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‘Ong-Bak’ Film Review: No doubles, no strings, no CGIs

This Thai action picture highlights the art of Muay Thai in this Southeast Asian country's contemporary scene. "Ong-Bak" amazes and defies the Hollywood cheats of stunt doubles, using CGI and animation, and working on strings while shooting on chroma to let the characters' actions fly and soar high. This action fare shows the real deal — what a premier martial artist can really do without resorting to any of action cinema's magic tricks. The film presents the centuries-old art of Muay Thai in a contemporary scene. It carries on the

Jennifer Lawrence sports a towering updo for ‘American Hustle’

Jennifer Lawrence is best remembered for her brunette looks for two of her most memorable films to date, "The Hunger Games" and "Silver Linings Playbook." But going back to a blonde hairdo on screen has never been this glamorous until her new project "American Hustle" started filming. This time, she sports a towering and voluptuous hairstyle that easily catches attention. She wears a big blonde bouffant, '70s-style. The Big Blonde Bouffant For "American Hustle," the Oscar-winning actress showcased her long golden

‘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"

V for Vendetta: Freedom! Forever!

The Plot of This Satirical Film Brings Itself Close to George Orwell's “1984” “V for Vendetta” is a daring and imaginative view of Britain as a fascist state in the 2020s. The character V (Hugo Weaving) is thrillingly a Batman, Joker, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Shakespeare rolled into one. A visually striking and compelling sci-fi concept as it is, this graphic novel adaptation breathes a different air from the most overused of Hollywood genres involving comic book superheroes. Being a thought-provoking

(Response Paper) Discourse in Art: Beyond Interpretation, Form, and Content

In response to: “Against Interpretation,” an essay by Susan Sontag A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class The way writer Susan Sontag used the word “interpretation” in this reading prompted me to dig deeper into the application of the word in film criticism and art as a whole. I would say I don’t agree with her when she said that art, especially at this time and age, should not be interpreted. She specifically raised how "commentary about art"

(Response Paper) Pauline Kael’s Journey to the Two Sides of the Spectrum

In response to: “Replying to Listeners” in the book "I Lost It at the Movies" by Pauline Kael and the blog post “Trash and Art: Critics on/of Pauline Kael” by Jim Emerson in the RogerEbert.com blog "Scanners with Jim Emerson" A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class Pauline Kael (1919 to 2001), is a household name in American film criticism, as well as a familiar name cited when looking for film books for academic use, as far as

(Response Paper) Besides Perfection: The Nooks and Cranny of Film Reviewing with Anthony Lane

In response to: The introduction of the book “Nobody’s Perfect: Writings from the New Yorker” by Anthony Lane A response paper for my Advanced Film Theory and Criticism class The introduction part of Anthony Lane’s book “Nobody’s Perfect: Writings from the New Yorker” was a nurturing read, while reminding me of how movies for spectacle’s sake work like junk food – indulging instead of nourishing. At the same time, in the ages of video games and social media, movies work like many

Video #2: The Pixnoys and getting hired at Pixar from ‘Inside Out’ co-director Ronnie del Carmen

This is a documentation filmed during the "Inside Out" Press Conference in Manila, Philippines with director Pete Docter and co-director Ronnie del Carmen. Ronnie talks about his Filipino colleagues at Pixar and their advocacy projects, then Pete and Ronnie discuss their successful working relationship starting from the film "Up," then all the way to "Inside Out." These came from the unplanned handheld shots with the GoPro I apparently brought with me during the press conference invitation, and I guess the footage turned

‘Inside Out’ Film Review: Happy + Sad

“Inside Out” is a powerfully moving animated piece exploring the importance of emotions in people's lives. Daring to explore the existential crises of the human mind and the feelings affecting one’s life, this formidably ingenious film works similar to a thesis or research project. With a material that strikes as a reflection on the power of emotions, it targets the family audience, particularly those with ages ranging from pre-teen to adult. Packaged as a motion picture set inside someone's head and how

Blu-ray Review: ‘Gangster Squad’

"Gangster Squad" debuts in home video format via a two-disc set housing the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV digital, and iTunes digital copies. This 2013 picture's theatrical release was infamously delayed for a few months in the wake of the tragic Aurora theater shooting in 2012. The production decided to reshoot its mid-movie shootout in order to remove the sequence involving a massacre in a movie theater. Ruben Fleischer helms this period actioner that stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma

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