Monthly Archives: February 2014

[REVIEW] Her

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Bold, insightful, and remarkably positive, director Spike Jonze’s (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) latest offering is an unmitigated success. Her, the poignant story of one man’s love affair with his tech suite’s sapient operating system, is neither as whimsical nor as unsettling as its premise might suggest. Instead, the film cuts straight to the heart of the wonder and untidiness of personal relationships. Like all great science fiction, it presents our own world back to us, heightened, so we can examine the human experience with new eyes. Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Elysium

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This week, a meek freak ekes by with a bleak, somewhat tongue-in-cheek peek at sleek, badly-tweaked, creaky cinematic chic.

                                                                      

A slick sci-fi concept piece, Elysium left me feeling cold, underwhelmed, and more than a little preached at. Never quite able to completely mask a markedly propagandist slant behind its veneer of action movie tropes, its lack of subtlety shares something in common with Neil Young’s “protest” songs of recent years (e.g., “Let’s Impeach the President”). Director Neill Blomkamp’s previous sermon, District 9, held up because the originality and zaniness of the film’s story transcended its overt political commentary. Elysium has no such fallback because its adaptation of the typical Hollywoodized action hero’s journey fails to inject much freshness into the formula. Continue reading

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