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‘The Red Balloon’ Short Film Critique: Relationship and Poetry Through a Child’s Gaze

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1956 French short film classic “The Red Balloon” (Le ballon rouge) features a tender drama with a fine touch of flight of fancy. Its subdued setting features a lot of grays, suggesting the depressing quality of the film’s mood and tone, which is then contrasted with the blazing red balloon in mid air.  This post-war motion-picture classic written and directed by Albert Lamorisse features a seemingly cynical world that turns magical

Blu-ray Review: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

The highly controversial 2012 picture "Zero Dark Thirty" comes out on a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack hosting its Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. Helmed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow as a follow-up to her acclaimed war thriller "The Hurt Locker," this intense and thrilling piece of cinema chronicles the decade-long hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks until his death at the hands of the Navy SEALs. The story focuses on the life of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Empire of the Sun’ 25th Anniversary Edition

The 1987 World War II epic "Empire of the Sun" releases on a DigiBook package consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. This two-disc set serves as the film's 25th Anniversary Edition offering. A powerful portrait of lost innocence in a foreign land, this tale becomes a compelling adaptation of J.G. Ballard's best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. The narrative reflects his own coming-of-age story about living as a prisoner in an internment camp at a young age. This cinematic

‘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

‘Valiant’ Film Review: Messenger pigeons of WWII

This animated picture capitalizes on British carrier pigeons, German falcons, and a World War. It is a tough decision to make a war story into a child-friendly animated offering such as "Valiant." But overall, it seems to provide more appeal to the senior crowd whose sensibilities about war are more palpable than children who love to see more lovable or goofy characters on screen. This family picture's CGI animation looks okay in the foreground, but the backgrounds look pretty bland. Moreover, this

‘War of the Worlds’ Film Review: A movie about family and alien invasion

Steven Spielberg's movie version of "War of the Worlds" goes a more family-driven route than the H.G. Wells novel. The cinematic engagement one can get from "War of the Worlds" centers on its being a family story more than the alien invasion plot the title suggests. The narrative focuses more on family relationships while showing a glimpse of some American tanks and aircrafts mercilessly incinerated by three-legged, tripod-looking alien machines and extraterrestrial tentacles grabbing humans toward the worst end. With some blatant

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