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Showing posts from December, 2015

Review: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

"Luke Skywalker has vanished." No mention of taxes or blockades to be found anywhere. While not a significant sentence, those four little words signal that the prequels are a thing of the past, and a wave of relief washes over the faces of spectators in the dark auditorium. It's been thirty years since the events of Return of the Jedi, but the Rebels haven't had much time to rest. While the Empire vanished with the death of the Emperor, power seeks a vacuum, and the void is filled by The First Order and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

The only whereabouts of Luke's location are inside a BB-8 droid that ends up in the possession of young Rey (Daisy Ridley). Rey yearns for more but is trapped living as a scavenger on the unforgiving desert landscape of Jakku. This droid tasked with finding a reclusive Jedi offers her new purpose. Sound familiar? References to the original trilogy are sprinkled heavily throughout the film, and while the consistent call-backs restrict The F…

Review: Macbeth

There have been countless adaptations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, but with the exception of Roman Polanski’s 1971 film, Macbeth has largely gone ignored by cinema. Justin Kurzel, fresh off the success of The Snowtown Murders, may have delivered the definitive take on the Scottish Thane. From the very beginning Kurzel marks that his vision will be different, as the film opens on the funeral of a small child, then transitions to bloody combat. Usually set on the stage, depictions of war in Macbeth are avoided because of budget constraints and available space–a shame considering how influential those scenes prove to be. The violence and trauma of the warring tribes and his child’s death sets the stage for Macbeth’s lust for power later in the film. Blood begets more blood.

In this beleaguered state of mind, a prophecy from three witches becomes the driving force behind his madness. Left with no heirs of his own and a fractured relationship with his own wife, the crown i…