Author: Ian D.

The Glass Castle

In 2005 Jeannette Walls released her memoir The Glass Castle. To put it lightly, the book touched on a variety of personal stories from Walls slightly “non-traditional” upbringing. And these stories aren’t just slightly unkempt anecdotes about Walls life on the road with her 3-siblings, mother and a father who’s dreams always massively outweighed his reach. These stories were dark and upsetting, powerfully so. It’s a story of the redemptive human spirit and one that touched millions of readers. It also lends itself to film in a perfect sense. Walls story is tailor-made for Hollywood which unfortunately is the film’s biggest curse.

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Atomic Blonde

In 2015 a legend decided to revive a franchise, lying dormant for nearly 30-years and in doing so created the best action film of the decade.  That man was George Miller and that revival was Mad Max: Fury Road.  At the center of the film was the titular Max played by Tom Hardy (in one of a seemingly endless string of performances where his beautiful face is covered by a mask) but the film had other priorities.  The real beating heart though was Imperator Furiosa played by the always riveting Charlize Theron. 

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Once upon a time in the land of the early-90’s an oddly revered sci-fi romp called The Fifth Element graced the silver screen.  Sure, it was derivative, oddly paced and featured Bruce Willis in full Die Hard mode while surrounded by alien beings but it had a certain verve (and a breakout Mila Jovovich) that has cemented it as a nostalgic burr in our minds.  Director Luc Besson had a string of interesting work in the 90’s and has worked steadily since, with less success.  His 2014 film Lucy had ScarJo as a supped-up experiment gone wrong that was as stupid as it was mind-blowingly bat shit.

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I watch every horror movie generally the same, with my hands over my eyes but my fingers just cracked enough that I can see the screen.  It’s the 1st grader, peeking out the blinds method – one I’ve perfected over the years.  I also love that feeling – of the tension ratcheting up from the fellow poor souls littered in the theater around you.  Collectively you’ll bring the room temperature just praying for some sweet relief from the torture you’re putting yourself through.  What’s amazing is that Christopher Nolan has accomplished that same feeling with Dunkirk – a film of awe-inspiring and staggering intensity – that is unlike any war film ever made.

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War for the Planet of the Apes

If the NBA Finals and blockbuster Hollywood trilogies have one thing truly in common it’s that close-out games are the hardest to pull off (unless you’re the 2017 Golden State Warriors.)  The 2016 Warriors had a 3-1 lead and booted three-straight closeout games.  Hollywood has also failed to stick the landing numerous times.  Godfather Part III suffered from the cardinal sin of adding a precocious tween to the mix, sullying the legacy of the previous classics.  Return of the Jedi introduced a merry band of teddy bears that looked like mangled Jim Henson characters and actually ended with an Olympics-style medal ceremony and ghost send-off.

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