Movie Reviews

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‘In the Heart of the Sea’: Modernized Moby Dick

by Sandra Olmsted

In his new film, In the Heart of the Sea, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Charles Leavitt modernize the true tale of what happened to the whaling ship the Essex circa 1820 by drawing out themes of environmentalism and comparing the whale oil industry to today’s oil industry. Yet, with all this enlightenment going on in their script, they still manage to make an exciting film thanks to gorgeously done CGI and fast paced action.

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Films creating Oscar Buzz

 

The Oscar Race is On! List of top Films of 2015

           by Sandra Olmsted

When Chris Rook takes the stage on Feb. 28, 2016, how many of the Oscar nominated films will you have seen and what will be your chances of winning the obligatory “predict the Oscars” game?

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The 33: Sentimentality and Terrific Performances, Latin American Style

 by Sandra Olmsted

While sentimentality is often viewed as a distortion of reality in American culture, in The 33, director Patricia Riggen embraces a different cultural norm, popular in the Spanish-speaking world, of using sentimentality to heighten reality. She even throws in a little magical realism when the 33 men eat their last miniscule rations.

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There is Still Time to Enjoy The St. Louis Film Festival

by Sandra Olmsted

Each year the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) bring an amazing array of film to the St. Louis public including some first run movies that haven’t opened yet, and some films which will never play in anywhere else in St. Louis. Because playing at SLIFF qualifies films for to be considered for a nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, many of the international films are the “official selections” of their country of origin. Thus they are consideration as Best Foreign Language Film, of which five will be nominated for an Oscar.

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Two Political Films: Truth and Our Brand Is Crisis

by Sandra Olmsted

Truth and Our Brand Is Crisis both raise questions about political power and our process political. Writer/director James Vanderbilt’s Truth recounts the events of “MemoGate” which took down Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) and changed investigative reporting, according to the film. Director David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis sheds light on how campaign strategists spin their candidates for the ultimate goal of settling their own personal grudges. While Truth has Oscar-worthy performances and extremely high production values, Our Brand Is Crisis doesn’t live up to its potential, but still has a perspective that will hopefully make voters think twice about what they are hearing about and from candidates.

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Crimson Peak is Classic Gothic Tale, Beautifully Filmed But Still Terrifying

By Sandra Olmsted

Writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak, wallows in the subgenre of Gothic horror by including the textbook tropes, such as an ancient, haunted castle with subterranean dungeons and secret passageways, mysterious deaths, supernatural happenings, bloody hands, moaning ghosts, and a damsel in distress,. Add in violent emotions related to terror, anguish, and love.

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