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Life Itself (2014) - A Reflection - Not a Review

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            'Life Itself' Captures the Essence of the Man at the Movies

My interest in movies dates back to 8th grade homeroom when I read a review by local film critic Jack Garner. It was a review of the eerie Robin Williams movie One Hour Photo. I continued to read movie reviews in the local newspaper and an admiration for film and film criticism started to grow.

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Third Person (2014) - A Review


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                        A Disjointed Effort at What Haggis Does Best 

Writer and director Paul Haggis is a masterful storyteller, one who frequently utilizes a gimmick and finesses it into a fluid story. Haggis won two Academy Awards for co-writing and producing Crash, the still hotly debated but deserving -  Best Picture winner of 2005. With Crash, Haggis gathered a large ensemble to tell interweaving stories of the effects of racism in Los Angeles. 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) - A Review

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                                     It’s All Just Monkey Business

In 2011 The Planet of the Apes was given the ever growing Hollywood reboot treatment. Sure, the whole thing was a gorgeous spectacle but what was the point? Were people really rallying for a The Planet of the Apes reboot? Now we have the inevitable sequel.

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Throwback Thursday - The Best Movies of 2001

Quiet independent films, character studies and big budget blockbusters led the best movies of 2001. Ultimately the best film of 2001 was Todd Field’s quietly moving In the Bedroom. Field’s film was a thought-provoking examination of how one family copes with the devastating loss of their son. Anchored by Oscar nominated performances by Sissy Specek and Tom Wilkinson, with support by Oscar nominated Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroomis flawlessly acted. 

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Think Like a Man Too (2014) - A Review


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                        What Happens In Vegas Has Happened Before 

When Think Like a Man made nearly $100 million dollars world-wide off of its $12 million budget, a sequel was inevitable. Two years later, the original cast is back to save yet another formula picture but are not quite as successful this time around. 

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Half-Way Report #3 - The Best So Far- State of the Movie Union 2014

At this time last year, I had seen the year’s best movie (The Place Beyond the Pines) and had given out the only 10 out of 10 I would give all year. While there have been a handful of good movies and a few great ones, nothing has truly blown me away yet. Here is to a great final half of the year at the movies. 

One film, however, completely won me over in its effortless charm and simple, but effective, storytelling. John Carney’s Begin Again is a winning Valentine to New York City set to a catchy soundtrack. Admittedly, I am in the minority but I enjoyed this effort much better than Carney’s beloved Once. 

Begin Again tops my favorite movies at the half-way point of the year. Here are some other standouts from the year, so far:

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Half-Way Report #2 - The Worst Movies So Far - The State of the Movie Union 2014

Unfortunately, it seems for every good movie released there is about 10 bad ones. This year has been no different. Few gems have shined among the cinematic trash that has filled movie theaters during the first half of 2014.

The bad movies of 2014 have ranged from forgettable to awful to painful. The following five movies are a sampling of the garbage that has been masquerading as film:

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