Movie News Tidbits! 9/13/13

New Harry Potter Movie…Kind of.


All you Pottheads out there should be squealing in delight with the announcement that the big-screen will no longer be devoid of the Wizarding world of J.K Rowling. I love the idea that it’s going to be in the same universe, but a different storyline and set of characters entirely. I think a major problem with some franchises is the unnecessary need to cling to the same set of characters. For instance, Amazon Video ran a pilot episode for a Zombieland show. The potential for the show was astronomical, but it was ruined by the creator’s desire to keep it focused on the same set of characters from the movie, with none of the returning cast. If you’ve got a setting as rich as the “Potterverse” you’ve got an infinite amount of stories, all of which can be stand alone. The thought of having a this thing set in 1920s New York sounds blows my mind!…which is hyperbole, because I actually just think it’s pretty cool.

 Star Wars: Episode VI


The latest Star Wars trilogy has been a number of rumors floating around, some toting Abrams as the savior of the franchise, others not quite so optimistic in that they think he’ll ruin everything, which is silly because we all know that’s been done (all Lucas bashing aside Episode I was the best of the prequel bunch regardless of what you say to me). Still, what concerns me the most is the opposite of why I was so excited about the Harry Potter news. Star Wars has a massive extended universe, yet the rumors are that we’re going to have much of the original cast involved. This wouldn’t be detrimental in and of itself, but it could become a slippery slope of Star Wars nostalgia saturated crap, taking it from a potentially fun and exciting reboot, to something, still fun, but a little over the top on the winks and nudges (I’m looking at you Into Darkness (disclaimer: I liked Into Darkness, but come on!)).

*EDIT* We’re getting more prequels.

The Little Mermaid


First they said they were, then they said they weren’t and now Disney is saying they will again! The Little Mermaid, my favorite of the Disney Princess movies is coming to theaters. Nothing new really to report except that they’re encouraging kids to download an app and bring their ipads into the theaters. I’m going to have to brush up on my half annoyed half out-of-my-mind-furious-that-someone-is-using-a-mobile-device-in-the-theaters look. Seriously, last time I went to a movie a kid was snapchatting pictures of himself wearing funny sunglasses to some jerk, if I hadn’t been so worried that the little punk would have had a better comeback than me, I would have confronted him! Honestly, my biggest fear is that I muster up the courage to confront a cell-phone-using patron only to find out their child was just in a horrible accident. I don’t know…maybe I’m just miffed there isn’t an android app for it.

 Jurassic World


I’m optimistic about a lot of things. But seriously, Jurassic World? That’s the title of the fourth installment in the Jurassic park cannon. We can expect our favorite dinosaurs to (once again) get off the islands and into the wild blue yonder, aka highly populated areas. With each film we move further and further from Michael Crichton’s novels. If this movie looks anything like it sounds, we’re going to have the small world version of Pacific Rim, not that that’s a bad thing.

 Dredd 2


Dredd 2

No word….yet. Bleeding Cool has the scoop on the latest gimmick to get the studios attention. *Spoiler, buy the Blu-Ray on September 18* Also, Shmee is calling you to action.

Avatar 2






Season 2 of Avatar The Legend of Korra starts tonight!

Looking at Dark Comedy with Charlie Chaplin and Four Lions

index four_lions_movie_poster_01


The most profusely used method of dealing with human tragedy is by laughing at it. Black comedies have a deliciously bittersweet way of dealing with, often times, very tragic circumstances in a way that allows the observer to scoff at the horrific reality that is life. I should specify, the comedies I will refer to in this post are specifically ones that mock the evil associated with the subject matter, rather than mock the victims. Pot-shots taken at innocents are par for the course. As with any comedy, humor is subjective and movies of this genre prove successful at offending as many people as they entertain. Today I will discuss two, very dark, films in the comedy genre. The first film is Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, a film I had the pleasure of discussing earlier this month on another blog that I write for. The second is a lesser known British film entitled Four Lions. Both focus on extremely dark themes.

     The Great Dictator is Charlie Chaplin’s world famous lampoon of Hitler. The movie was made before America had entered World War II and was at, more or less, peace with Germany. This didn’t stop Chaplin from creating a film that openly mocks the dictator’s of the time, with a character that is almost certainly representative of Adolf Hitler. The audience watches as the silly and self important dictator, Hynkel, oppresses the Jewish people by openly attacking them and putting them in concentration camps. It’s important to note that Chaplin didn’t know the extent that the regime went to to persecute the Jewish people when he made this film. That being said, he addresses one of the greatest tragedies in modern history with slapstick and pratfalls. Not only do we laugh at his barber character, but his depiction of Hynkel is downright hysterical. Chaplin’s portrayal is akin to something you might see on SNL, except perfected to an infinite degree, the man was a master at his art.

