Archive for December, 2014

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Unbroken

December 29, 2014

directed by Angelina Jolie, 2014

Unbroken

Comparable to reading a biography with informative chunks ripped out, leaving gaping holes aplenty in the narrative, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is little more than an incomplete and wholly misguided rendering of the fight of the human spirit. Chronicling the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II, Jolie’s second directorial effort following the forgettable In the Land of Blood Honey (2011) is a broad, dull, one-note treatment of potentially inspiring material that is entirely devoid of a valid directorial perspective and an overarching sense of wisdom.

Read full review at In Review Online

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Blu-ray Review: Tootsie

December 26, 2014

directed by Sydney Pollack, 1982

Tootsie

The iconic glow of Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie undoubtedly resides in its impressive cinematic shelf life, but it’s nearly impossible to envision anything close to the same film existing in today’s mainstream landscape where tricky and thoughtful gambits are almost impossible to come by. While the film’s take on shifting social and sexual identities does carry with it an undeniable expiration date, there exists a wealth of justifiable cause for the film’s well-earned Criterion facelift more than 30 years after its initial release. Spiritually astute, confidently performed, and blessed with the late Sydney Pollack’s knack for nourished character craftsmanship, Tootsie finds resonance not in the humor of the everyman struggling actor dressing up as middle-aged woman to earn a paying gig, but in locating personal betterment amidst its situational comedy exterior; it’s a movie about how acting and role-playing serves as a tool for enlightenment.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine