Elysium
Aug09

Elysium

Paradise Lost; Subsequently Found By Matt Damon Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster Review written by Andrew Younger In dystopian storytelling, the protagonist often serves as little more than an avatar for the audience in order to explore some exaggerated negative feature of civilization. In order to be an effective audience surrogate, whether it is Winston Smith or Bernard Marx or Josef K., the dystopian protagonist only needs to...

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Les Misérables
Dec31

Les Misérables

Historical Poverty All Up In Your Grill Review written by Andrew Younger Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe In the opening sequence of director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, the French Tricolour–whose faded bars of blue, white, and red, symbolize the idealism of the French Revolution–is trampled by shackled prisoners marching in unison. With the restoration of the French monarchy described...

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Wreck-It-Ralph
Dec30

Wreck-It-Ralph

Do Kids Even Go to Arcades? Review written by Andrew Younger Starring: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer Director Rich Moore latches on to 8-bit nostalgia with Disney’s perfunctory holiday CG offering Wreck-It Ralph. The eponymous Ralph (John C. Reilly), who lives and works as the villain inside a Donkey Kong/Rampage hybrid arcade game named Fix-It Felix Jr., decides during the game’s twentieth anniversary that he no longer...

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Life of Pi
Dec30

Life of Pi

Because Pi Is Irrational, Like Faith Review written by Andrew Younger Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan Director Ang Lee’s extraordinary adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi, previously believed to be unadaptable, covers much of the same spiritual questioning as Terrence Malick’s 2011 offering The Tree of Life without the irritating voiceover or Sean Penn’s confused meandering across salt flats. Told...

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Not Fade Away
Dec29

Not Fade Away

I Cant Get No Satisfaction Review written by Andrew Younger Starring: John Magaro, Jack Huston The Sopranos creator David Chase’s feature-length directorial debut Not Fade Away serves as both a love letter to the passion of 60s rock and a retrospective that wonders whether any of that passion mattered. These contradictory aims undermine each other in a narrative that inspires neither passion nor wonder as Bob Dylan impersonator...

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Promised Land
Dec28

Promised Land

Promise Not Fully Realized Review written by Andrew Younger Starring: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand This year’s annual Gus Van Sant social issues offering Promised Land, based on a short story by Dave Eggers and scripted by co-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, explores the complex issue of hydraulic fracturing (AKA fracking) which extracts natural gas deep below the earth’s crust while simultaneously polluting...

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The Bourne Legacy
Aug09

The Bourne Legacy

Matt Damon Is Not In This Film Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz Review written by Andrew Younger With all the bait-and-switch bravado of a carnival barker, The Bourne Legacy writer-director Tony Gilroy does his damnedest to project wayward star Matt Damon’s titular hero onto the blank canvas of Jeremy Renner. And much like a carnival sideshow, the resulting experience ends in disappointment. The film opens with a retread of the...

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State of Play
Apr18

State of Play

Apparently Government Is Corrupt Starring: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams Written by: Andrew Younger Performing his best Alan J. Pakula impersonation circa 1974, director Kevin MacDonald’s latest offering addresses journalistic integrity in the wake of political decay and corporate conspiracy before surrendering complex social commentary to cheap plot twists and easy resolutions. In the midst of congressional...

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Fast & Furious
Apr03

Fast & Furious

Faster, Paul Walker! Kill! Kill! Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel By Andrew Younger With pop culture self-cannibalization increasing at an exponential rate, stepping in to the theater for Fast & Furious was like prying open a time capsule from a bygone era. A simpler era. An era when cladding your four-door Honda Civic with a shopping cart handle and a carbon fiber hood was socially acceptable. An era when re-badging your...

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The Pink Panther 2
Feb07

The Pink Panther 2

Beyonce Turned This Film Down Starring: Steve Martin, Andy Garcia, Emily Mortimer By: Andrew Younger Like most films which show such contempt for their audience that they merely slap a number at the end of a title and call it a sequel, The Pink Panther 2 could have been terrible. And not just ordinary, run-of-the-mill terrible, but a colossal monument to failure of Baby Geniuses 2 proportions. Having subjected myself to the first Pink...

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