     Four Lions focuses on something much closer to us, historically speaking. Jihad terrorism, specifically suicide bombers. The movie follows a group of aspiring suicide bombers as they attempt to perfect their technique and hone their knowledge before choosing a target and carrying out an attack in the name of Islam. The humor in this movie is incredibly deadpan, as is often the norm with British cinema. The characters present their lines with such conviction and believability, that if you’re not listening to their absurd logic, you very well could miss the entire gist of the humor, which is that these men are complete idiots.  It was far more uncomfortable of a movie to watch than The Great Dictator, simply because it deals with something that’s historically closer in proximity to me.

     Both of these films have subject matters that, if taking a survey of 100 people would have a unanimous voice in saying that they are not funny. However, if film history has proven anything, it’s that you can make a comedy on almost any subject matter and it will sell tickets, often times the more offensive, the more it makes. The Great Dictator was well received by audiences, and became Chaplin’s highest grossing film, taking a very serious subject matter and making people laugh with it. Four Lions certainly hasn’t garnished the same attention or success as The Great Dictator, it’s a lesser known release with a relatively unknown cast. It’s violent and crass and as I stated before, very uncomfortable at times, particularly in the scenes where the would-be-terrorists are preparing for their attacks. But it uses the same methods as The Great Dictator to fuel it’s humor. Part of the fear that goes along with terrorism is how we view the culprits that commit the violent acts. Just as we laugh at the Hitler-like Character of Hynkel as he dances with a globe, we laugh at Omar and his band of Jihadist brothers as their stupidity and misguided attempts to reason through what they’re doing cause hilariously dark situations. Darkness is often accompanied by a face or a description. It is often the goal of dark comedies to warp that face or description into something goofy and laughable. Humanity, generally speaking, abhors tragedy, but loves laughter. If one can destroy the other, then we have an excellent understanding of why this genre thrives.




Ben Affleck: The Caped Crusader?


     Well, that’s it folks. They didn’t choose Karl Urban to play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel. While he was never really a consideration (as far as I can tell) it would have been a welcomed addition to the film cannon. We’re going to be dealing with a slightly older, wiser Batman in this film, someone that’s been through it all and can really carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, so they chose Daredevil Ben Affleck. This revelation is somewhat unsettling to a lot of people, as they remember Affleck’s previous stint in the superhero business as a bit of a let down. We’ve seen extremes with his career, but lately I’ve been convinced that Affleck is certainly maturing into his career and I’m optimistic for this choice, despite the fact that this is someone I hadn’t even considered as a possibility for the role.

Argo was probably my favorite film to be released last year, and a lot of this is thanks to Affleck’s ability to carry the film. He’s been around the game long enough ,and has been actively involved not only in the acting aspect of movies, but he’s had more than his fair share of time behind the camera as well. I have to believe that someone at his caliber should be able to manage the role of Batman. We’re going to be dealing with a less active, older and more brooding Dark Knight, or so we assume. Affleck seems to have perfected the brooding and somber role, however my concern is the grit involved with the role. While we’ve seen him be serious and deal with weighty dramatic roles, I have yet to see him give a convincingly frightening “batman growl”.

I think it’s going to come down to the role that Batman plays in Superman vs Batman. Bear in mind, this is a sequel to Man of Steel, I have to believe it’s going to be more about Superman than Batman, but that remains to be seen. If that’s the case, the part of Batman could easily be tailored to fit Affleck’s style. And again, it’s going to come down to how the movie plays out. We’ve seen the tone of this Superman universe, and it’s close to The Dark Knight Trilogy of the Nolanverse, but not quite the same. Man of Steel is a much lighter movie, which will allow for, perhaps, a more traditional Batman setting which will allow for a bit more lunacy  with Batman’s style of weaponry and actions, allowing a greater flexibility in the portrayal of the character.

I’ve given my initial thoughts on Batman vs Superman, and I remain optimistic. This is too big of a deal to be screwed up. The danger is that the hype machine is being ramped up to unprecedented and dangerous levels. And now they threw in Ben Affleck into the mix. I honestly have no idea what to expect at this point, but I know I’m excited at the prospect of what this could be. Shmee, however doesn’t seem too excited.


