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Gravity: A Stellar Attraction

October 3rd, 2013 As Elton John sang, “it’s lonely out in space”. In the new release Gravity, Director Alfonso Cuaron asserts it’s not only lonely, it’s also beautiful, vast, and terrifying. Superlatives like “best Space movie since 1968’s 2001” are getting bandied about, and that sets a critic’s teeth on edge. One tries to avoid …

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“Prisoners” – The Hugh and Jake Show

September 21, 2013 Prisoners should come with a warning: Angst alert! Sitting through the new film by Oscar-nominated Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve, is like choosing to experience 2.5 hours of emotional torture. But potential audiences shouldn’t let that keep them from journeying through the complicated morality maze that is this story of abduction, vigilantism and …

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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Offers Optimism During the Holiday Season

Saturday, November 24, 2012 Cinema Siren knows mental illness. Who doesn’t? Like me, most of you probably have friends or family who struggle with the challenges of bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder on a daily basis. What makes Silver Linings Playbook so endearing and what will make it so enduring as a new fan …

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Looper: A Loopy Mind-Bender Worth Your Time

Friday, September 28, 2012 Looper is an ambitious and deeper take on time-travel and the future than the usual sci-fi action flick, and if approached with patience and an open mind, it will blow yours away at least as much as the oft-featured blunderbuss in the film. It starts slowly. In fact, it maintains a …

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Lawless – Bloody Good Acting

Monday, September 3, 2012 Just opening on the big screen is Lawless, the story of three brothers who made and ran moonshine in Franklin County, VA. It is based on a book by local novelist Matt Bondurant with a screenplay written by Nick Cave. This indie release, directed by Aussie John Hillcoat, brings together a …

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Hope Springs: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones Elevate What Should Be Called ‘Mope Springs’: Marriage Melancholia

Friday, August 10, 2012 In a world where teenagers are the stars and films are green-lit based on the number of explosions, it behooves us adults to put our cinematic money where our mouths are and support films with actors who stand for the older members of the audience, especially when these actors represent the …

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Hammer and Radcliffe are Back in ‘Black’

The Woman in Black Friday, February 3, 2012 Dan Radcliffe, the boy who lived, has officially become a man on film. You may go see his new film The Woman in Black to see your favorite wizard, but very quickly you’ll forget all that and focus on Radcliffe’s impressive work in this surprisingly engaging and …

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Fincher’s Dragon Breathes Fire

Friday, December 23, 2011 Over the river and through the woods to grandfather’s house we go. The grandfather, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), patriarch of the Swedish industrial dynasty, seeks to solve the 40-year-old murder mystery and disappearance of his grand-niece, Harriet. This is the lynchpin in the first story based on Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster The …

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New Year’s Eve: Sleep Through It…

Saturday, December 10, 2011 First off, don’t we all have enough of a challenge making New Year’s Eve a holiday we actually enjoy? Well meaning Director Gary Marshall’s latest holiday offering, while clearly attempting to get us into the spirit of hope and optimism, falls so short it feels like a cinematic hangover without the …

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