review

Review: Arrival

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Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Written by: Eric Heisserer, based on the story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Summary: Linguist professor Louise Banks is brought in by the U.S. military to help communicate with aliens that have made their first contact with Earth. International tensions rise and Louise is under pressure find answers about the aliens and about herself.

I don’t know what I was expecting from Arrival but it wasn’t this. From the outside it looks like a potentially interesting movie about aliens, but it turns out to be far more complex than that. (more…)

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Review: O.J. – Made In America

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Directed by: Ezra Edelman

Summary: O.J.: Made in America is a documentary chronicling the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson and how his controversial legacy is so deeply intertwined with race relations in Los Angeles and around the country.

I was four years old when Nicole Brown Simpson was found murdered in her Brentwood home. So, for most of my life O.J. Simpson has been the punchline to a joke. (more…)

Review: Boyhood

Boyhood

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Written & Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke

I smiled through this whole movie. Boyhood is an absolutely delight. I saw this film when it was first released in the summer and really enjoyed it; I wondered if time would have soured the charm that Boyhood had but it absolutely did not. Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making passion project might not be for everyone, but if you don’t connect with these characters in at any point in the story you’re not human.

Boyhood follows Mason Evans (played by Ellar Coltrane) from age six to eighteen; the film chronicles his growth and the elements that have contributed to who the person he has become by the end of the film. The concept is that simple. The unique ambition that Richard Linklater had was to film this transformation in real time: for a few weeks out of every year from 2002 to 2013 the cast and crew came together to capture that moment in time. It’s an entirely scripted story but is told so organically I often had to remind myself that there is no real family story upon which this is based. (more…)