I’m Looking Forward To: Dear Mr. Watterson



The emergence of Kickstarter has managed to bring about a number of awesome things that would otherwise not had the funding to exist. Today I want to point some attention to a project that started in that haven for unique ideas by drawing attention to a documentary film that I cannot wait to see. Dear Mr. Watterson explores one of the single best comic strips to ever grace the pages of a newspaper; Calvin and Hobbes. The film interviews a number of people that have been influenced by the strip in an attempt to define what makes the comic so endearing to anyone that reads it. The movie is not about finding out what Bill Watterson has to say about his creation, rather it appears to be a simple thank you note. Watterson’s long running strip ended over a decade ago, and since then he has kept an extremely low profile, something that the filmmakers respect. Calvin and Hobbes continues to be one of my favorite pieces of reading material. My coffee table is littered with multiple collections showcasing some of the best that that particular art form has to offer. I am seriously pretty excited about this movie. Check out the website here for more information and watch the trailer below!


Initial Thoughts on Batman vs Superman


    So, if you hadn’t heard, Batman and Superman are going to be in a movie together circa 2015. That’s right, I wasn’t there personally for the announcement, but Hall H at Comic-con in San Diego just about exploded after a A Batman logo appeared behind a Superman logo, announcing the imminent screen acquaintance between DC comics two tent-pole characters.  Each of these characters has a long and lucrative cinematic history and are easily the two most recognizable superheroes of all time. With the success of the Marvel film franchise in recent years, it’s  no surprise that DC wants in on that action now that they know the film media is more than capable of supporting multiple heroes from different franchises. I’m excited about this prospect of a crossover film; but that’s mostly just because I’m a sucker for crossovers. I remember when I was in the hospital at six years old due to a burst appendix. I had access to a butt-load of movies. When I saw that there was a Flintstones Meets the Jetsons movie, my appendix just about burst again. I love Chris Nolan’s Batman franchise, and Zack Snyder presented my favorite Superman movie of the lot, so I was pumped when I heard about this. After the initial excitement, however, I realize I have some genuine concerns with the prospect of a Batman vs Superman movie. Here they are:


1. Batman and Superman don’t have enough screen history to be at war.

It is positively chilling to listen to Man of Steel actor Harry Lennix recite Bruce Wayne’s speech to Superman shortly after beating him in hand to hand combat. It’s one of the most pivotal moments in the DC canon. However, it doesn’t happen until Clark and Bruce have spent a literal lifetime in each others stories. There is only a slight reference to the Batman franchise in Man of Steel and absolutely nothing about Superman in the Batman movies, so I find it hard to swallow that the next Batman movie we get will face the Caped Crusader against Sups. Batman and Superman don’t play nice, everyone knows that. But it’s going to be a mightier leap than Superman can muster to throw these two into battle and maintain a cohesive story line without drastically overstating the purpose of a film that is potentially titled Batman vs Superman.


2. The new Batman wouldn’t stand a chance.

If we’re following the Nolan universe at all, we have to face the fact that JGL’s character is taking over for Bruce Wayne. He’s got a lot of spunk, but even Bruce at the end of Dark Knight Rises wouldn’t stand a chance against Superman. Did you see Man of Steel? It would take a lot more than Fox’s toys to compete against Superman. Batman’s history is a lot more cartoony than Nolan let on, and Superman is nothing BUT an exaggerated caricature of grandeur, so they, under normal circumstances, would fit perfectly into each others universes. However the way the current DC universe is set up in film they wouldn’t cross over well. That being said, it’s a well known comic trope to have multiple universes, they very easily could present a different Bruce Wayne with an entirely new style.


3. They have a common goal.

I understand this is something the comics deal with, both have a common goal with different ways of doling out injustice. That being said, how will it work on screen? All we know of Batman shows him working, mostly, within the boarders of Gotham city. Gotham is Batman’s biggest concern, that’s his job; protect Gotham. Going back to concern number 1. There isn’t enough screen history for him to both expand his area of expertise AND perpetuate a war with Superman. On the other side of the coin, Superman certainly has bigger fish to fry than dealing with a lone vigilante who is cleaning up the streets of a single city.

