Author: Travis Losh

Source Code

Overview:  A soldier takes on another life in order to stop a bomb from destroying Chicago. PG 13; 93 minutes; Vendome Pictures. Reality: This film takes on an investigation of the flawed human perception of reality, a common but complex subject, but it succeeds by marrying the investigation to its main character Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal). Colter is a man in a perpetual state of confusion. Gyllenhaal exhibits the confused, frantic emotion expertly and in large portion.  Over the duration of the film, we see  Colton transform into a whole new person, physically and mentally.  In each repetitive sequence, his...

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The Great Gatsby

Overview: Yet another adaptation of the novel follows the life of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) and Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) as their lives intertwine. Warner Bros Pictures/Roadshow Entertainment; 2013; Rated PG-13; 143 minutes. The Pure Epic: Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Australia) crafts a grand stage with electrifying imagery. Luhrmann and cinematographer Simon Duggan (I, Robot; Knowing) present the Roaring 20’s in a gorgeous re-creation. Both artist exhibit zealous ambition, but they manage to control the chaos and keep cohesion against an extraordinary set design. The design takes on a colorful, bright aesthetic that holds attention well. These sights are...

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V for Vendetta

Overview: James McTeigue brings us a sci-fi thriller in a futuristic Britain controlled by an arbitrary autocracy, and a man simply known as V (Hugo Weaving) fights for the people’s freedom. Warner Bros; 2005; Rated R, 132 minutes Remember, Remember: This film’s script was adapted from Alan Moore’s graphic novel by the Wachowski siblings. The movie never fails to deliver with its Vehement dialogue and Valiant Variations of Vivid imagery that take us on a Vibrant ride, with barely a dull moment, in following one man’s Vendetta and his Valediction to the tyranny. A Valiant Vaunt: The dialogue is mesmerizing, it swallows us in as we follow V’s Voluble poetic flow all while slamming us with a sinuous story line that emphatically combines two seemingly different lives into one. The way that Hugo Weaving perfectly depicts the pain of having one’s life taken away was nothing short of amazing as he so Valiantly seduces us to fall in love with his character. The deeply felt pain in Weaving’s performance is most evident in the scenes where he explains V’s back story and how his love for someone he had never laid eyes on molded him into the Valiant freedom fighter we now see. His sheer love and compassion, his determination to transform EVey (Natalie Portman) into his Vision, and to show her the way, will strike Viewers as two...

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Gattaca

Overview: A tech noir thriller about a man’s desire to travel to space and his struggle against the constraints of his society. R; 107 minutes Genes: When it comes to science fiction, it’s always a joy to find films that focus on the story rather than the set pieces and special effects. At its best, Gattaca recalls 2001: A Space Odyssey (by director Stanley Kubrick), immersing the viewer in its themes and plot so thoroughly that the futuristic setting is an afterthought. Both films explore the connection of humans to the universe, though the portrayal in Gattaca is more...

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Equilibrium

Overview: In a dystopian future, after the outbreak of World War 3,  the government controls every aspect of life. John Preston (Christian Bale) is an enforcer of the law who sets out to right all that is wrong in Libria. 2002; Dimension/Miramax; Rated R; 107 minutes The Good: The fast-paced action scenes help soften the blow of the computer generated graphics, which on their own would turn viewers away. The quick cuts to framed faces of the characters show their emotion and help the viewers get a better feel for the struggle each character endures in Libria. There is at times a steady flowing gracefulness from second-effort director Kurt Wimmer (Ultraviolet), who has since gained recognition for his writing of Salt and Law Abiding Citizen. Christian Bale’s performance is one of the paramount parts of the film. The suppressed emotion in his portrayal of Preston is a testament to his ability as an actor. Emily Watson is solid as Mary O’Brien The interactions between Preston and O’Brien offer viewers a measurable standard to distinguish between those who are feeling and those who are not. Their facial expressions give you a sense of affection between them even though Preston has no idea what that means. With the influence of O’Brien’s affection, the frames of Preston’s expression began to evolve as he realizes what it is to feel and the impact...

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Drive

Overview: A reticent mechanic who doubles as a Hollywood stuntman with superb driving skills gets into some unwanted trouble when he helps out a woman. 2011; Rated R; 100 minutes All kinds of cool: Nicholas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) brings us this ultraviolent crime drama starring Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine, The Notebook). Refn is known for his highly-stylized approach to filming. Here, with cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, Refn uses unique camera angles to create a neo-noir look and feel with an unconventional perspective. The opening chase scene, for example, was shot by Refn sitting inside of the car...

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