Blue Jasmine (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 😦 😦 Woody Allen’s yearly appointment takes the form of a Cate Blanchett-driven study of a woman dancing on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Jasmine (Blanchett) finds refuge at her sister Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins) apartment after her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) committed suicide. The latter, also a notorious philanderer, was arrested…

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The Monuments Men (2014)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 😦 😦 George Clooney produces, writes, directs and stars in this film, based on a true story, about a band of likeable brothers who storm Europe in order to salvage works of art from the nefarious grasp of the Nazis. The end of World War II is nigh but Frank Stokes (Clooney)…

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American Hustle (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ David O Russell’s film is a stylish caper set during the 1970s, with a cast so consistently brilliant that you might want to borrow Christian Bale’s shades lest your brain melts. Irving Rosenberg (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are two con artists who besides being business partners are…

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Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 😦 😦 😦 James Wan’sΒ Insidious (2011) was a fun film that winked at and thrived on established ghost story tropes. However, this second chapter is a clumsily executed back flip. Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) still believes that the entity which tried to kidnap her son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) is still at large. Her…

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 😦 The second installment ofΒ The Hunger GamesΒ series (three books and four films) is a riveting dystopian thriller that leaves other, bigger blockbusters released in 2013 in the dust. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back in District 12 after having won the previous year’s edition of The Hunger Games. But as her…

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Gravity (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ AlfonsoΒ CuarΓ³n’s space drama is a work of undisputed technical virtuosity, a tense thriller that is fearless in presenting an emaciated plot. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her first space mission aboard the shuttle Explorer. Together with wisecracking, country & western loving astronaut Matthew Kowalski (George Clooney), she is…

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Captain Phillips (2013)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 😦 Director Paul Greengrass‘s shaky-cam take on this tale of modern day piracy is more preoccupied with conflicting realities than it is with good guys and bad guys. Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is in charge of the MV Maersk Alabama, a cargo ship headed towards Mombasa. As it sails through the…

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