Movie Review – It (1927)

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Director :   Clarence D Badger + Josef von Sternberg (Uncredited)
Year Of Release :   1927
Principal Cast :  Clara Bow, Antonio Moreno, Jaqueline Gadsden, William Austin, Priscilla Bonner.
Approx Running Time :   73 Minutes
Synopsis:   A salesgirl with plenty of “it” (sex appeal) pursues a handsome playboy.

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It is available to view on YouTube – you can view it in the embedded video link at the bottom of this review.

Clara Bow was regarded as one of the biggest stars of her era: for a (relatively) brief period in the late 20’s, Bow was the most successful film star in the industry, surpassing the big male names for box-office draw, such was her allure. One of the few silent film stars to eventually transition to talkies with any success, Bow’s peak arrived in 1927 and 1928, with appearances in 1926’s Mantrap, 1927’s Wings and It, and 1929’s The Wild Party, all going on to big box-office success and largely critical acclaim. Wings would become the first Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture. It, however, is one of Bow’s more accessible films, in terms of pure entertainment. Basically a Cinderella story (remember, this is the 20’s, and the term “politically correct” was yet to enter popular use), Bow lights up the screen in one of her most memorable performances; so much so, the phrase “the It Girl” was coined due to her popularity.

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Movie Review – Morgan

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Director :   Luke Scott
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Kate Mara, Anna Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti, Vinette Robinson, Chris Sullivan, Michael Yare, Crispin Belfrage, Jonathan Aris, Brian Cox.
Approx Running Time :   92 Minutes
Synopsis:   A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

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Morgan is a jigsaw puzzle of a film. Comprised of many interesting pieces, the film has the genetic disposition to be something special, something out of the box. Marketed as a film directed by Ridley Scott’s son, Luke, as well as being some kind of “artificial intelligence” thriller, the roster of actors aboard this film is the kind of casting most directors could only dream of. Morgan had everything going for it. It confounds the intellect, therefore, to find Morgan is little more than a run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter assemblage of genre cliches and a hodge-podge of ideas that, while initially interesting, simply never manifest their potential in any meaningful way.

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Movie Review – Ben-Hur (2016)

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Director :   Timur Bekmambetov
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :   Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Bonaidi, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black D’elia, Ayelet Zurer, Haluk Bilginer, James Cosmo.
Approx Running Time :   125 Minutes
Synopsis:  Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army, returns to his homeland after years at sea to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

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The fifth big-screen outing of Lew Wallace’s eponymous literary hero, Judah Ben-Hur, Russian director Timur Bekmambetov’s latest widescreen epic is assuredly mounted from a technical standpoint, but remains despondently emotionally unenthusiastic despite convincing performances from all involved. Wallace’s analogous Christ-fable works well as a story of revenge and redemption, but through Bekmambetov’s saturated cinematography and antiseptically homogeneous dialogue, 2016’s Ben-Hur feels emptier than a used amphora. Bekmambetov is unable to capture the political and social anger sewn into the Holy Lands of Jesus’ time, least not in a manner congruent with giving Ben-Hur’s narrative any real cognisance.

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Movie Review – Pete’s Dragon (2016)

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Director :  David Lowery
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Betley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford, Isiah Whitlock, Marcus Henderson, Jim McLarty, voice of John Kassir.
Approx Running Time :   102 Minutes
Synopsis:   The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

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Disney’s run of luck turning its animated canon into live-action blockbusters continues with Pete’s Dragon, a slick Hollywood update of the studio’s 1977 film of the same name. As you’d expect, this visual-effects heavy film features a stunning representation in the dragon department, a fluffy green puppy-dog creature brought to life by pixels and the vocal magic of John Kassir, a long-time Disney voice-over artist known for his supporting work in Pocahontas, among other films. The film also features a kid-centric storyline led by the young Oakes Fegley, whose work as Pete stands alongside that of young Neel Sethi in Disney’s other massive success of 2016, The Jungle Book. However, and this is a big however, I’m inclined to suggest that Pete’s Dragon contains themes and scenes that may not be suitable for kids, particularly the young ones, so my review of this film comes with a specific spoiler caveat that’ll allow me to cover off on what parents might have to check out first. Henceforth: Here be spoilers.

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Trailer Trash! – Baywatch Trailer #2

A new International trailer for Baywatch dropped today! Starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rorbach, Baywatch is set to ignite the screen later this year. Check out the new trailer after the jump!

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Trailer Trash! – Cars 3

In the entire pantheon of Pixar films, the least liked (among hard-core fans, at least) are the Cars movies. Cars wasn’t a terrible film but it was basically Doc Hollywood on four wheels, almost beat for beat. Cars 2 tried to go for some weird Bond spy spoof by putting dumb-as-a-bucket Mater in the starring role, much to the chagrin of fans who felt the studio was cruising on easy rote storytelling. Now, whether you asked for it or not, Pixar is about to unload Cars 3 upon us all. Featuring a spectacular wreck to Lightning McQueen (perhaps the young kids might find this distressing), Cars 3 promises yet more of the high speed racing adventure we’ve come to expect. Check out the latest trailer after the jump!

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Road To The Oscars – 70th BAFTAs Nominations

Fresh off the day-old Golden Globes, the British Oscars, or BAFTAs, have announced their nominations. You can read it all after the jump!

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