    Those are my concerns. I am well aware that some if not all of them will be addressed and put to rest when the movie actually comes out. I really hope that that happens. If the movie doesn’t just focus on an ill-conceived grudge match between Superman and Batman it would work. Also, I think it MAY need to be established that we’re in an alternate universe than the “Nolanverse”, it just might be necessary, despite the fact that Nolan was involved with Man of Steel we’re dealing with a world that now has a hero with legitimate superpowers. In order to contend with that, you may have to get a little bit more colorful than a Batmobile/tank. I’m still “super” excited about the movie. We’ve been experiencing a veritable golden age of comic book films, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Brothers and DC manage to pull this off, I know I’m certainly rooting for them.

A Book Review on a Book About Watching Movies: “Meaning at the Movies”


    Few topics are as controversial in the Christian community as entertainment, where movies reign supreme as the most hotly debated medium. frequently the concerns voiced by the, overtly conservative, subculture of movie viewers stems from a film’s content. How much sex or violence is in this movie? do the characters swear? These were just a few of the criteria that were scrutinized before I was allowed to watch a movie growing up. I am in no way criticizing the  methods my parents used to determine which movies were appropriate for me at a particular age, actually quite the opposite. I appreciate the concern they had and interest they continue to have in my life. That being said, there are a vast number of variables that tend to be left out when we, as Christians, approach cinema and culture as a whole. It’s rightfully so that some have come to be wary of Disney’s “follow your heart” films that have pervaded the market in brilliant color and beautiful song for the better part of a century. How can you follow your heart while Jeremiah 17:9 states “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The Christian understanding and world view should reach a far more intricate level of discernment than simply I don’t watch movies with foul language in it. It’s an overly simplistic method that, while oftentimes effective, tends to ignore some much bigger issues.

    Grant Horner is a professor at The Master’s College where both my wife and I graduated. He teaches a number of courses, including Film. I regret having never taken a course from Professor Horner, a regret that became enlarged after reading his book Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Viewer. This book attempts to categorize and explain what it means to be a discerning viewer, as a Christian in a secular culture. Rather than being a guide on what movies to avoid or a cut off for reasons of content, Horner peels away the superficial layers of culture and peeks at the roots of various films. Discernment is more than simply not watching something, it’s comparing what you see and what you are being told is the truth. Horner delves into film head first, using examples from numerous movies and sectioning off portions of the book for specified genres. In essence the reader finds themselves embarking on an interesting read that takes them through the realms of theology, philosophy, and art. Using personal stories from his own life, the book reads as if he were sitting with us talking about a favorite film or piece of literature.

    A lengthy introduction to culture and worldviews serves to familiarize would-be-readers with the content of the book. If we are to understand the essence of culture and art we must understand where individuals draw their inspiration from. Before jumping headlong into film discussion, he recommends an small list of movies he recommends you watch before continuing on. I highly suggest you do this. In his quest to educate the masses on the philosophy of film culture, we are given many examples from films, and if you’re afraid of *spoilers* it may be to your benefit to watch them all.

Be sure to check out Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Viewer on Amazon.


Based on a True Story


If a movie is based on a true story, how is your view of the film affected by the realization that certain elements, especially large plot points, are completely fabricated? I love movies that are based around actual events, it adds a level of superficial pride that something so exciting could happen outside the realm of fiction. So when I watch a particularly well put together film based on actual events only to find out that the movie missed the mark on a number of planes, I tend to be a little disappointed, but it’s a disappointment that is short lived. If the movie is put together well enough I will often overlook some of the historic oversights. These oversights and exaggerations have a tendency to blow things way out of proportion, but they add a level of intrigue and excitement that, as crude as it sounds, serves to spice up the history books. The discovery of errors in a story that I was watching under the assumption that it was more or less a true, causes me to lose a certain amount of respect for the film, regardless of how well made it was.


Human history offers a nearly unlimited source of fascinating stories, adventures and character arcs, it’s a goldmine of tales of every type. Art and life imitate each other, because both are truly fascinating. Because of this, artists have, since the beginning of art itself, modeled their creation after something tangible. Even in the creation account in Genesis, God creates man in his image. He takes nothing and models an incredibly complex piece of art, humanity, to mimic certain aspects of himself. So, throughout history, models have been used to create works of every type. Men in costumes stood still for hours at a time, while a sprawling battle scene would appear from the tips of an artist’s paintbrush. In an attempt to present reality, artists must exaggerate the past. This holds true, especially in film. If a filmmaker fails to embellish the story we are simply left with a history book unfolding at a snail’s pace over the course of literal months or years depending on the event you wish to show. Editing, lighting, cinematography and narrative are forgivable alterations to the past when creating a “based on a true story” film. When it becomes controversial is when events are changed, sinners are made to be heroes and heroes made to be criminals for the sake of entertainment. Again, this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing as far as movies go, whose primary goal (most of the time) is to entertain.


