Quick Takes: “Birdman,” “The Homesman,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”

the-homesman__140514141959Quick Takes: “Birdman,” “The Homesman,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Click Scores to see all of our recent star-rating reviews.

The Media 10 doesn’t usually reviews movies, but we are changing that with “Quick Takes” a new segment that gives at most two paragraphs to recently seen movies.

Birdman (★★★1/2)

There are few movies as ambitious as “Birdman,” and under different direction the seamless, erratic, flow of the film may have proven more harm than good. Not only is “Birdman” one of the most beautiful movies of the year, it is also one of the most complex. With layered characters performed to a tee by talented actors.

The Homesman (★★)

With “The Homesman,” writer/director Tommy Lee Jones has cemented the fact that his talents are just as effective on-screen as they are off-screen. Unfortunately, the result of this very faithful adaptation feels unfocused with a paint-by-numbers structure. Some scenes pack an emotional punch, while others feel flat and unimportant.

Guardians of the Galaxy (★★1/2)

By not taking itself too seriously, “Guardians of the Galaxy” easily becomes one of Marvel’s most well-written stories post-“Iron Man.” Not to mention some of the best art direction in a film this year, both visually and practically. However, “Guardians” commits the superhero movie sins of keeping long-winded action scenes too close to one another and having an uninteresting villain.

 

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Film: 2014 Cannes Film Festival – Predicting the Palme d’Or

342482.jpg-c_640_360_x-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxFilm: 2014 Cannes Film Festival – Predicting the Palme d’Or

The 67th annual Festival de Cannes will start May 14th and go through May 25th. This is the second festival to Sundance that may potentially reveal to us some of the best films of 2014.

Many great filmmakers have films in competition this year for the Palme d’Or. 18 films are in competition and, at this point, it looks like it could be anyone’s game. Here’s a brief history for the last five winners:

2013 – “Blue is the Warmest Colour”
2012 – “Amour”
2011 – “The Tree of Life”
2010 – “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”
2009 – “The White Ribbon”

Michael Haneke’s “Amour” went on to earn both Picture and Director Oscar nominations as did Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” It could be a dark horse or a film already buzzing this year, so we’ve compiled and ranked what we think will stand-out this year and included a brief synopsis of each film so that you can make your own predictions.

Here are our predictions: Continue reading

Hypothetical Casting: The Walking Dead (Telltale Series)

579323_427686390578866_222549117759262_1775894_596338129_nHypothetical Casting: The Walking Dead (Telltale Series)

Who knows if AMC would ever want to capitalize on the success of the hit television series and expand into adapting the amazing 2013 game-of-the-year winner. Telltale developed an emotionally stirring epic with their spin-off of the successful franchise. The game almost required you to watch the story more often than hit buttons on your controller.

Who knows if an adaptation would ever be successful. but we went ahead and picked some key actors to fill in as possible candidates for each of the roles. Keep in mind we couldn’t do all the characters so we stuck with primarily the main roles within Season One.

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Awards: Final Oscar Predictions 2013

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Awards: Final Oscar Predictions 2013

Oh what a year! So many great films and an Oscar lineup that is a little bizarre at times. This has been one of the best years for movies in a long time. So as much of a hobby it is of mine to predict this kind of stuff, I will say don’t  just go out and watch the award-winners. Watch all that was nominated and the films that were snubbed which wouldn’t have been any other year.Anyways, it has come down to this, I have predicted the Oscars for four years now and each year I’m understanding a little more of the Academy mannerisms (though I don’t think any will ever fully unlock that box.)

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Film Review: Lincoln

Film Review: Lincoln
by Matthew Durham

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln has been talked about for some years now. When early photos of Daniel Day-Lewis appeared with him portraying the sixteenth president the inevitable buzz began. Last year we were graced with Spielberg’s action-adventure epic War Horse which received about 75% positive reviews. I liked War Horse, I liked that “Spielbergian” feeling that so many critics condemned. And while I can develop a whole defense case for War Horse, I would much rather talk about Lincoln which is really a pretty spectacular film.

My senior year of high school we had to write an Essay, which was a pretty important essay. In this case, we had to write it about a public figure of some sort. My deep interests in film lead my essay to be about Steven Spielberg, how he got into the industry and developed through the times. Some have called me a Spielberg apologist, but out of the many films he has done I haven’t really seen one that I hated. I didn’t like Hook, but I didn’t hate it. Continue reading

Film Preview: Spielberg’s “Lincoln” receives praise from NYFF

Film Preview: Lincoln
by Matthew Durham

About a month has past since Lincoln had its trailer premiere through Google Hangout succeeded by a Q&A with director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (playing Robert Todd Lincoln.) The trailer was received with mixed reaction from fans and critics alike.

What provoked this mixed reaction was the after-thought of his previous film War Horse which earned six Oscar nominations, but no wins. Reading reviews and processing the reactions of the trailer it can be deducted that War Horse can now be considered ‘under-rated.’

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Awards: 2013 Golden Globe Predictions

Awards: 2013 Golden Globe Predictions

Not many bloggers out there predict the annual Golden Globes. So I thought I’d give it a try. However, this time I didn’t predict the television portion of the award nominations, but I assume it’ll be nearly the same as the Emmys.

One thing to remember when reading these is that they cannot be taken as a base to predict the Oscars. The HFPA has been infamous in nominating films just to get an audience to watch, you’ll see I predict The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for drama below above a bunch more predictable candidates. I did this because having such a popular film nominated could draw them a TV audience.

Two years back they nominated the critically panned The Tourist just so they could have Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie at their ceremony. They shaped up last year, but when predicting them you still have to find a balance.

So, here they are:

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