Laurence Fishburne

Film Review: Last Flag Flying

by Chris Piper on November 10, 2017

Time heals all wounds, mostly

Sal (Bryan Cranston), Mueller (Laurence Fishburne), and Doc (Steve Carell) on one last mission

Sal (Bryan Cranston), Mueller (Laurence Fishburne), and Doc (Steve Carell) on one last mission.

Here’s an interesting number, 18, which is the number of feature films directed by Richard Linklater. He’s made a film about rootless Austin hipsters, a film about 70’s high school escapades, a film about 80’s college escapades, a film about opening a school of rock, a film about a ragtag little league baseball team, a film about growing up, even a film about two erstwhile friends, their shared lover, and two hours of very tense conversation.  It’s an impressive number, 18, and would seemingly cover just about every conceivable theme. But whatever the plot, whichever the characters, wherever the setting, Linklater always makes films about time. And his 19th film, Last Flag Flying, is once again a film about time.

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John Wick proves once again that style can be substantive

Baba Yaga is coming!

In 2014, John Wick combined a Taken-esque simplistic revenge tale with the unrelenting action of Korean and Indonesian action films like The Raid and doused it in stylized modernity. Directed by first-timer Chad Stahelski, who was the stunt coordinator and choreographer for dozens of action titles including multiple Keanu Reeves films like The Matrix trilogy, the film was highly regarded for its action sequences and instantly iconic central protagonist — a solemn hitman with an uncanny ability to kill. John Wick: Chapter Two continues mere hours after the first story left off, if not a day, and it maintains the same action sensibilities of the first film, including the knack for avoiding action cliches like checking bullet proof vests in the middle of gun fights and disregarding armed baddies after “offing” them with a single punch or non-fatal shot. The sequel also expands upon the original’s soft intro to an alternate world in which a secret society of assassins exists, with assassin currency and assassin leadership. This element may be exciting to some and a bit boring to others who prefer the franchise’s most prominent strength—lavishly choreographed action sequences. And still, John Wick: Chapter Two is a stellar sequel that packs a slick punch, in which carefully staged gun fights transcend violent skirmishes to become blood-splattered works of escapist art scored by cool electronic thumps.

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Film Review: Passengers

by Chad Liffmann on December 21, 2016

Half male fantasy, half space actioner, all catastrophic.

Pratt and Lawrence fulfill their space fantasies.

Bro, imagine you have your own giant resort space ship and you can do whatever you want, right!? Now imagine you get this hot chick with you and then you both get to do whatever you want. WHATEVER. YOU. WANT! How sweet would that be?! Okay, so this stupid male fantasy is the basic premise for the blundering sci-fi actioner, Passengers. It’s all visuals and little substance, complete with mega plot holes and one silly occurrence after another. Passengers isn’t without its thought-provoking moments however (not to be confused with head-scratching moments), it just decides to pass them by and not look back, wasting the charisma of its two talented leads.

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The Matix Live as performed by The San Francisco Symphony

On Saturday night, The Matrix, a 1999 sci-fi cult film absorbed by the generations raised on computers, was screened at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in downtown San Francisco. The man responsible for the movie’s original score, Don Davis, conducted The San Francisco Symphony in a riveting two-hour-long performance that brilliantly complemented the pivotal moments of the movie displayed directly above their station.

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Amy Adams and Henry Cavill in Man of Steel

Amy Adams and Henry Cavill in Man of Steel

Superman turns 75 this year, and appears no worse for the wear in Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder’s serviceable, if somewhat dispassionate, reboot. Writers Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, who both penned recent Batman films, bring a similar dark, edgy, sensibility to the Kryptonian hero’s story, with mixed results. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: “Contagion”

by Jason LeRoy on September 9, 2011

Jude Law plays a San Francisco blogger in CONTAGION

starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Demetri Martin, John Hawkes, Elliott Gould, Enrico Colantoni, Sanaa Lathan, Bryan Cranston, Anna Jacoby-Heron

written by: Scott Z. Burns

directed by: Steven Soderbergh

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language

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