One of my favorite films of 2012 was Argo. Cinematically it was phenomenal. Boasting a superb cast, exciting cinematography and editing, as well as mixing actual news footage surrounding the events to add to the realism. The movie managed to be an exciting and fascinating drama that stemmed from reality. The movie won the Academy Award for best picture. That being said, certain parties, after watching the film, felt a little miffed; particularly the Canadian government. I don’t think anyone went into Argo believing that everything they saw on screen was 100% factual, but I doubt that most went in with much knowledge surrounding the actual, historically documented event. For many people, simply watching a movie based on a real life occurrence is the equivalent of a history lesson. While the story may be deeply steeped in truth, it’s far too easy to accept a fantastified retelling as truth. It’s become a habit of mine to brush up on the actual events behind films after seeing them. This is both a helpful trait as well as a disappointing one. It’s helpful because knowing the facts about the event, especially historically significant ones, allows you to be more informed and have a better grasp on the history of the event. It’s disappointing because, in my experience, I feel a tinge of animosity towards the filmmakers for lying to me (which is their job, right?). It’s a disappointment because I’m being told “the actual story wasn’t juicy enough, lets sensationalize this and give it to you in a more entertaining package”. Come to think of it, gaining my knowledge of events from the news these days is pretty much the same thing.


The slight annoyance at alterations in truth is minor, to say the least. It does, however, serve as a reminder to be aware of what the truth is, in any situation and not just in terms of accurately explaining events. Part of being discerning in any aspect of life relies on knowing truth from falsehood. If I were to blindly accept what the cinematic community presents as truth in historical events, I’ll find myself blindly accepting what they tell me to believe in regards to social norms, attitudes and morality. To observe art should never be a mindless action. Art is a conveyance of a set of beliefs, whether those beliefs be on how an event in history unfolded or how you should react to the world around you, if you’re unaware of what you believe, you can easily adapt the belief system of the artist speaking to you without realizing it. Discernment isn’t necessarily choosing what to watch, it’s intellectually confronting  what you observe and contrasting it with what you know to be true.

Winner Announced and an Alphabet of Movies I Like

First things first, a big congratulations to Sarah Gifford. She is the winner of the Harry Potter box set giveaway and received all 8 films on DVD! We will be doing other contests in the near future so keep an eye out for those.


Secondly, I thought it might be entertaining (perhaps more so for me than for you) to present to you a list of 26 movies that I enjoy. This is an alphabet of enjoyable movies. Bear in mind this list is in no way conclusive, rather it’s a quick glance into some of the movies that I’ve most enjoyed from A to Z.

Anatomy of a Murder

Beauty and the Beast




Father of the Bride

The Godfather


Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Little Shop of Horrors

My Neighbor Totoro


The Orphanage

The Princess Bride

The Quick and the Dead

The Rocketeer


Tucker and Dale Vs Evil


Vernon Florida

What’s up doc?

X-Men: First Class

Young Frankenstein



Valentine 2013 Givaway! *CLOSED*

*This Contest is Closed*

Well we’ve had an exciting few months here! Guest contributors, a shiny new domain name and over 40 posts! So, why stop the the excitement now?! Let the very first The very first “Popcorn and Peril Giveaway” begin!

The Prize:

The Harry Potter Complete 8 Film Collection on DVD


How To Enter:

1. Sign up to follow Popcorn and Peril by entering your E-mail on the main page, follow our RSS feed or like us on Facebook

2. Share one of our movie reviews on Facebook and tag me, Daniel Robison.

3. Shoot me an e-mail to let me know you’ve done Followed and Shared on FB. (

That’s it! The winner will be randomly selected on February 14, 2013

Unfortunately I am unable to ship outside of the United States.

Personal Milestones Measured in Movies

Note* These movies in no way represent any significant meaning to my life event, rather this is a simple slice of progression of film history throughout my lifetime with specific picks that I found interesting and entertaining.

I tend to shy away from posts about my personal life on this blog, as it is first and foremost a movie blog. However I thought it would be fun to give selections of movies corresponding to the years of my personal milestones. I will give an event with the year it happened, after which I will select a film recommendation from that year in the hopes of presenting you with potential watching material from the span of my 24 year life thus far. This list isn’t necessarily my “favorite” movie from any given year, rather they’re just snippets that I found particularly interesting. Each of these films deserves a full review, which I may get to at a later date.

