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‘Elite Squad 2’ (2010): The Most Disappointing Sequel Since ‘Alien 3’ (1992)

Directed by: Jose Padilha || Produced by: Marcos Prado Screenplay by: Jose Padilha, Braulio Mantovani || Starring: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, Andre Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz, Andre Mattos, Maria Ribeiro Music by: Pedro Bromfman || Cinematography by: Lula Carvalho || Edited by: Daniel Rezende || Country: Brazil || Language: Portuguese Running Time: 116 minutes Readers may … Continue reading

‘Stalingrad’ (2013): When Color Grading Goes Mad

Directed by: Fedor Bondarchuk || Produced by: Alexander Rodnyanksy, Dmitriy Rudovskiy, Sergey Melkumov, Natalia Gorina, Steve Schlair Screenplay by: Illya Tilkin, Sergey  Snezhkin || Starring: Petr Fedorov, Maria Smolnikova, Dmitriy Lysenkov, Aleksey Barabash, Andrey Smolyakov, Yanina Studilina, Vladmir Kurlovich, Thomas Kretschmann, Heiner Lauterbach Music by: Angelo Badalamenti || Cinematography by:  Makism Osadchiy || Edited by: … Continue reading

‘Only God Forgives’ (2013): The Muay Thai Warrior

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn || Produced by: Lene Borglum Screenplay by: Nicolas Winding Refn || Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Ratha Phongam, Gordon Brown Tom Burke, Bryon Gibson Music by: Cliff Martinez || Cinematography by: Larry Smith || Edited by: Matthew Newman || Country: Denmark, France || Language: English, Thai Running … Continue reading

‘He Got Game’ (1998): Spike Lee Gets Mellow

Directed by: Spike Lee || Produced by: Jon Kilik, Spike Lee Screenplay by: Spike Lee || Starring: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Rosario Dawson, Jim Brown, Bill Nunn, Zelda Harris, Milla Jovovich, Hill Harper, Joseph Lyle Taylor Music by: Public Enemy || Cinematography by: Malik Hassan Sayeed || Edited by: Barry  Alexander Brown || Country: United … Continue reading

‘Rambo’ (2008): Stallone Unleashes the Beast

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone || Produced by: Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton, John Thompson Screenplay by: Art Monterastelli, Sylvester Stallone || Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake La Botz, Maung Maung Khin, Ken Howard Music by: Brian Tyler || Cinematography: Glen MacPherson || Edited by: … Continue reading

‘The Expendables’ (2010): The 1980s Action Reunion We Deserved

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone || Produced by: Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton, John Thompson Screenplay by: David Callaham, Sylvester Stallone || Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Gary Daniels, Charisma Carpenter, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke Music by: Brian Tyler || Cinematography: Jeffrey L. … Continue reading

‘Chappie’ (2015): Neill Blomkamp Goes Off the Rails

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp || Produced by: Simon Kinberg Screenplay by: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell || Starring: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman Music by: Hans Zimmer || Cinematography by: Trent Opaloch || Edited by: Julian Clarke || Country: United States || Language: English Running … Continue reading

‘Kingsman’ (2015): Totally Not Another James Bond Parody

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn || Produced by: Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn Screenplay by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn || Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill Music by: Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson || Cinematography by: George Richmond || Edited by: Eddie Hamilton, Jon … Continue reading

Cinematic Snobbery: “Genre Film” is Film, and “Art Cinema” is Redundant

One of the earliest film analysis essays I wrote for this blog was My Take on Michael Bay’s Transformers (2007-2017) franchise. It was a long-winded musing (or rather a series of musings later coalesced into a single hodgepodge of angry banter) that was aimed primarily at the dumb, greedy side of the global movie business. … Continue reading