Dedicated Post: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek 2009 - movie poster - property of Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, and Bad Robot - from

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

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

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

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

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
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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