1988 – Birth

My Neighbor Totoro


It’s fitting that the film that introduced me to the wonderfully rich universes created by Hayao Miyazaki came out the same year that I was born. My Neighbor Totoro has become a cult classic since it’s release in 1988. The story follows a family in 1958 as they move to the Japanese countryside. The film is beautifully animated and the plot is simple and heartwarming. Mae, the youngest of the two daughters, discovers a kind, gentle, giant and incredibly fluffy forest spirit in their backyard. This spirit accompanies the young sisters as they embark on a journey of discovery and wonder through their new home and the surrounding area. There are no villains and for the majority of the film there is no danger. Where most films require confrontation and conflict to be compelling, Totoro relies on the audience relating with the wonderment that is so familiar to childhood, but often lost as we age.

1992 – The year I became a Christian

Porco Rosso


Studio Ghibli makes it on the list twice! And it’s no wonder, Hayoa Miyazaki is practically the Japanese Walt Disney, thanks to his masterful animations and wonderfully told stories. Porco Rosso is the story of a 1920s fighter Pilate who was cursed to continue his life with the head of a pig. Porco (the titular character) is a well known expert flyer for hire. He’s often contracted out to rescue captives from sky pirates. The movie plays like an expertly crafted feature film version of the Disney animated show Tailspin, but with far more emotional weight. Though Porco Rosso is a “pig”, he used to be a man and must deal with relationships he had from his days as a human as well as prejudices that spring forth due to his new form. Every day he accepts his differences from humanity, he runs a deeper risk of losing all ties with it entirely. (I would also like to note that Reservoir Dogs also came out this year. If you would like the read a discussion on the movie between myself and Paul Boyne do so by clicking here)
1998 – The year I was Baptized
The Truman Show


The Truman Show follows the life of a man that was born into a lie. Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, the most popular man in the world due to his role on the hit reality show “The Truman Show”. The catch is that he has no idea he’s being filmed, that his environment is completely controlled or the fact that his entire life has been lived in the confines of a massive sound stage. The film asks questions about life, our fascination with reality television and the moral boundaries that tend to get smudged for the sake of gratifying our craving for entertainment and self gain. The strongest aspect of this film is the performance given by Jim Carrey. We follow his character from complete ignorance to his situation to a gradual understanding that something is very wrong about the world he lives in.
2006 – Graduated from High School


Simultaneously one of the funniest and grossest alien movies I’ve ever seen, Slither is the story of a small town that is almost entirely overrun by an alien species that takes control of human hosts and uses them as incubators. Nathan Fillion plays a police officer who finds himself the last defense from a full scale earth take over. It’s equal parts B movie horror and gross out humor blended together with some very solid film making.
2010 – Graduated from College
The King’s Speech


Fantastic performances from it’s entire cast was matched by the equally talented film makers behind the production of The King’s Speech. The internal and external struggles of the man that would become King George VI is shown through close up shots giving an atmospheric claustrophobia that perfectly captures the feeling one has just before giving an address before a large crowd for the first time. Beautiful scenes expertly convey the emotions of the actors, allowing the audience to connect and feel what the characters feel.
2011 – The year I married my best friend
Source Code


Duncan Jones’ second feature directorial endeavor is another Sci-Fi (his first was Moon which I review and recommend here). Jones certainly seems to have found his stride, as this film is emotionally weighty and intriguing, however with this film he amps up the action and thrills. Capt. Colter Stevens wakes up, confused, in a chamber with various video monitoring systems on the walls. He is unable to escape. He is informed that his mission is to locate the bomber of an event that has already happened. he is given an eight minute window to locate the bomber so they can prevent his next attack. He enters the scenario each time as one of the victims of the bombing and must figure out the perfect way to utilize his small window while simultaneously figure out where he, himself, actually is. Exciting, fast paced and solid performances make this film well worth watching, even for a second or third viewing.
2012 – We bought our first house


Another example of great film making overcoming the constraints of a (relatively) low budget. The cast is filled with lesser known actors, all of whom give great performances. This dark take on a superhero origins stories explores the reality behind the angst experienced by many teenagers today. When a group of three High School boys receive telekinetic powers, their true colors begin to bleed through. Power proves to be the ultimate test of character. In most movies I dislike the hand held shaky camera gimick, however in this instance it blends right into the narrative.