Dedicated Review: The Fifth Element

Gaumont - The Fifth Element - movie poster - from http://geekynerfherder.blogspot.com/2012/08/movie-poster-art-fifth-element-1997.html

Forget May the Fourth, how about some Fifth? This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine who loves this movie, has a birthday today, and is currently on a mission trip halfway around the world. You can see a sample of the work she is doing for the Lord and for people here.

Korben Dallas is your ordinary 23rd-century taxi driver who has an unexpected encounter with a gorgeous girl who so happens to be key to saving the universe. Aliens and a greater evil are threatening innocent people everywhere, and they and the rest of this delightfully absurd but thoroughly messed-up film are about to learn why you just don’t mess with Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich … or Chris Tucker.

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Movie Review: Avengers – Age of Ultron

Marvel Studios - Avengers: Age of Ultron - movie poster - from http://www.comingsoon.net/movie/avengers-age-of-ultron-2015

Artificial intelligence really is a doozy–every time you turn around, it seems another robot has turned rogue on its well-meaning maker and needs to be put down. Who better to do the job than Marvel’s delightfully imperfect and thoroughly lovable Avengers, and who better to be responsible than … Tony Stark? Besides demonstrating the clear dangers of a lack of communication, Age of Ultron improves on its excellent predecessor in essentially every way and manages to add in a bigger heart and a greater sense of groundedness in the process, making this a prime example of what a summer superhero film can be.

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[Something Irish for Saint Patrick’s Day!] Movie Review: Once

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - movie poster - from http://www.moviepostershop.com/once-movie-poster-2006

A romance broken down to its basic elements, rebuilt with the utmost conviction, and then given a much more forward-thinking ending than you might expect: this is Once, a modern musical set in Dublin where intimacy is expressed through devotion and attention, not through shed clothes. Two people become acquainted, spend time with one another, work hard to create something greater than what either could have done alone, and respect and appreciate one another no matter where their lives happen to lead. And sometimes that’s all a movie needs to be an utter success.

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Movie Review: Persepolis

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - movie poster - from http://www.impawards.com/2007/persepolis_xlg.html

If you love foreign animated films like Studio Ghibli’s fare, Persepolis will be right up your alley. An adaptation of co-writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s biography, this hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful film tells the story of the young ‘Marji’ as she grows up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution and its aftermath.

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Dedicated Post: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek 2009 - movie poster - property of Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, and Bad Robot - from http://www.impawards.com/2009/star_trek_xi_ver16_xlg.html

On tonight’s very special edition of Projected Realities, we salute the passing of Leonard Nimoy, an entertainment icon whose many roles spanned the likes of Dragnet, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, and of course Gene Roddenberry’s magnum opus.

Director J.J. Abrams’ take on Star Trek is a relentlessly exciting and accessible work that despite a few inside jokes requires no advance knowledge of the series or its ten earlier movies to enjoy. The simple story is given the finest presentation and its own continuity, thoroughly invigorating this long-standing franchise and making for a wonderfully engrossing watch.

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Movie Review: Looper (2012)

Looper - Endgame Entertainment and others - movie poster - from http://www.impawards.com/2012/looper.html

Six simple letters with devastating implications, “loopers” are time-traveling assassins who come from a future where such abilities and technology have been outlawed. The film that shares their name features the talents of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt, and while all of the performances are very strong, the film’s production values are rather hit-or-miss, and the story feels like a waste of its intriguing if unsettling ideas.

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Movie Review: Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain - Focus Features and others - movie poster - from http://www.film.com/movie/-brokeback-mountain/251583/main/

Happy Valentine’s Day! (?)

Brokeback Mountain is a story of two sheepherders, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, who develop a relationship that endures through decades, marriages, work issues, children, and other “obstacles.” Overflowing with cinematic wonders as well as glaring narrative issues, the movie feels divided against itself and is ultimately more underwhelming than any amount of controversy set against it would really warrant.

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Mental Wellness in Movies: Take Shelter

Take Shelter - Strange Matter Films - movie poster - from http://www.impawards.com/2011/take_shelter.html

Someone you dearly love has a tremendous burden they can’t bring themselves to tell anyone about. Do you know how to help?

Take Shelter narrates a man’s terrifying visions of a forthcoming storm while showing how his well-meaning but irresponsible “preparations” threaten to tear apart his life and his loving family. It is a difficult movie to watch, but it is every bit as necessary and valuable as it is disturbing.

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Movie Review: Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke - Toho Company, Studio Ghibli, Buena Vista International - movie poster - from https://www.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-53071/Princess_Mononoke.html

It’s probably been a decade since I last watched director Hayao Miyazaki’s classic, but the film’s at-long-last release on Blu-ray is more than enough excuse to revisit this grand story. Set in a Japan taking its first violent, polluted, and uncertain steps toward industry, Princess Mononoke is a complex and ambitious story of humans, beasts, and nature that avoids easy answers and straightforward moral dichotomies, making it an important milestone in animation history.

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Movie Review: Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day - Columbia Pictures Corporation - movie poster - from http://www.roguejoker.com/Posters/movies_posters_G.html
Every day is precious.

Phil Connors is a jaded, sarcastic weather “personality” who finds joy in nothing. He doesn’t delight in his work, or his coworkers, or especially in the idea of heading up to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania just to cover a yearly ritual he thinks is ridiculous. How can a groundhog tell the weather? Groundhog Day, however, isn’t about the rodent, or the weather, or really about Phil the human. If you had a chance to live as long as you could possibly want, and for much longer, what would you do to put purpose into your days?

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