Month: November 2015

Crimson Peak

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam Genre: Gothic romance, fantasy, drama, horror Released: 14th October 2015 A tale of secrets, love, and what these will drive a person to do in their name, is interwoven with the supernatural in this new film by Guillermo del Toro ,the creative mind of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. Del Toro is no stranger to the horror/Gothic romance genre, and makes good use of that familiarity to create a beautifully eerie world set in the early 19th century, filled with incredible attention to detail and striking imagery. The story is much like any other “boy meets girl, girl falls madly in love with boy, boy and girl elope and then boy takes girl back to creepy crumbling mansion with ghosts and seeping red clay oozing from the floor…”, you know, that old chestnut. The girl in question, our heroine, is Edith Cushing, a young budding writer, and the boy she falls madly for is the mysterious Thomas Sharpe, a baron from England. After their whirlwind courtship Edith discovers her new home Arandale Hall holds more to it than just its mere four walls, testing her heart and mind’s resolve. The production design of Arandale Hall is filled with so much detail, that it is almost a character in itself. The shape of the hallway...

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Bridge of Spies

Tensions during the infamous Cold War were always in the red in both the United States and the former Soviet Union. From the early “Baby Boom” 50’s to the early turbulent 60’s, apprehensions of atomic war be-tween the two super powers was a social constant, as well as an unfortunate reality. During this time both sides were engaged in active espionage to ac-quire nuclear secrets. Based upon the true story, faithfully adapted by sibling scribes Joel and Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies kicks off in 1957 Brooklyn. Quiet, mild mannered Russian immigrant Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) spends most of his time canvassing the city and in his relatively unkempt apartment, painting New York scenery and portraits. He also happens to be a Russian spy. When the FBI crashes his abode and arrests him for espionage, insurance attorney, James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) of a prestigious law firm , is practically forced into the unenviable task of defending him. Meanwhile, our own government is not exactly avoiding undercover operations, sending Air Force pilot Francis G. Powers (Austin Stowell) into harms way by flying a U-2 Reconnaissance plane over Russia to take photos. Regrettably, his “under cover” aircraft, despite it’s aerial capability, does not escape Russian missiles. He is shot down and captured. So they have one of ours, and vice versa. Notwithstanding the movie trailer’s reveal, it really doesn’t take...

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The Peanuts Movie

 Nearly 65 years ago, artist Charles M. Schulz created a comic strip called ‘Peanuts’ that has endured through many generations. Sadly, Schultz has passed to not see ‘Peanuts’ enter the new millennium, and develop into the modern era of animation. Now, with the help of Blue Sky Studios, the wide cast of characters from ‘Peanuts’ make a return to theaters in a new movie called “The Peanuts Movie”. Featuring characters like Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy and more, the film does a magnificent job at recreating its comic origins, as well as maintaining the simplistic charm that defined it. “The Peanuts Movie” is a fantastic adaptation of familiar characters with modern animation to showcase the process of how charming and memorable time as made them. The story has Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) trying to impress The Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi), even though he does not have the complete social skills to talk to her. Charlie Brown does his best to win her heart, but to no avail, unfortunately. With the help of his trustful dog Snoopy (Bill Melendez archives), Charlie Brown must discover who he truly is, and find out what it means to stand up for yourself. “The Peanuts Movie” is a brilliant representation of the works that Schulz did. The characters are the ones everyone knows and loves, and they are represented well here. Charlie...

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Woodlawn

As with War Room, it’s a bit difficult to be completely objective with a Christian faith based film when you are a believer. Especially when the film just happens to be a true story of faith and not fiction. Woodlawn is a true story. It is a genuine tale of the miraculous spiritual transformation of a high school football team still suffering from the ungodly malignancy of racism. After a brief historical prologue of racial protests and violence, we fade in on the recently desegregated Woodlawn High School where Coach Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop) struggles to keep the peace between his Black and White football players. He’s not exactly thrilled, or enforcing either. The ivory skinned players insist that playing together and showering together with their Black counterparts are two different things. Our main focus is on promising young Running Back, Tony Nathan, the very first African American to play football for Woodlawn. He is quite talented, and the coach knows it. Tony is eventually joined by other Black players, much to the chagrin of the Caucasian group who at times during practice try to inflict as much physical hurt on them as possible. Just when Coach Gerelds may feel it’s a hopeless case, in walks Hank (Lord of the Rings alum Sean Astin). He humbly introduces himself as a Sports Chaplain and asks the coach if he could...

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