Chris Chiarella

Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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The date noted in 1917's title (April 6, to be precise) puts us well into World War I, when young Lance Corporal Blake along with his mate Schofield are dispatched from the Allied trenches with an urgent message. Some 1,600 soldiers, Blake's own brother among them, are heading into certain slaughter if new orders are not delivered to the commanding officer. And so, facing impossible odds, the brave duo embarks on a mission that could change the course of the conflict.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 20, 2020  |  3 comments
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The true story of sports car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles' partnership with the Ford Motor Company to challenge legendary Ferrari and perhaps win racing's ultimate test of endurance, the 24 hours of Le Mans, is can't-miss Hollywood gold. While not quite a David v Goliath tale—we learn that cash-strapped Ferrari was something of an underdog—the results here are a heartfelt ode to cars, speed, second chances and next chapters, and good old American ingenuity.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 07, 2020  |  1 comments
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To the annals of unique interpretations and iconic performances of The Clown Prince of Crime we must now add Joaquin Phoenix and his exquisitely tragic turn as Joker. The film's Arthur Fleck is a new creation fully outside any established cinematic or literary continuity, a man barely able to function on the mean streets of Gotham City circa 1981. We can feel him barely hanging on as he goes about his daily grind: caring for an ailing mother, toiling as a professional clown, and dreaming of a career as a standup comedian.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  1 comments
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In Ad Astra (Latin for "to the stars"), a curious mashup of 2001 and Apocalypse Now, new facts have recently come to light about the disappearance of a deep, deep space probe launched to find intelligent life in the cosmos. The commander was Cliff McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), the most decorated man in the history of the space program, and now his son Roy (Brad Pitt) is tasked with his own top-secret mission...
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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Aging TV actor Rick Dalton (movie actor Leonardo DiCaprio) suspects that his career as he knew it might be over, and grapples with the vanity and insecurity that comes with such an uncertain future. He makes his living pretending to be a cowboy, in contrast with his best bud and stunt double/driver, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, embracing his recent grizzle), who actually embodies the no-nonsense, two-fisted demeanor of a good old-fashioned horseman. Together, they navigate the show business landscape of 1969 in this nostalgic journey through the boulevards, backlots, and bars of La La Land.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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With its childlike innocence and a universal charm that's born of its exquisite characters, The Wizard of Oz is likely the greatest family film of all time, the sort we may never see again. The adventure of a willful Kansas farmgirl transported to a strange, wondrous land is a heart-tugging journey of music and laughter that should continue to enthrall generations to come. There are 80 years' worth of observations for me to draw upon here, but I'll just go with this: Not enough can ever be said of Margaret Hamilton's turn as the gleefully, irresistibly, deliciously wicked villain.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 03, 2019  |  0 comments
The time has come to not only celebrate the holidays, but also our favorite movies and TV shows, in high- or ultra high-definition, with Atmos sound (where available), and with extras galore. Once again, we invite you to sit back and peruse our picks of the year's most exciting boxed sets to give and to receive.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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The true superpower on display in the current Spider-Man franchise might be its irresistible charm. Marvel's beloved signature character has certainly had some Hollywood ups and downs, but in his most recent iteration he seems content to exist in the shadow of Tony Stark/Iron Man rather than stand truly alone. Add to that irksome choice an abundance of high school drama and perhaps an over-reliance upon comedy and big-screen Spidey is at risk of alienating longtime fans. Still, Spider-Man: Far from Home somehow manages to engage us from start to finish.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  0 comments
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In some dialect, perhaps the language of cinema itself, the name Kubrick must mean "atmosphere." That's abundantly evident in his chilling film adaptation of Stephen King's haunted hotel opus, The Shining. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring novelist with a dark past, takes the challenging job of caretaker for a remote luxury resort during the off-season, meaning that his incredibly indulgent wife (Shelly Duvall) and young son with a mysterious gift will be the only living souls for miles around until the spring thaw. Life there is pleasant enough at first, if a bit dull, until curious events begin to unfold.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 04, 2019  |  0 comments
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Marvel has undeniably defined the modern comic book movie universe. As a consequence, much of Shazam!, the latest effort from rival DC, feels clichéd, and not just by superhero standards. Good young protagonists facing adversity, otherworldly forces granting extraordinary abilities, bullies who ultimately get theirs— it's all here. Shazam! even borders on outright theft with an end credit sequence straight out of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

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