Author: Ian D.

Chronicle

Superhero teenagers battle power, angst and Seattle weather. Ah…the winter box office doldrums are in full swing this week.  It’s the odd time of year when the trailers for films due this summer are more appealing than what’s being released on Friday.  This week is chalk full of such releases: A weepy manipulator (The Vow) – check, Denzel Washington wearing a funny wig and most likely riding a train (Safe House) – check, and who could go without Jar Jar Binks in 3D (Star Wars – Episode 1 3D), check? So, when a movie is released in these ‘dump’...

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The Woman in Black

Harry Potter isn’t afraid of the dark. Daniel Radcliffe is all grown up.  The fact that he’s moved on so quickly from the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise is fairly monumental news considering he’s been playing Quidditch since he was 11.  Now at 22 Mr. Radcliffe is finally ditching his wand for less magically-inclined pursuits. His newest film, ‘The Woman in Black,’ finds him as Arthur Kipps (a late-1800’s attorney) visiting a small village to wrap up some loose ends at a mansion who’s residents have passed on. There is a small problem though: the mansion (the aptly named Eel Marsh...

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The Grey

Liam Neeson fights off wolves, snow and cheesy dialogue. Much can be said about Liam Neeson’s career path post-prestige pictures, but one accusation that cannot be levied is that his decisions are boring. Since his award-winning turn in “Kinsey,” Neeson has popped up in action flick after action flick, including “Batman Begins,” “Taken,” “Unknown,” “Clash of the Titans,” and “The A-Team.”  For a lesser actor, these might be construed as ‘safe’ choices — but for Neeson they’re downright bold. So it’s no surprise that his new film, “The Grey,” is elevated from middling schlock to fun, wolf-punching mayhem with...

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Two Films By Steven Spielberg

Two family-oriented releases show a return to nostalgic form for the director. Say what you will about Steven Spielberg. I, for one, was excited that he took a break from producing awful “Transformers” movies and return to the director’s chair in 2011. It’s been three years since his last directorial ‘effort’ (“Indy 4: Kingdom of the Missing Screenwriter”), so what better way to return than with a motion-capture animated adaptation of a little known (at least in the states) Belgian comic book series and a weepie WWI epic about a (possibly magical) horse? “The Adventures of TinTin” 3D has...

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The Best of 2011

Five great releases from last year, plus a few runners-up. Aww yes — list season. The time of year where we all get together and rank everything we just did…just like Jesus intended. And so I will contribute to this ever-growing phenomenon. Without further pontification, here are my top five films of 2011: 5) “Meek’s Cutoff“ | Set on the Oregon Trail, Kelly Reichardt’s minimalist Western turned very few heads since it debuted on the film festival circuit in early 2011. That’s a shame. Reichardt’s  blunt, uncompromising view of a wagon train headed west through increasingly harsh terrain takes a...

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