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‘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

‘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

‘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

‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ Film Review: A travelogue drama

This movie features a heartwarming episodic tale of four best friends and their adventures from miles away. At first, this teenybopper movie may seem like a typical adaptation riding on the popularity of the young adult book and best-selling novel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Anne Brashares. Apparently, it’s a heartwarmingly episodic travelogue drama featuring four best friends spending their first summer apart and sharing a magical pair of jeans fitting each of them perfectly — despite the differences

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Film Review: A chocolific, expressionistic confectionery

Director Tim Burton breathes new life to Roald Dahl's 1964 sweet tale and turns it into a new celluloid confectionery. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a gothic yet colorful fantasy filled with the eccentricity only Burton gets to achieve in the Hollywood mainstream. Burton is undeniably a patron of German Expressionism with the film's pale make-up, weird props, sets and costumes, exaggerated moves, and out-of-this world characterizations. He creates a dream world inspired by some dark and cartoony elements. The

‘Angels and Demons’ Film Review: From suspense novel to audio-visual flair

This "Angels and Demons" film adaptation is a less contemplative and a more motion-driven version of Dan Brown's novel. "Angels and Demons" mounts the visuals the way I imagined them while reading the Dan Brown novel. That part is impressive. However, the suspense part that hooked me to the book gets lost in the film adaptation. For a movie based entirely around a beat-the-clock goal, the momentum gets significantly lost and the far-fetched plot surfaces more without the packed intensity and

‘In Her Shoes’ Film Review: More than just a chick flick

This movie is an interestingly profound and complex story about different relationships: familial, friendly, romantic. "In Her Shoes" features a decently textured narrative about the reconnection of two estranged sisters who have nothing in common but their shoe sizes. Offering enough depth, the story is not just about a simple issue on sibling rivalry made into a rushed script. It becomes more than a show-off of Hollywood stars ramping fashion clothes and blobbing about some insensible girl talks. This chick flick, based on

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Nativity Story’

"The Nativity Story" debuts on HD format via a two-disc release housing its Blu-ray and DVD copies. This 2006 religious tale by Catherine Hardwicke dramatizes the period when Mary and Joseph face an arduous but incredible journey to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus Christ. The film stars Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass, Alexander Siddig, Ciarán Hinds, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. The simple narrative keeps up with its biblical source by telling three story arcs that converge in the origin of

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

This film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's fourth "Harry Potter" book is fantastically darker and more mature than its predecessors. 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,

‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ Film Review: Like silk kimonos and cherry blossoms

From Arthur Golden's international bestseller to an epic spectacle in the big screen, "Memoirs of a Geisha" offers a romantic portrait of Japanese culture, particularly of geisha life, with a western illustration. This tale retells the looming view of women in many cultures of the past. Women have been portrayed in various cultures as nothing more than delights to the men's eyes and as parts of their desire for asset and power. Issues can be raised in a story such as

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