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‘300’ Film Review: Prepare for Glory!

"300" rips your heart with death, then redeems it after with glory. This warrior's film breathtakingly fires the soul with valor. Every warrior ready to die for glory would have some wild night. Every citizen advocating freedom would be engaged. For everyone else, it would be an uncompromising experience in the battlefield. More About 300: A Film Buff's Movie Memorabilia Collection Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, "300" is a fierce and ferocious screen adaptation. Director Zack

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Film Review: The entertaining fire-breathing excess

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" entertains with its fiery wave of action and adventure. However, it remains hamstrung by its own middle chapter narrative problems. Clearly forced into a trilogy stretch for the cash-cow potential of a single book, this second "Hobbit" film proves that one can have too much of a good thing when it comes to delivering a quota of thrills, but still end up as yet another ponderous placeholder for the grand finale. At the very least,

‘300: The Art of the Film’ Book: The best movie-related gift I’ve ever received to date

Being a film buff and a film professional, it's not surprising to get movie-related gifts every once in a while. By now, many of my friends already know that I have a collection of movie-branded items and memorabilia, all of which I got as gifts from friends, relatives, and companies. Of course, I treasure all items in my collection. Yet, there's that one gift I received that tops them all. My Favorite Movies It was in 2006 when I saw one

‘RKO 281’ Film Review: A film about a film about a man

"RKO 281" offers a vividly compelling presentation of the troubled history behind Orson Welles and his magnum opus "Citizen Kane." This historical drama about the so-called “boy wonder” helming a film inspired by the life of a powerful man highlights the ego clashes and politics surrounding Hollywood. As a cinematic offering, it frames itself as a dramatically sound genesis of what is often described as “The Greatest American Film of All Time” through its amalgam of fictional recreations and historical accounts partly based

‘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

‘Star Trek’ (2009) Film Review: Warpspeed wow!

Something old reboots as a glorious new. Reinventing a classic sci-fi series is prone to becoming victimized by the blackhole of franchise re-openings, but what this new "Star Trek" presents is a flaring shine of a supernova from start to end. The plot may be preposterous, but the way the film is constructed provides a genuinely rollicking adventure - a fine escapist entertainment that has just validated the tagline, "Live long and prosper." From the first stunning visuals of a pre-Enterprise time

‘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

‘Beowulf’ (2007) Film Review: Motion-capture statement

"Beowulf" ambitiously blends CGI, motion-capture, and 3D technologies to bring a new level of hyperreality for the viewers to enjoy. Everybody knows, or at least, has already heard about the epic poem "Beowulf" in school, or perhaps, with the prior 2005 live-action offering "Beowulf and Grendel" starring Gerard Butler as Beowulf. This time, the Robert Zemeckis-helmed "Beowulf" utilizes the latest motion-control technology available to tell a tale approximately 1,400 years old in an astonishingly new way -- a sensory animation experience

‘Pacific Rim’ Film Review: Monstrously nostalgic metallic mayhem

"Pacific Rim" is epic action art for those who love robots and monsters. This monsterfest is a hybrid of just about every major cinematic genre. It showcases the grandest traditions in war, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, alien, monster, and robot movies. Full of mechanized mayhem, it taps into that primal fondness of seeing two big things tearing each other apart. It may be a generic, familiar, and cliché-ridden piece with cardboard characters, but it still wins its target audience over through the visceral

‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

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