Category Archive: Discussion

Jan
06

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

The creeps just keep comin' (but not fast enough) in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES.

Thyurl Varpenshield shouldered the mighty broadsword, NapeSplitter, and double-checked his provisions bag. “Old man!” he cried good-naturedly into the depths of the household. From out of the kitchen, a gnarled, ancient figure emerged, wiping his hands on a dish towel. “What be on with ye now, yon whippersnapper?” he snarled cantankerously. “Father, I am off!” …

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Dec
30

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: 47 RONIN

Keanu Reeves (left) and Hiroyuki Sanada take on the challenges of a mystical Japan in 47 RONIN.

All things considered, there are definitely worse ways to see out the year. 47 RONIN, the historical fantasy mash-up that sees Keanu Reeves inserted — along with witches, dragons, and mystical warriors — into the legendary tale of a samurai revolt, may not be the high-water-mark in fantastic film for 2013. But in its gripping …

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Dec
23

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: HER

Joaquin Phoenix finds love in a Scarlett Johansson-sounding computer in HER.

And, after all the paranormal activities and interstellar warfare and superhero histrionics and marooned astronauts and rampaging monsters and quasi-mythical heroes and super-powered teens (soooooo many super-powered teens…), it comes down to this: One man, broken but beautiful, who in the near future finds himself falling in love with his computer’s surprisingly human operating system. …

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Dec
16

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Martin Freeman is about to discover that this gold chamber is protected by ADT (A Dragon's Threat) in THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.

The appeal of the Grand Adventure is clear and incontestable: the epic scale; the sense of mystery and adventure; the thrill of discovering what challenge, adversary, or ally awaits around the next bend. Thing is, the whole point of the exercise is to reach an ultimate goal, and that’s where Peter Jackson’s HOBBIT movies — …

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Dec
02

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: FROZEN

Two princesses (Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel) find their familial bonds tested in FROZEN.

A Disney princess movie with a vengeance, the cg animated FROZEN offers up no less than two princesses for the marketing department to turn into ancillary merchandise: one sweet and plucky (voiced by Kristen Bell); the other (Idina Menzel) cursed with the ability to freeze whatever she touches, with no Professor X around to whisk …

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Nov
25

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Jennifer Lawrence (right) and Josh Hutcherson can't help making Elizabeth Banks verrrrry nervous in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE.

So it’s back to the arena, where life is cheap but the production values sure as hell are not. In THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, defiant champions Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover how costly their rebellion actually is, both in terms of human toll as the government moves to crush …

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Nov
18

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: Thanksgiving Showcase!

Things get a little freaky for Adrienne Barrett in DEMENTIA.

Okay, admittedly that’s an inaccurate title — we’re still a few weeks out from the festive family get-together, none of the films we’re discussing in this ep are holiday-themed, and none could fairly be called a turkey (and for that last we are truly thankful). This is just our way of saying that there wasn’t …

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Nov
11

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Chris Hemsworth wields a big hammer to no great effect in THOR: THE DARK WORLD.

It’s two steps forward and one step back for the custodians of the Marvel Universe. If THE AVENGERS took a rudimentary storyline — bad guy wants to rule the universe — and created something fleet, exciting, and witty, THOR: THE DARK WORLD takes the same outline — with Chris Hemsworth as the hammer swinging god …

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Oct
28

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: Halloween Showcase 2013

Michael Myers has a goody for your bag in HALLOWEEN.

You’d think the weekend before Halloween that the studios would be falling all over themselves to get something suitably bone-chilling into theaters. Nope, turns out the lackluster CARRIE — the film that is to horror what a pouch of baby carrots is to a trick-or-treat bag — represents the full extent of what Hollywood wants …

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Oct
21

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: CARRIE

Chloë Grace Moretz goes from awkward to deadly in CARRIE.

Poor, unfortunate 2013 CARRIE. Under other circumstances, we’d be able to look kindly on this new adaptation of the Stephen King novel, celebrating it as a wholly serviceable, decently scary entry for an author who hasn’t frequently enough been dealt a fair hand when his works have been brought to the screen. Only one, little …

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