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Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Mr. Holmes

“Mr. Holmes,” one of my favorite films that I caught at this year’s Maui Film Festival, is director Bill Condon’s second film with star Ian McKellen. Their 1998 drama, “Gods and Monsters,’ in which McKellen portrayed film director James Whale during the bittersweet last days of his life, is a milestone for both the actor and filmmaker. Their eagerly awaited …

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Movie Review: Terminator Genisys

The storied history of the “Terminator” franchise is well documented. James Cameron’s apprehension to cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator could’ve doomed the series from the start. But as James Cameron wisely pointed out, casting Arnold as the title character should not have worked because the Terminator was conceived as an infiltration unit. No one would’ve believed that Arnold could …

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Movie Review: Inside Out (2015)

“Take her to the moon for me, Joy.” In a time when most movies can be spoiled during their teaser trailers, I am so glad that the previews for this movie don’t do it any kind of justice. That’s not to say that the concept is difficult to grasp. In fact, it’s incredibly simple. Emotions (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger) are …

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Movie Review: A Deadly Adoption

It’s not often, if ever, that a summer movie with two high profile movie stars is not coming to a theatre near you. Instead, it’s premiering on television, with a niche network geared toward the female set. This is what has happened with the Lifetime network premiere of the Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig movie, “A Deadly Adoption”. As most …

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Movie Review: Jurassic World

It’s been more than 20 years since we last saw the dinosaurs roam the shores of Isla Nublar. The excitement and terror of the original movie, along with the characters we’ve grown to love, “Jurassic Park” is rightly considered a classic and was a financial and critical success. This film was the “Jaws” of its era, the catalyst for the …

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MFF 2015 Review: Love & Mercy

Its remarkable, how a film so unsettling can soar so high. I grew up with Brian Wilson’s music, as The Beach Boys were a staple of my youth. Wilson’s work had a surprise impact on me ten years ago, when he released the first of two reconstructed versions of his legendary “Smile” album. I must have listened to it every …

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Movie Review: Aloha

Few movies are less deserving of venomous pre-release controversy than writer/director Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy, “Aloha.” Considering the widely reported complaints directed at this film, I’m happy to report the film isn’t a shallow exploitation of Hawaii, as many wrongfully feared. Crowe’s film isn’t without its problems but, to get right to it, I liked it a great deal, and …

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Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2

In the interest of full disclosure, I am and have been a choir kid. In school, college, and church, music has been a big part of my life. I believe music to be the emotional center of life and certain music easily becomes the soundtrack to it. This is why I have an affinity for the “Pitch Perfect” movies which …

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Movie Review: Poltergeist (2015)

In the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg directed 1982 horror classic, “Poltergeist,” there’s a memorably horrifying scene that takes place in a kitchen. A supporting character’s late night snack becomes an opportunity for some angry spirits to assault the victim through a vivid hallucination. We watch a man under the impression that his food is covered with maggots and that his face …

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Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

There’s a documentary on the making of the original “Mad Max” where the film’s stunt coordinator shows us the “state of the art” safety equipment his team was using: cardboard boxes. When we’d see stunt performers jumping off of moving vehicles, they’d land on stacks of cardboard boxes. These boxes weren’t even folded together but were stacked like floor mats. …

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