Chris Chiarella

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Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  0 comments
The monthly announcements of upcoming Criterion releases often list films I can’t pronounce, let alone recognize. But in truth, the esteemed specialty label splits its attention between lesser- known cinema and popular movies, and this recent Blu-ray menagerie holds a pair of Oscar-winners, an enduring 1985 hit, and a singular genre classic.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  0 comments
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How many more movies and TV shows will simulate virtual reality to tell a “thought-provoking” story about the fate of society? I gave up on Netflix’s Black Mirror because I could not bear another tale of VR gone awry, but Ready Player One brings the pedigree of Steven Spielberg, plus Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel. How could it miss?
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 03, 2018  |  1 comments
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In the 30 years since its debut, Die Hard has been riffed on and ripped off beyond count, and been sequelized no less than four times. This crown jewel of the Fox catalog, unleashed upon audiences with a ferocity, personality, and originality that we never saw coming, will likely never be topped. A very 1980s interpretation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it finds grouchy New York City police detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) stuck in an under-construction Los Angeles skyscraper on December 24th.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  0 comments
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Remember those A Day in the Life of… coffee table books that gave us glimpses of Hollywood and the Soviet Union and the like over a single 24-hour span? Imagine that same dynamic applied to some carefully selected, human-free locales across the globe, and you start to get the idea behind Earth: One Amazing Day. This sequel to the 2007 nature documentary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, revealing visions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen before. (Giraffe smack-down!)
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 13, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 1982 science-fiction opus Blade Runner remains an undeniable visual spectacle that fired the imaginations of many a viewer. While neither a bona fide critical or commercial success upon debut, it visualized a Los Angeles of the future beyond anything we’d seen before and set the stage for endless fan speculation that has led to five different studio-sanctioned cuts thus far. The sequel, 2049, was released to much of that same indifference. Thirty-five years coming, it still failed to generate a response befitting a cult franchise of this magnitude.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 06, 2018  |  1 comments
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England’s super-secret civilian intelligence agency, Kingsman, is dealt a devastating blow by a mysterious new enemy. It’s been one year since ballsy-yetcompassionate Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his crew saved the world from an eccentric criminal mastermind, but with their resources and personnel all but eliminated, they must now seek the help of Statesman, their American counterpart. Together, this unlikely team travels the globe to uncover the truth behind the recent attack, as well as the details of another ruthless plot that could soon kill millions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 02, 2018  |  3 comments
Haters be damned, Justice League is actually pretty good. I just wish it was great.

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The theoretically-can't-miss combination of DC's legendary "trinity" of heroes — Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman — has a far greater chance of failure when two-thirds of that crew is already on difficult footing. In the rightly reviled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, an irrational, homicidal Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) sets his sights on a mopey, defeatist Man of Steel (Henry Cavill), resulting in tedium and the sudden death of the Man of Steel. It did however introduce audiences to the new Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who has since captivated audiences with her own solo movie and who now elevates this team tale.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  0 comments
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Following his introduction to Marvel’s well-established “Cinematic Universe” in Captain America: Civil War, the beloved Spider-Man has been fully rebooted (again) in the wildly enjoyable Homecoming. Decked out in a new high-tech costume, he’s eager for big adventures, but until then, he occupies himself as a local do-gooder in his Queens neighborhood—when not attending high school. Young star Tom Holland is a perfect fit for Peter Parker and his alter ego, an agile dancer/athlete with an irresistible wide-eyed enthusiasm.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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It’s time to remind everyone what a big deal Terminator 2: Judgment Day still is. The action/adventure genre underwent a serious evolution in the ’80s, and by 1991, to be taken seriously, T2 had to be bigger and better than anything that had come before.

And it was.

Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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Director/Producer Steven Soderbergh is an admirably free thinker, a true creative with an eye on the future of filmmaking. He’s very particular about the projects he chooses, emerging from pseudo-retirement to direct his latest, Logan Lucky. Made largely outside the Hollywood system he walked away from, it still managed to score some A-list talent on a modest budget, with James Bond and Kylo Ren likely welcoming the opportunity to play against type, as a down-on-his-luck explosives expert and a goodhearted sad-sack, respectively.

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