Contest – Passes to see Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman The Killing Joke Poster

Batman: The Killing Joke reunites the stars of Batman: The Animated Series with Bruce Timm returning as executive producer, and actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their memorable roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively.  This R rated adaptation of the widely acclaimed graphic novel is hotly anticipated and getting a limited theatrical release – and I have some tickets for you!

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Review – The BFG

When Steven Spielberg makes a new movie you pay attention. When that movie is also an adaptation of one of beloved author Roald Dahl’s classic stories, even more so. Does The Big Friendly Giant live up to its potential?

When a young insomniac orphan sees something she wasn’t supposed to, ten year old Sophie finds herself whisked away from the stale old orphanage and taken to a strange land of giants. Her captor is quite frightening at first but it turns out the big guy is friendlier than she might have first suspected. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, of the other gargantuan inhabitants of the land. What unfolds is a magical adventure fraught with peril and brimming with the dreams of a young girl.

It’s easy to see why Spielberg and Dahl are a good match. The director is at perhaps his most memorable when exploring the themes of childhood wonder, and Dahl’s stories are nothing if not that. While I never did read the original story, it’s easy to surmise that the film stays rather true to the source if only for how different it is from what a more modern take on it might be like. It doesn’t shy away from scary themes that are often tread lightly upon by kids films today. Here be gruesome giants that very definitely eat little children. It’s still light of heart though instead of being dark dark gritty serious and not really for kids by the times its been processed through the adaptation machine.

Whimsical scenes that work well on the page but present a challenge on screen are treated beautifully. I’m not sure anyone other than Steven Spielberg could put fart-propelled corgis in a movie and stay classy. The whole movie is handled with class and holds the wonder and nonsense in high regard. Things happen that would make perfect sense to a child’s imagination despite being completely illogical in any sort of real life, but that’s the beauty of it all. We spend a whole extended scene on the completely impractical but highly innovative and amusing breakfast being awkwardly served to a giant by regular humans. It’s just this sort of thing that is a throwback to when stories only had to make sense in their own world and didn’t have worry about ours. Childlike escapism at its best.

A little slow at times, as scenes are filled with non-happenings, kids who either think too hard or are victims of the minute attention span epidemic may be squirming, but if they are able to just settle in and enjoy the moments for what they are, it will be a memorable and inspirational experience. And adults are sure to appreciate it as well. The writing is top notch and the BFG’s peculiar vernacular is perfectly executed. The movie blends practical actors and computer effects seamlessly for a magical result

A modern classic that feels like it’s from another decade, The BFG is sure to please all ages.

Review – Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence Poster

“Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson.”  I don’t care if Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were cast solely so that the marketing team could use that genius tagline for this action comedy.  The rather unlikely pairing of two of the most charasmatic men working in Hollywood was more than enough to get my butt in a theater seat for this one.

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