has topped the U.S. Box Office and has grossed about $30 million. The film begins with the words: Once Upon a Time, clueing us in...

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Zero Dark Thirty
Jan11

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty begins not with images but with sounds. It is 9/11, and New York is in chaos. We listen to overlapping chatter, and then, we focus on one phone call. It is a woman.  Her floor is engulfed in flames, and she needs help. Every American knows what happened next. We have seen, over and over, the images of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center; the people, leaping to their deaths; the plumes of smoke and ash....

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