Film Reviews and Commentary

SUMMERS WITH SPIELBERG – Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Sean Hanson

September 1st, 2015

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Steven Spielberg is clearly obsessed with aliens — or, more accurately, he’s obsessed with how aliens have traditionally been portrayed. His first film Firelight, completed in 1964 when he was ......

MECHANICAL EYE – Turbo Kid (2015)

Claire Graman

August 28th, 2015

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Do we need another superhero film? The answer doesn’t matter, of course. They’re going to keep coming. A sure-fire win as old as Gilgamesh. But why? Unlike many similar films, Turbo Kid grapples ......

MECHANICAL EYE – Phoenix (2014)

Claire Graman

August 27th, 2015

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Film noir is so quintessentially of its time that modern takes on the genre seem more like homages than heirs. The German film Phoenix is the exception that proves the rule. Sure, there’s the ......

SUMMERS WITH SPIELBERG – E.T.: Spielberg in a Bottle

Keegan O'Brien

August 25th, 2015

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Directors pass on movies every day. Ava DuVernay passed on The Black Panther earlier this year, Edgar Wright dropped out of Ant-Man, Josh Trank ungracefully left his Star Wars spin-off, Michelle ......

SUMMERS WITH SPIELBERG – Raiders of a Lost Genre

Keegan O'Brien

August 19th, 2015

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I was recently in a conversation where someone claimed that Pulp Fiction was overrated. “All it is is blood, guns, and violence.” Yes, I know. Not because I’ve seen the movie more times than I ......

SUMMERS WITH SPIELBERG – What makes Spielberg, Spielberg?

Keegan O'Brien

August 17th, 2015

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Steven Spielberg is regarded by many to be the father of the modern blockbuster. During the 1960s, Hollywood was struggling to find its audience. Television was slowly overthrowing movies, and ......

MISE EN SEAN – Cop Car (2015)

Sean Hanson

August 15th, 2015

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Two ten-year-old boys amble through the tall grass of a Colorado plain, exchanging profanities for the sake of exchanging profanities. Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) challenges Harrison (Hays ......

AS PITHY AS IT GETS – Irrational Man (2015)

Alice Chou

August 13th, 2015

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Unlike Woody Allen’s early years, when he consistently made masterpieces like Annie Hall (1977), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), lately he is like an automated ......

SO IT GOES – Inside Out (2015)

Sarah Gough-Piazza

August 12th, 2015

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Pixar Studios has created some of the most imaginative and visually stimulating animation in the modern era. From Toy Story to Up, Pixar never fails to revive the childlike imagination and awe of ...

MECHANICAL EYE – Trainwreck (2015)

Claire Graman

August 11th, 2015

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Women are funny, seems to be Hollywood’s recent revelation — in the midst of heightened concerns about the representation of women in television and film — with the success of comedians like Tina ...