At Any Price: Interview with Dennis Quaid and Ramin Bahrani

At Any Price tells the fictional, but oh so real story of the Whipple family, caught up in the Darwinian struggle to survive in the modern agriculture business, which thrives under the banner “expand or die”. We watch as this attitude of never having enough seeps from the corporate level down to the individual lives [Read More...]

The General: A Train Full of Laughs

Review of The General, Directed by Buster Keaton In our effort to blog our way through the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films, I picked out one of the few movies on the list I had not only not seen, but never even heard of:  The General (1927).  For some reason I expected a somber [Read More...]

Last Train Home in Industrializing China

Review of Last Train Home, Directed by Lixin Fan The documentary Last Train Home tells the heart-wrenching story of a family caught in the turbulence of an industrializing China. Every Spring, for Chinese New Year, 130 million migrant workers trek back to their rural homes to rejoin their families, only to return again to their [Read More...]

Wreck It, But Be Nice to Your Sister

Review of Wreck-It Ralph, Directed by Rich Moore Confession:  I love video games.  When I was 2, my dad bought the Apple II computer.  Some of my earliest memories are playing stone-age video games together as a family.  I remember playing Cranston Manor.  This was a game only slightly more sophisticated than Pong. It was [Read More...]

If you love America, go see Pain & Gain

Review of Pain and Gain, Directed by Michael Bay “Don’t be a don’t-er, do be a doer.” Such is the motto of body-builders/gym-rats Danny Lugo, Paul Doyle, and Adrian Doorball (Marky Mark, the Rock, and Anthony Mackie). Okay, if we’re being all technical about it, it’s the motto of Johnny Wu—the hottest self-help guru to [Read More...]

Here’s Looking at You, Casablanca!

Review of Casablanca, Directed by Michael Curtiz It’s December of 1941 in sunny, depressing Casablanca, where refugees flock in an attempt to flee the ravages of Nazi-infested Europe. They flock to Vichy-controlled Casablanca, and there they stay—unless Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) cares to bestow upon them the coveted exit visas that will allow them [Read More...]

Man or Mouse: Humanity and Morality in The Secret of NIMH

Review of The Secret of NIMH, Directed by Don Bluth Mrs. Brisby has a serious problem. Her youngest son, Timmy, has a nasty fever. Which would be problem enough, but it’s getting to be plow season. This is bad news for field mice (like the Brisbys) and other such critters currently living in a field [Read More...]

“Oblivion” and Earth’s Horatius

Oblivion, directed by Joseph Kosinski Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods? -From Thomas Babington Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome [Read More...]

Always Online, Ever “Disconnected”

Review of Disconnect, Directed by Henry Alex Rubin Disconnect gives us four stories about people growing estranged from one another and how they reach a breaking point, only to find that reconnection is still possible. The narrative struggles with the growing disconnectedness in an American society awash in social media and communication technologies; and this [Read More...]

Are We All in a Trance?

Review of Trance, Directed by Danny Boyle What is the role of memory in shaping our identity and our motives? This question drives the plot of Trance, Danny Boyle’s (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) newest film. If you just watch the trailer, you immediately know that the film is not what it seems. There are going to [Read More...]


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