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‘Iron Man’ Film Review: The stark of iron myth-making

"Iron Man" is funny without being cartoonish and serious without being dull. This difficult balance gets achieved in this cinematic translation of the comic book superhero as it solders its often iron-clad character into an organically-driven figure. Unlike most rusty superhero origin stories created for the big screen, this motion picture offers a thrilling mix of high-tech dazzle and good old-fashioned charisma in an already exhausted genre. Creating a musical screen time for its industrial superhero’s cool armor, this Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment screen adaptation provides the right mix of the tasteful real-world stakes and the needed superhero surrealism of the narrative. It transcends its genre

‘Lucky You’ Film Review: A poker life

A romantic drama set in the gambling world of Las Vegas, "Lucky You" tells the story of Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), a happy-go-lucky bachelor whose life revolves around the green felt poker tables. In between his games, he also confronts his personal conflicts including his problematic relationship with his father. The film gives a gist of how poker works. It makes the game look generally interesting and less "sinful." However, it is worth noting that this is not the type of movie to offer informative poker basics for the uninitiated. For somebody not knowledgeable in playing poker at all, it would be hard

Top 50 best Hollywood-released movies of 2005

This "Top 50 Best Movies of 2005 List" is a tough mix of cinematic offers that earned their ranks as the best of 2005. It's not all about the big budget and bankable stars. These things actually count in the overall charm of a film, but they aren't the only reasons why people love watching movies. Top 50 Best Movies of 2005 List Ranking is based on a number of factors including storytelling quality, awards and nominations, thematic and technical achievements, critics' ratings, awards, popularity, and box office and DVD statistics. 1. "Batman Begins" Christopher Nolan effectively explores the origins of Bruce Wayne's emergence as

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ Film Review: Dark, adolescent Potter film

Darker, a little more mature, and a little less magical, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” primarily deals with rejection and hormones as Harry and his friends struggle through transition from childhood to young adulthood. This motion picture focuses on the Hogwarts students in the seemingly awkward stage of their youth. The film’s look is less ostentatious than the previous installments. This time, things are more intimate and real. With the exceptions of a Quidditch stadium and some dragons and mermaids, it tones down on special effects. Yet, it enchants and satisfies its followers and its now grown-up fans. Some familiarity with

‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ Film Review: The force of tragedies

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” serves as the final chapter to the culturally historical galactic empire saga from the real master behind the force George Lucas, along with his dedicated behind-the-scene heroes from the "Star Wars" of the 1970s and 1980s ("Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" in 1977, "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980, and "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" in 1983) to the prequels produced two decades after ("Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" in 1999 and "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" in 2002). As the classic franchise's concluding motion picture offer, "Revenge of the

‘Domino’ Movie Review: Acid trip with a Bounty Hunter

The life experiences of Domino Harvey taught her not to invest too much emotion on any certain thing — but she couldn't get away with it. Similarly, director Tony Scott seems to have invested too much in creating visual flair for “Domino,” making it too loud and exaggerated beyond measure. Oozing with tomboy spunkiness, Keira Knightley plays the character of the late Domino Harvey, the daughter of British actor Laurence Harvey. She turned away opportunities for a glamorous career in the limelight to become a bounty hunter. The movie revolves around the story of this model-turned-fighter and her group's most recent raid involving $10 million

‘Bikini Open’ Film Review: On spoofs and bikinis

"Bikini Open" puts a number of serious issues into the limelight by twisting them into comic fun -- the murky side of pageantry, TV, advertising, and media as a whole, in between the struggle for ratings, mileage, and fame. Using HD camera blown up to 35mm film, this tightly budgeted cinematic offering turns out as a good watch. As a commercial fare, “Bikini Open” works with a satirical vibe. Its premise remains culturally correct and aptly representing the larger scale of realism the story needs. The film’s non-linear format provides a fitting treatment and motivation for the characters. The narrative flow makes a valuable distinction in presenting

‘King Kong’ (2005) Film Review: A Beastly Adventure

"King Kong" proves to be an enduring part of cinema history and legacy. The franchise, even after more than eight decades, still continues to inspire and live up to the legacy of high-end escapist cinema. For this Peter Jackson screen adaptation of the monstrous adventure flick, it exemplifies a sort of personal expressiveness and cinematic mysticism in its storytelling. It maintains itself among the ranks of the world’s charming adventure fantasy and monster films. Although the story's logic is ludicrous, this motion picture classic creates a reality of its own with the director’s treatment. This time, the new Kong, along with the ferocious dinosaurs and other monstrous creatures

‘The Legend of Zorro’ Film Review: The Dela Vega Heroes

"The Legend of Zorro" tones down a bit by fronting the more human issues about family relationships in its storytelling, as compared to the visually purist, action-filled premise driving the storyline for such an action genre offering. Yet, this follow-up to “The Mask of Zorro” doesn't lose its own touch of valuable action and playful camera work. The pompous stunts, grand production design, and outstanding cinematography often keep the spectators' eyes nailed to what happens next. The film captures the audience right from the opening billboard as it boasts a splendid play of fire and horse shots: marking the very presence of

‘Corpse Bride’ Film Review: A charming grave fairy tale

Behind its eerie theme, Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling place of the living and the colorful underground realm of the dead. Fun, genial, expressive, and charming, this semi-musical stop-motion piece is set at death's door, saluting the liberating power of true love and sacrifice. The story revolves around a young groom-to-be who mistakenly weds a girl from the grave and complicates his upcoming marriage to the woman he loves. The directors paint death as a more colorful plane of existence compared to life, as literally shown on the visuals -- a bitterly cold

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