August 1, 2014

A Film Review Demystified: Magic in the Moonlight


  Share on Tumblr  
      Delicious Add to Delicious  

Full moon follies

By Ben Mk

If you were to compile a list of all the directors in Hollywood who are worthy of the title "auteur", chances are that a) it would be a short list and b) Woody Allen's name would be somewhere near the top. The prolific 78-year-old writer/director, who's been churning out films at the rate of roughly one a year for much of his five-decade-long career, is best known for his comedies, although he's not averse to creating a little drama now and again. And after 2013's melancholy Blue Jasmine, it's almost a relief that Allen has returned to considerably lighter fare with Magic in the Moonlight.

July 31, 2014

Hooked on a Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy


  Share on Tumblr  
      Delicious Add to Delicious  

Have Gunn, will travel

By Ben Mk

You could say that space, for Marvel Studios, represents the final frontier. Although they've taken the superhero movie to new heights with characters like Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America, all of their films thus far have been predominantly earthbound, save for the occasional intergalactic tease. That all changes now that James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the tenth pic in the studio’s ambitious and imaginative cinematic universe, is upon us. And with it, the studio has finally taken that next giant step, crossing the threshold into a vast and starry expanse from which there’s no turning back.

July 28, 2014

A Bioroid's Blu-ray Review: Appleseed: Alpha


  Share on Tumblr  
      Delicious Add to Delicious  

Olympus has (not) fallen

By Ben Mk

Appleseed is a title that’s near and dear to the hearts of diehard manga fans everywhere, but its popularity may escape those who are only acquainted with the oft-mentioned Akira and Ghost in the Shell. Created by the man who brought the world Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow, and first published in 1985, it has since gone on to spawn spin-offs in film, television and videogames. And now the latest entry in the Appleseed franchise, Appleseed: Alpha, is upon us, just in time to celebrate the manga's thirtieth anniversary.

July 25, 2014

Unlocking the Full Potential of a Film Review: Lucy


  Share on Tumblr  
      Delicious Add to Delicious  

Besson on the brain

By Ben Mk

The last time Luc Besson named one of his movies after its central protagonist, that character's name was Léon, and he was a professional hitman. Simply retitled The Professional for North American audiences, Besson's 1994 film — revolving around a one-man killing machine who goes up against a corrupt DEA agent and his cronies to protect the life of a young girl — was an action masterpiece. And now, it appears that Besson has once again returned to familiar action territory with Lucy, whose titular heroine is also a formidable force of one. Appearances, however, can be deceiving.

Soul-Searching Film Review: I Origins


  Share on Tumblr  
      Delicious Add to Delicious  

Science vs. Faith

By Ben Mk

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. It's poetic, to say the least, but is it a notion reserved purely for romantics, or can that statement somehow be quantified — validated with cold hard facts? For hundreds of years, the debate pitting science against religion has been raging, so just imagine if the two weren't mutually exclusive. It's a weighty idea to consider, fraught with potentially endless philosophical and scientific ramifications, and it's one that I Origins, the second feature film from Another Earth co-writer/director Mike Cahill, aspires to explore.