jackryan

I was really looking forward to seeing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, out in theaters this weekend. I’ve been a fan of the Jack Ryan character in his film incarnations over the years, and I was curious to see what actor/director Kenneth Branagh would do with a spy thriller in the wake of his relatively successful Thor directing job. I’m sad to say that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an aggressively average film. Everything about it is generic and bland: the script, the acting, the plot, and the action.

Check out my full video review after the jump.

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VOTD: Why Are Movie Posters So Terrible Now?

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Why Are Movie Posters So Terrible Now? GoodBadFlicks has put together a fun and informative video essay examining and common one-sheet cliches and the lazy marketing of modern day Hollywood. Watch the video now embedded after the jump.

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Watch This: David’s Top 10 Films of 2013

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It’s been an amazing year for films, possibly the best one since I started writing/talking about film seriously back in 2007. Devindra and I had a spirited discussion of our top 10 films of the year, but for those who prefer a shorter, 9-minute long version of that podcast episode, you can find a video version of my top 10 films of 2013 after the jump.

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GRAVITY

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is one of my favorite films of the year, a non-stop thrill ride with innovative camera work, sound design, and animation. The movie’s apparent verisimilitude impressed me so much that I spent some time reading about how accurate it was from people like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Andy Howell, and Michael Massimino. Turns out, the film takes significant liberties with some of the facts and physics (shocker!).

While the film is probably one of the most accurate depictions of space ever put to film, this accuracy makes the places where it ISN’T accurate all the more bothersome. The thing is, each one of  Cuarón’s decisions makes complete sense. Every single scientific inaccuracy I’m about to list can be interpreted to be in service of the story, which totally delivers when it comes to tension and character development.

Nonetheless, now that I’ve started noticing these issues, I can’t ever stop noticing them. So, here are five scientific inaccuracies in Gravity that will now bother me forever. Spoilers for Gravity follow.
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The Top 5 Action Scenes of 2013

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All things considered, 2013 was a pretty great year for cinema. But it was a particularly good year for action film fans. With a few exceptions, most action that I saw in movies was pretty competently shot and edited. I was dazzled by the martial arts of Man of Tai Chi, gripped by the boat raiding of Captain Phillips, and temporarily entertained by the barrel-riding of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. But even beyond those moments, there were a few action scenes that really stuck out to me. I think of them as the scenes that gave me a “holy shit!” moment, prompting me to exclaim (internally or verbally) disbelief at what I’d just witnessed.

After the jump, you’ll find my personal top 5 Action Scenes of 2013. You will disagree with them! I know the other guys at /Film already have. Thus, I heartily encourage you to share your own choices in the comments, and celebrate the year of action films with me.

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scott pilgrim

When Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World debuted in 2010, I’ll admit it: I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were clearly send-ups of their respective genres, but Pilgrim defied my expectations. Part videogame movie, part comic-book movie, and part coming-of-age story, Pilgrim, based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s award-winning graphic novel series, was a bold, singular creation that unfortunately never truly found its audience during its theatrical release.

In the intervening years, my appreciation of the film has grown considerably. After the jump, you can see my newest video essay analyzing the film and pointing out some of its hidden gems. Feel free to share your thoughts on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in the comments.

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