I research, consult, and write about open dataproject managementnew mediastandardsmobile technology, and collaboration. Occasionally I review books and movies


MOVIE REVIEWS

  • Scroll down for movie review summary links sorted by date.
  • A complete index to all my movie reviews is here.
Thursday
Dec182014

Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER

The bond between the two characters is never clearly understood. Master and pupil (as the title implies)? Or two dissimilar peas in a pod, one reflecting the other?

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Sunday
Dec142014

Dustin Hoffman's QUARTET

It’s a feel-good movie beautifully produced with a heart and a conscience.

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Thursday
Dec112014

Steven Knight's REDEMPTION

This is not your typical Stathan action movie. I enjoyed it along with the excellent direction and beautiful nighttime photography. The thick English accents are a bit tough to follow at times but if you just follow the movement and the eyes you’ll be fine.

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Sunday
Dec072014

Roger Michell's HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON

Does FDR come through as a major cad in how he relates to women? Absolutely. But also portrayed is how the women respond and adjust while still managing to pull strings. It’s a fascinating view of a time and place and reminds us that these gods of our history were human too.

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Friday
Nov142014

Christopher Nolan's INTERSTELLAR

The only other movie within recent memory that packed a similar emotional wallop for me was TREE OF LIFE

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Monday
Nov102014

Romanovskiy Mikhail's LONELY SOULS OF MICROBES

My favorite line of dialog: “She devours them like plums.”

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Monday
Nov102014

Ilango Ramanathan's MOUNA VIZHITHTHULIGAL

This is as stunning and heartfelt a condemnation of war as I have ever seen.

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Monday
Nov032014

Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA

Godzilla is much more “serious” and “realistic.” Death and destruction are much more immediate and visceral and less “cartoony.” You really sense that you are witnessing to something awful happening that humans just can’t deal with.

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Sunday
Nov022014

Toa Fraser's DEAN SPANLEY

When all is said and done, though, this is Peter O’Toole’s movie. The sensitivity of his performance is amazing to watch. We are fortunate to have a record of such performances

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Wednesday
Oct292014

Todd Robinson's PHANTOM

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

Ed HarrisThis Cold War submarine spy thriller is a real winner. Ed Harris excels as the nearly retired captain of an end of service life Russian nuclear missile submarine. Reluctantly he receives one last assignment. Onboard is a rogue set of KGB agents who are testing a fancy acoustic cloaking device they say will change the balance of power against the Americans. But that’s not why they’re really there. The captain realizes that — but only too late.

The cast, photography, editing, sound, and characters are excellent. Why I have never heard of this 2013 movie I don’t know. If you’re a fan of movies like Hunt for Red October this is the movie for you. Plot twists abound but the real focus is the interplay among the characters. Dialogue and acting are top-flight. Highly recommended.

Text copyright (c) 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald

 

Monday
Oct272014

Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, & Lana Wachowski's CLOUD ATLAS

What a gorgeous movie to look at this is! Plus, the intertwining stories and jumps in time provide amazing and often confusing food for thought.

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Saturday
Oct252014

Akiva Goldsman's WINTER'S TALE

I’m a sucker for well done but romantic time travel films. This one compares favorably to the romantic classic Somewhere In Time.

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Wednesday
Oct222014

Yasuomi Umetsu’s KITE

Kite from 1998 has an infamous reputation.

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Wednesday
Oct012014

Francis Ford Coppola's TWIXT

I started out this film not realizing Francis Ford Coppola made it just a few years ago.

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Wednesday
Sep032014

Ari Folman's THE CONGRESS

Ari Folman’s THE CONGRESS is a feast for the eye and the imagination. On it I hereby bestow my coveted ONE OF A KIND tag though I must admit that some of the other films in that category seem now to pale in comparison with Folman’s masterpiece.

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Monday
Aug182014

Sandra Nettelbeck's LAST LOVE

What an engaging movie this is. Slow, deliberate, and ultimately, complex.

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Monday
Aug112014

Shinji Aramaki's SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK

There’s so much eye candy displayed you almost forget about the labored exposition and hackneyed plot.

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Tuesday
Aug052014

Zachary Heinzerling's CUTIE AND THE BOXER 

Not being an artist myself I’ve long been mystified by how people define what is “art” and what’s not.

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Monday
Aug042014

Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL

Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL is an exploration of how truth and memory interact in subtle and subjective ways about one family’s past history.

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Sunday
Jul272014

José Padilha's ROBOCOP

This new version, thankfully, is not quite so brutal and the plentiful action sequences don’t glory in gore and bloodsplatter the way, say, an EXPENDABLES film does.

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