American Sniper

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From the opening moment, American Sniper is an effective war movie.  Our protagonist draws a beat on his target, a woman who could possibly be an Iraqi insurgent, then suddenly a boy appears in his cross hairs and appears to be carrying something under his clothes and walking towards a U.S. military convoy.  This sets the tone for what life in combat was like for Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper). War is hell and Chris Kyle is the trigger man stuck in the middle of fighting for his country that he feels so deeply about and the moral unease that comes
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Inherent Vice

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Inherent Vice

A lot of people have been asking, “What is Inherent Vice about?” That’s easy. It’s about America. Power. Class warfare. Hiding. Dirty hippies. Dope. Free love. The seventies. Cults. Pancakes. Charles Manson. California beach life. Boats. Nazis. Dentists. Sex. Love. Lust. Detectives. Politics.  Ex-girlfriends. Loyalty. The LAPD.  Mortal enemies. Dope. And the sad empty loneliness that some people are left carrying around for years. But if Inherent Vice is truly your bag the dozens of foggy “plot” details that whiz by and then fade away like distant stoned memories won’t matter much. Don’t concern yourself so much with the story, it’s
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The Gambler

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Wahlberg's 'Gambler' never lets us see him sweat - unfortunately

The Gambler is a peculiar movie.  It’s a movie about a compulsive gambler that never really admits that the protagonist has a problem.  It approaches the premise from an existential point of view in lieu of telling the story of an addict.  Considering the source material, the 1974 film of the same name starring James Caan, and being directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and written by William Monohan (The Departed) you’d think the creative team would be able to put together a sure thing.  The final product just ends up being very uneven and
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Gone Girl

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GONE GIRL, from left: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, 2014. ph: Merrick Morton/TM & copyright ©20th

Gone Girl was assuredly made for the entertainment of adult audiences everywhere. At its very core is that Hitcockcian spirit that seems to throw logic out the window and speed right past plot holes for pure movie-going pleasure. This type of film making only excels when in the hands of an expert though, and Gone Girl just happens to be made by one of the best auteurs working today – David Fincher. Fincher brings Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel about marital bliss gone awry to the big screen and wisely hired the author to adapt her own book into a
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Nightcrawler

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Nightcrawler tells the story of an uber-creepy sociopath that becomes a successful “stringer” for a television news station in Los Angeles. After we first meet Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) as a petty thief, he happens upon a near horrific single car accident on the highway. Two police officers are trying to free the driver from the burning car, and instead of trying to find a way to help he just stands there watching with a peaked interest. You start to get the feeling that if there was popcorn he would have some and whether or not the person lives or
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Dumb and Dumber To

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Dumb and Dumber was an instant classic comedy. Not only did it catapult the directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly to the kings of cinematic comedy for almost a decade, it proved that Jim Carrey was not a one-trick pony, showing that he had three movies in a row with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and then Dumb and Dumber that equaled box office pay dirt. The much talked about and much delayed sequel to D&D was off and on so many times that nobody was certain it would ever happen, but alas, 20 years later it has finally arrived.
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