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The Immigrant is an artistically-created modern tragedy

Director: James Gray
Writers: James Gray & Richard Menello
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, & Jeremy Renner

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The twenties is a time that has a special place in American history — it is the decade when America experienced economic growth and this subsequently led to higher standards of living, flourishing of culture, and rapid social transformation. This period dubbed as “The Roaring Twenties” cemented the United States’ prominence and had ultimately reified what is known as “the American dream” — the dream that many people in the world still aspire.

At the same time, however, this period also witnessed a drastic downward shift in the social and moral disposition of the American people, epitomized by the yearning to defy the Prohibition and laws which restricted the influx of immigrants into the country. It is in this tumultuous setting that a powerful narrative is breathed into yet another excellent period piece — James Gray’s The Immigrant (2013).

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AIDS is a battle yet to be won: Review of The Normal Heart

Director: Ryan Murphy
Screenplay: Larry Kramer
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Alfred Molina

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The timing of The Normal Heart’s television premiere couldn’t be more perfect: it was shown at a time when AIDS cases are gradually but steadily increasing in the Asia-Pacific region. And although AIDS may not be the biggest problem of most countries in the West right now, it remains a situation that is still left unresolved.

The Normal Heart has reminded us of the brutal reality that AIDS is still something we must fear. (more…)

Hannibal finale recap: It’s a beautiful bloodbath

The most-awaited season finale of NBC’s Hannibal has already aired and after seeing it, I can safely declare it as one of the best I’ve seen in recent television history.

Just like most Hannibal episodes, the finale entitled “Mizumono” started quite slowly. A lot of intimate moments were played with Will Graham at the center. We learned that he pledged his allegiance to both Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Special Agent Jack Crawford.

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Submarine is a subtle charmer

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Director: Richard Ayoade
Screenplay by: Richard Ayoade
Cast: Craign Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins

I came to know about Submarine because I was (and still am) obsessed with Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys. I found out that there was this coming-of-age film with a soundtrack written entirely by Alex Turner during the pre-Suck It And See era; it signified the change in sound Arctic Monkeys was headed towards, from its indie rock garage band roots.

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Days of Future Past is a smart, worthy addition to the X-Men canon

Director: Bryan Singer
Screenplay:
 Simon Kinberg 
Cast: 
Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart

The scandalous allegations plaguing Director Bryan Singer aren’t enough to deny the fact that X-Men: Days of Future Past is a sleek, bold and intelligent film that can go down as one of the finest superhero films in history.

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Game of Thrones recap: She had it coming

I warned you last week, didn’t I?

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With only four episodes left, we expect only the best from Game of Thrones, right? Sure enough, the seventh episode of the show’s fourth season did not disappoint. (more…)

Godzilla marks the kaiju king’s return in fighting form

Director: Gareth Edwards
Screenplay: Max Borenstein
Cast:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn

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There’s a good reason why many of us are apprehensive about the new Godzilla movie: we’ve had our fair share of bad flicks adapted from the so-called king of all kaijus. The perfect example of this would be the godawful 1998 franchise whose only achievement was casting the (still) dreamy Matthew Broderick.

So how did Godzilla’s return to the big screen fare? To put it mildly, like the titular character at the end of the film, it reigned supreme. (more…)

What happens in Last Vegas, should stay in Las Vegas

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Cast:  Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Stenburgen

Nothing could be as heart-wrenching as seeing an amazing ensemble of award-winning actors trying to resuscitate a plot line that is as predictable as your next intake of medicine.

Maybe the producers of Last Vegas thought that by placing Oscar-winning actors in a supposed comedy, they could pull off box office success, regardless of having worn-out jokes and tired punch lines concerning Viagra, hip replacements, and body pains. But these respectable actors could only do so much and this movie, which could be seen as a GP version of the Hangover trilogy, has failed to deliver on its promise of being a comedy.

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