Monthly Archive: October 2012

Oct
29

Cinefantastique Spotlight: CLOUD ATLAS

Doona Bae (left) and Jim Sturgess confront a dehumanizing future as two participants of the vast canvas that is CLOUD ATLAS.

Who knew that a movie based on an “unfilmable” literary property with a complex story structure — even with an all-star cast — could be this dynamic, this moving, this, yes, fun? CLOUD ATLAS encompasses stories spanning five-hundred years — going all the way from the historical tale of a young traveler (Jim Sturgess) enduring …

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Oct
26

David Strathairn on GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK

David Strathairn is Edward R. Murrow in GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

Released at a time when America’s faith in journalism was undergoing serious turmoil, George Clooney’s drama GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK was a stirring reminder of the importance of the institution. Focusing on TV newsman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his producer, Fred Friendly (Clooney), and the risks they took in turning their spotlight …

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Oct
23

The Forum Film Festival in NYC Closes with DUCK SOUP and Short Film Awards

I had to do it. The Forum Film Festival, run by the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at Fordham Law School was screening GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, George Clooney’s dramatic reenactment of the clash between broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and the commie-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy, and had invited me to interview actor …

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Oct
22

Cinefantastique Spotlight: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Pssst... Forget About Words with Friends and Take a Look Behind You: Kathryn Newton puts evil on the Web in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4.

From Paramount’s point-of-view, there’s a compelling reason to continue the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series: It’s a cash-cow — a low-budget, high-earning (number one at the box-office this past weekend) crowd-pleaser.  The studio has some experience in this field, having previously cranked out the FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH films, a franchise that became so threadbare by the end …

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Oct
20

Pen Ward on ADVENTURE TIME

Moving outward (there's a novel approach): Me-Mow, Jake, and Finn from ADVENTURE TIME.

Television has managed to deliver up no shortage of animated shows ostensibly aimed at kids that also manage to build a justifiably enthusiastic adult fan base. Even with that, ADVENTURE TIME stands out. The tale of a human boy, Finn, and a shape-shifting dog, Jake (who’s also Finn’s brother — long story), making their way …

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Oct
10

Temple of Bad: XANADU

Not Quite the Next Bright and Shining Star of the Cinema Firmament We Had Hoped: Olivia Newton-John glows prettily and skates adequately in XANADU

Somewhere towards the end of the 1970’s, the entertainment industry got it into its head that the public not only wanted to spend their nights out rollerskating to driving, disco music, but that they wanted to watch people rollerskating to driving disco music — so much so that there’d be no need for such niggling …

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Oct
08

Cinefantastique Spotlight: FRANKENWEENIE

A young scientist (voiced by Charlie Tahan) defies the laws of God and man in FRANKENWEENIE.

FRANKENWEENIE is about resurrections in more ways than one. While the 3D, stop-motion animated tale, in glorious black and white, centers on a young Victor Frankenstein (here a (relatively) normal suburban kid rather than a deluded doctor) jolting his beloved dog Sparky back to life after a tragic car accident, with serious repercussions when his …

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Oct
05

Ted Kotcheff on WAKE IN FRIGHT

Whaddya Mean You Don't Want a Beer?: Donald Pleasance (left) and Gary Bonds make acquaintance in WAKE IN FRIGHT.

There are too many chunks of cinema history that have gone permanently lost that anytime something is called back from the ashes, it’s cause for celebration. Even so, Ted Kotcheff’s acidic, sweaty Australian drama WAKE IN FRIGHT is a special case. Released in 1971 to critical praise and box office indifference, the tale of a …

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Oct
02

Cinefantastique Spotlight: LOOPER

A Pair of Thugs Face a Paradox: Bruce Willis (left) confronts his younger self as Joseph Gordon-Levitt in LOOPER.

Is LOOPER a moving, existential examination of one man confronting the consequences of his actions? Is it a kick-ass, science-fiction thriller that gets considerable, mind-freak mileage from its time-travel scenario? Or is it an overhyped, poorly-plotted bit of pretentious cool? Surprise, it’s all three! At least it is if you ask Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, …

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