Movie Review: ‘American Sniper’ is the Best Film of the Year
Jan 2015 16

American Sniper PosterClint Eastwood masterfully directs and Bradley Cooper gives the performance of a lifetime as Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal sniper who recorded more kills than any soldier in U.S. History.

Am I a bit biased here? Perhaps, given that I was one of the few who thoroughly enjoyed Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys.” The director has an eye for great war stories, just look at Letters From Iwo Jima or Flags of Our Fathers.

Critics and moviegoers can say what they want about the top performances of the year, but Cooper is at the top of the list.

The film tells the story of Chris Kyle and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning from his tour of duty following 9/11. Some of the best scenes in the film involve Kyle trying to cope with the reality of being back at home as a civilian, and more importantly, a husband and father.

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Movie Review: ‘The Interview’ Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco
Jan 2015 06

The Interview PosterFirst it was on, then it was off, now it’s on again, sort of. The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen has been one of the hottest topics in the entertainment world this past week. Thanks to the reaction of many after the film was taken out of theaters, it’s not gotten a new lease on life. It’s now become an act of patriotism to see this film. Looking at it as a way to defy a dictator, I used my debit card and fed my television $6 to do my part in protecting freedom of speech. God Bless America!

Regardless of how funny The Interview is, it will forever go down as the film that upset North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un so much that he declared it an “act of war.”

Now that I have seen the movie for myself, it makes me laugh to think that theaters were scared to show the film, as it’s truly nothing more than a sophomoric comedy.

James Franco plays Dave Skylark, a self-centered celebrity talk show host. Seth Rogen play Aaron Rapaport, Skylark’s uptight producer.

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Movie Review: “Walking Man” – St. Louis International Film Festival Selection
Nov 2014 17

10562511_748065468563400_1898706324060301371_oAfter a Missouri high school loses three students to suicide in seven weeks, a father and son walk 200 miles across the state to find an answer to Missouri’s rural suicide epidemic. Both men suffer from bipolar disorder, sharing their struggles with strangers and each other for the first time.

We’re about halfway through the St. Louis International Film Festival and last night gave us a bit of a home town story. It featured the World Premiere of a new documentary called Walking Man. Mark Norwine stars as the central focus of a new documentary from local filmmakers Joshua Salzberg and Eric Norwine (son of Mark). Brought about by a string of local suicides at St Clair High School, Walking Man follows Mark as he walks the Katy Trail from Kansas City to St. Louis in order to raise awareness of the effects of the stigmas of mental health, suicide and bullying. Not only does it achieve that goal, but it does so in a refreshing way that treats its audience with respect.

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Movie Review: ‘John Wick’ Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Bridget Moynahan
Oct 2014 24

john wickThis time of year tends to be a slow time for the movies.. with summer having ended, and it is not yet that holiday stretch in which big movies pull all the stops for the biggest box office draws. That being said, not all movies that are worth your time have to come during the holidays or summer. This happens to be one of those cases in which people be pleasantly surprised; enter John Wick.

Let’s jump into the bare bones of John Wick. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a former contract killer who is just trying to lead a normal life( or as normal as one with a history of his could). John spent one of his days driving his sweet 1969 Boss Mustang around and some young thug, Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) inquires about the price of the car. John tells him it is not for sale, but despite that, Iosef and his boys follow John home, surprise attack him, steal the Mustang, and kill his dog because it was barking at them. To add insult to injury, that dog was a parting gift from John’s wife (Bridget Moynahan) in her final days before losing her battle with an unnamed illness (cancer?). Some may scoff at the basic premise of the film, but you have to ask yourself if you had a skill set akin to John’s, and people took some of your property, something of sentimental value; i.e. the life of the dog and it’s connection to someone dear to you, would you not do something about it? People in real life have actually killed for much less.

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Movie Review: ‘Fury’ Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, and Logan Lerman
Oct 2014 17

Fury-Poster-logan-lerman

I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!

– William Tecumseh Sherman

If there is one singular purpose in Fury, it is to convince you of the notion that war is hell. Most people didn’t need convincing of this fact before seeing the film, but they’ll likely leave the theater echoing the sentiment in their heads.  Fury brutally beats you over the head with the atrocities of war in its quest to show you the hardship faced by many combat troops in World War II.

The film revolves around the lives of a seasoned Sherman tank crew led by Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt). The crew has successfully made it through Africa, D-Day, and are continuing to cause havoc as the Allied forces invade Germany. Despite their stellar record, they lose one of their members shortly before the film begins.  Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a fresh trained clerical typist, is thrust into the front lines of war as he replaces the deceased member of ‘Fury’.  Over the next two hours we follow Norman as he struggles through the worst parts of war, as he struggles with the inevitable doom facing him on the front lines.

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