Movies

John Carter Movie Review

by Rick Grant Writer-director, Andrew Stanton adapted his screenplay from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic 1912 novel, “A Princess of Mars.”Yeah, it’s the same author who wrote “Tarzan.” Disney spent a ton of dough on this fantasy adventure hoping for a blockbuster the likes of “Avatar.” After the final cut was approved and early feedback from test audiences came in, now the Mouse is praying to reach their break even point. Yeah, it’s got the whole blockbuster package–handsome leading man, sultry, sexy, and feisty leading woman, plenty of mind blowing special effects, weird creatures, and swashbuckling sword combat. However, the story …

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Ghost Rider:Spirit Of Vengeance Movie Review

by Rick Grant The idea that Nicolas Cage could burst into flames while riding a burning motorcycle appealed to me, since I’m really not a fan of Cage’s body of work. Nevertheless, this Grade-B biker film does have some merit as a guilty pleasure. In Spirit of Vengeance, Cage’s Blaze is enlisted by a mysterious Holy Man Moreau (Idris Elba) to stop the Devil –Roarke (Ciaran Hinds) from converting a young boy into himself. Yeah, the script gets murky during all the blazing stunts. However, the sight of that conflagration on two wheels, with the Ghost Rider’s blazing skull spewing …

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Red Tails Movie Review

by Rick Grant Considering the subject matter and George Lucas’ involvement as executive producer, (he financed the movie) my expectations were high for this homage to the Tuskegee Airman. Ah yes, the final cut had many flaws, which, for me, was very disappointing. Indeed, the survivors of the much celebrated all-black squadron during WWII deserved a better movie to represent them. In fact, there was a much better TV movie back in 1995 produced by PBS, titled The Tuskegee Airmen. It starred Laurence Fishburne, and coincidently, Cuba Gooding Jr. The PBS TV movie was directed by Robert Markowitz from a …

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The Darkest Hour Movie Review

by Rick Grant There’s nothing like an alien invasion movie to put the depressing holiday season in perspective. (Hey, it could happen.) To mark its difference from the other films of this genre, this hostile-alien-invasion movie was shot in Moscow, Russia, with an all-Russian crew. The movie stars two naive young American software developers, Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella), who fly to Russia to present their new software to a Russian firm. Sean and Ben get to the meeting late, only to find out that in Russia there are no rules. The first person to present the software …

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War Horse Movie Review

by Rick Grant Spielberg’s epic horse film, War Horse, is noteworthy for its realistic battle scenes during the trench warfare stalemate of WWI. The bloody war sent men on horses with swords galloping to sudden death against modern artillery and high-rate-of-fire machine guns for the glory of the British empire—or some nonsense like that. The stupid British military never adjusted to the new type of warfare, sending wave after wave of British soldiers to their deaths crossing no-man’s-land. Most all of them were mowed down by German machine guns or blown to bits by German heavy artillery. It was the …

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Young Adult movie review

by Rick Grant Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, a successful writer of a genre of fiction called “young adult,” pandering to the romantic interests of 18 to 21 year old women. She is what psychiatrists call “a child woman” who, emotionally, never grew up beyond her late teens. Her stunted emotional growth is exacerbated by her absorption in writing her youth oriented books. Although Mavis is in her late thirties, she behaves like a nineteen year-old girl who never got over losing her high school sweetheart. So she hangs around bars drinking way too much. When she gets drunk, …

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Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows

by Rick Grant Now that Robert Downey Jr. has established the witty, kung fu version of the famous detective, I can be somewhat objective and not call this a loud, special effects commercial product. The film actually has merit, with cleverly structured dialogue in between the fast-moving stunts. Downey is in his best shape and able to leap into action the second a thug accosts him. Yes, the film is heavy on pyrotechnics but it’s part of the fun as Holmes locks horns with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) who, as Holmes finds out, is trying to start WWI …

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Hugo Movie Review

Photographer: James Schlefstein Make Up Stylist: LaTavia Dawson Models: Natalie Hartford & Lauren Ashenden by Rick Grant Martin Scorsese’s homage to the early pioneers of film is a cinematic masterwork. It’s told through the eyes of an orphan boy, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield). Set in Paris, France in 1930, Scorsese’s scene-craft’s amazing attention to detail, along with John Logan’s adaptation of Brain Selznick’s novel, produced a magical film that upgrades the family movie to true film art. Hugo lives inside the labyrinth of the Paris clock tower. His greatest fear is being discovered by the mean Station Inspector (Sasha Baron …

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J. Edgar Movie Review

by Rick Grant Like a 1940s movie, Clint Eastwood cleverly created a slow, but evenly moving character study of a sexually conflicted man, who singlehandedly built the FBI into a major law-enforcement organization. He did this by his audacious personality and belief that if the Bureau was to be respected, he needed to modernize its methods. Eastwood tells the story through the eyes of Hoover as he struggles to get funding from Congress for his modernization program. He was the first lawman to recognize that fingerprints could be used to identify suspects. He then organized a file catalog to quickly …

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Jax Film Fest – review

by Faith Bennett At the closing awards ceremony for the Jax Film Fest last Sunday evening, Film Fest director, Warren Skeels mentioned Jacksonville as a city that “Could’ve been Hollywood.” Brilliant documentaries and fresh narratives as well as dozens of shorts were brought to this city from all over the United States and even from other countries. A few films were even from the Bold New City of the South itself. This year’s Film Festival was rebranded as “Jax Film Fest” and was represented by a new edgier logo as well departing from the more conservative sea turtle logo that …

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