June 5, 2023
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‘Act of Valor’: Militaristic plot lacks command

By | Feb 29, 2012

Directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh’s “Act of Valor” offers a tense story with mesmerizing visuals, though it has strong propagandizing undertones. Starring active service U.S. Navy SEALs, the action movie follows a fairly standard template. During a mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative (Roselyn Sanchez), the SEALs uncover a massive terrorist plot. And…

‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’: Spiritless sequel flops on screen

By | Feb 22, 2012

In spite of a new writing team, new direction and completely revamped visual style, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” fails to generate excitement. Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze, a former stunt motorcyclist now possessed after an ill-advised deal with the Devil (Ciaran Hinds). This time around, Blaze finds himself protecting a young…

‘Shame’: Sex-crazed role gives raw show

By The Ithacan | Feb 15, 2012

British director Steve McQueen’s second film, “Shame,” is a character study dealing with the cynical world of addiction, while also excusing clichés in its poetic execution. Michael Fassbender plays a young sex addict named Brandon. A frequent customer of call girls and a chronic masturbator, Brandon lives a life consumed by sex without passion or…

‘Chronicle’: Telekinetic tale stands too still

By The Ithacan | Feb 8, 2012

Josh Trank’s debut film, the science-fiction drama “Chronicle,” bears an intelligence and integrity that will mildly please audiences. In the film, a friendship between three high school seniors quickly blossoms but is cut short when they all inexplicably gain the power of telekinesis. One of the characters, Andrew (Dane DeHaan), constantly carries around a digital…

‘The Ides of March’: Star cast shines

By | Oct 12, 2011

Alluding to William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” George Clooney’s well-crafted new drama chronicles the struggle between personal integrity and political ambition.

Poor direction fails impressionist film

By | Oct 5, 2011

Miranda July’s latest film, “The Future,” is an impressionistic and underdeveloped romantic drama that fails to convey a substantial message.

Ape activist film stays balanced

By | Sep 21, 2011

James Marsh’s “Project Nim,” a documentary about the life of a chimpanzee raised in human society, explores how researchers’ fascination with their animal subjects often impedes on them treating their subjects with respect and dignity.