November 2018

Mirai

by Alan Rapp on November 30, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Mirai
  • IMDb: link

Mirai movie reviewPresented from the perspective of a 4 year-old boy named Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi), Mirai examines the emotions of a young boy dealing with the sudden arrival of a baby sister into his family and the unexpected upheaval her arrival causes to his normal routine. Through Kun’s fantasies and tantrums he also comes into contact with the teenage version of his baby sister (Haru Kuroki) who requests his help on an important mission.

Interesting without ever becoming compelling, writer/director Mamoru Hosoda‘s film feels very much like a personal tale centered around the family dynamic. Along with Kun’s various fantasies, the story also examines the roles of a working mother, a stay-at-home father, and a helpful grandmother. However, much like Kun’s disinterest in his inactive baby sister, the film (even with its more fantastical elements) never journeys far from what is expected. As a result, Mirai (which gets its name from Kun’s baby sister) never really blossoms into the magical journey we want from it. Despite this limitation, the anime is still a beautifully-rendered story that hits home on its lead character’s raw emotions.

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Harry Potter: What Magic Sounds Like

by Alan Rapp on November 29, 2018

in Essays 

Nerdwriter examines What Magic Sounds Like in Harry Potter

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Silk Stalkings – Dirty Laundry

by Alan Rapp on November 29, 2018

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Silk Stalkings – Dirty Laundry
  • IMDb: link

Silk Stalkings - Dirty Laundry television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the unsolved crimes of passion in the wealthy playground of Palm Beach, Florida. The apparent natural death of a womanizing congressman (Tom Howard) brings in Chris (Rob Estes) and Rita (Mitzi Kapture) who discover there was more going on with the man’s family and death than meets the eye. First, there’s the son’s girlfriend (Kelly Miracco) who was also sleeping with the father (including on the night of his death). Second, no member of the family is all that sad to see the congressman dead. And third, there’s the drugs found in the congressman’s system which makes his “accident” look a whole lot more like murder. Miracco is well-cast as the gold digger who proves nothing more than a red herring for larger drama afoot.

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The Death of Superman

by Alan Rapp on November 28, 2018

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Death of Superman
  • IMDb: link

Death of Superman Blu-ray reviewThe Death of Superman marks the first time DC’s animated division has remade a straight-to-video movie (the events from the Death of Superman storyline were originally covered in Superman Doomsday). Even though it unfortunately takes place in the New 52 version of the DCU, The Death of Superman is an improvement over the previous efforts focusing on the events leading up to Superman‘s (Jerry O’Connell) battle with Doomsday, his relationship with Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn), and the death of the hero. The other Supermen (who will appear in the sequel) are foreshadowed here as well.

The best of the New 52 Justice League movies (likely because the story came decades before this version of the DCU that DC Comics has already decided to distance themselves from), The Death of Superman feels a bit incomplete with only half the story told, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I’m not a fan of either the design nor performance of Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor, but he’s a marginal player here.

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The Front Runner

by Alan Rapp on November 27, 2018

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Front Runner
  • IMDb: link

The Front Runner movie review30 years later, The Front Runner takes a look back at the fall of Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) who in the space of three weeks went from the presumptive Democratic nominee for the President of the United States to a cautionary tale. After some initial set-up laying the groundwork for the stranglehold Hart had on his party’s nomination in 1988, the script by Matt Bai, Jay Carson, and director Jason Reitman dives into Hart’s relationship with the media covering his campaign and his extra-marital indiscretion which, when brought to light, would be the end of his political career.

The Front Runner plays like a trainwreck in slow motion. It’s somewhat torturous to watch unfold seeing everything the uncompromising Hart worked for fall apart so quickly. Everyone, except Hart can see what’s coming. Unable to fathom how his personal life was the business of either the media or voters, Hart struggled with handling the situation which quickly escalated out of control as it opened the doors to a new form of tabloid journalism in politics (a slippery slope Hart himself commented on during the final speech of his campaign).

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