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California Literary Review » movie romance California Literary Review

Movie Review: Upstream Color

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

April 15th, 2013

The problem with writing this review of Upstream Color is that I’ve only seen it once. This isn’t to say that the movie will make complete sense upon subsequent viewings, but it definitely requires multiple watches (plus access to Wikipedia, fan theories, and frame-by-frame analysis) in order to begin to appreciate what writer-director-actor-composer-fundraiser-distributor Shane Carruth accomplished with his second feature about the “subjective experience of life,” relationships, and several other intangibles.

Early Review: Don Jon

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 13th, 2013

Don Jon is Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt), a New Jersey meathead who only cares about a few things: his body, his boys, his ride and his women. Above all else, though, he values his internet porn and the hours and hours he spends getting “lost” in it.

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

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Dan
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Fields

February 15th, 2013

Scripted and paced with impressive skill and thoughtfulness, this movie manages to be witty, racy, and thoroughly weird without getting crass.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: True Romance, #43

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

January 3rd, 2013

This is an old-fashioned boy-meets-girl love story, filtered (perhaps scrambled is a better word) through the artistic lens of Quentin Tarantino, who wrote the screenplay for director Tony Scott.

Early Review: Warm Bodies

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

December 18th, 2012

The latest attempt to capitalize on the zombie craze, Warm Bodies tries to provide a different spin on the genre by presenting a love story between a zombie and a human.

Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

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Julia
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Rhodes

November 17th, 2012

Here’s where the movie diverges from the book. In Meyer’s version, there is no battle. There are “warring” factions of vampires standing in a snowy field giving each other the side-eye, and then it’s over. What kind of end to your “saga” is that? Condon and writer Melissa Rosenberg devised a brilliant scheme; a gruesome vampire/wolf melee has most of the series’ important characters dying horrible deaths.

Movie Review: The Words

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Matthew
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Newlin

September 8th, 2012

In an age when originality is almost anathema to filmmaking (Hollywood, especially), it is exciting and refreshing when a film dares to take a risk by telling a story not based on a comic book, a 70s television show or a Broadway musical.

Singin’ In The Rain: A 60th Anniversary Celebration

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Dan
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Fields

July 13th, 2012

It is more than just one of the all-time greats, grouped with the likes of Casablanca and The Wizard Of Oz. Singin’ In The Rain is also an off-the-wall lesson in Hollywood history.

Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

June 3rd, 2012

These off-realities of Wes Anderson’s movies also enable him to create gorgeous works, and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception. Filmed in glorious Technicolor, Moonrise Kingdom mimics the look of the 1960s with strong solid colors and an excellent collection of props and wardrobe. The film is populated with original artwork, memorable outfits, and cleverly designed sets that make the movie worth seeing on a big screen.

Movie Review: The Five-Year Engagement

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Matthew
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Newlin

April 28th, 2012

The Five-Year Engagement Directed by Nicholas Stoller Screenplay by Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt How long is The Five-Year Engagement? 124 minutes. What is The Five-Year Engagement rated? R for sexual content, and language throughout. CLR [rating:3.0] Emily Blunt and Jason Segel in The Five-Year Engagement Photo: […]

Movie Review: This Means War

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Matthew
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Newlin

February 18th, 2012

Two CIA agents, FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), who are both dashingly handsome and deadly in a fight, are best friends and partners who would never ever let anything come between them. Then something comes between them: a woman, of course. Tuck meets Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) through an online dating site after discovering his ex-wife has begun dating. Tuck and Lauren hit it off immediately; she’s captivated by his British accent and trapeze skills, he’s smitten by her looks and sense of humor.

Movie Review: The Vow

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

February 11th, 2012

Seeing The Vow primarily through Leo’s eyes is probably the film’s biggest problem. Paige just had the last five years of her life wiped out and that is inherently more fascinating than a man who wants to win back his wife. The fear, the confusion, the distrust that Paige experiences on a daily basis is a superior story to one man’s quest to prove his love.

Movie Review: New Year’s Eve

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Dan
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Fields

December 10th, 2011

If you’ve shamelessly dropped the dollars to hire a full cast of well-known stars, why not spend a little more to make them do something? Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World succeeded not simply because it featured virtually every comedian working in Hollywood at the time, but because each one of them was working slapstick overtime. We need to get back to the days of actors who are entertaining because they actively entertain us, not simply because we are clever enough to recognize them.

Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

by
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Julia
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Rhodes

November 19th, 2011

So when the thing decides it’s coming, ready or not, it actually eats Bella from the inside out. And – get this – Edward has to bite her body all over to turn her into a vampire before she dies of massive hemorrhaging. What is actually a really brutal birth scene in the book translates quite well to a PG-13 format with some smart editing and fuzzy filters.

Movie Review: Gnomeo and Juliet

by
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Julia
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Rhodes

February 12th, 2011

Gnomeo and Juliet seems like a terrible idea. Due to smart writing and great character actors, the end result is more fun than expected. It may not hit quite the niche audience it was after—the subject matter is actually directed toward adults more than kids—but it deserves a round of applause for masterfully whipping cleverness out of its Elizabethan-era hat.

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