Monthly Archives: December 2014

REVIEW: The Imitation Game

ChristopherIncredible stories need the treatment they deserve. It’s not just about telling the story in a way that’s not a paint-by-numbers treatment, nor is it about giving it weight; it’s also about bringing to light certain aspects of the story that are compelling and play a great role, even if they are challenging or uneasy to stomach. In other words, it’s about doing justice to the story.

On a surface level, the Imitation Game possesses an incredible story, and a true one to boot: Alan Turing, a brilliant British mathematician, helped crack the Nazi Germany’s top-secret Enigma Code during World War II, only to be criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality years later. With this story, the film is entertaining enough and at times emotionally affecting, but its disjointed narrative and treatment of compelling material neuter it, thus making the picture itself fall short of memorable.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Revisited

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Blu Ray for Guardians of the Galaxy was released 12/9/2014. I bought and it went home and watched it. And I watched it again after that. I’m reminded why this was my favorite movie this year. Jun described in his review (read it here) that this movie is just fun and I whole heartedly agree. I’m going to liken it to Chocolate Rain by The Bruery, one of my favourite beers. I love Chocolate Rain for it’s strong and pleasant flavor, rich delicious texture, and for having enough depth to be interesting while drinking it. It has all this going on for it, but it doesn’t become a confused mess like many beers that try the same. Likewise, Guardians of the Galaxy is wonderfully balanced. Continue reading

REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Bilbo and ThorinIf it wasn’t clear before, it is now: Peter Jackson has pulled a George Lucas on a trilogy set before another trilogy that’s revered and superior in every way. Just as Thorin (Richard Armitage) becomes blind with greed in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson, New Line Cinema, MGM, and Warner Bros. Pictures – despite whatever good intentions they may have in bringing audiences back to Middle-earth – became greedy themselves, unnecessarily splitting a 350-page novel into three movies to rake in as much money as possible (the franchise will likely gross at least $3 billion worldwide after this one, and that’s not including home media sales). Now, there’s an acceptable way of doing that: simply deliver three good movies. Marvel Studios has consistently been doing that with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and movie #11 is just over the horizon for them.

Instead, Jackson and co. have given us three movies that progress from decent to frustrating to – finally – mindless. Coming off the heels of a disappointing entry in The Desolation of Smaug, The Battle of the Five Armies should have mustered whatever dignity this trilogy had left and charged forward. Instead, it’s an emotionally detached, often cringeworthy entry that never bores, yet ultimately never feels fulfilling.

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REVIEW: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus FamilyRidley Scott has the most inconsistent career out of all the directors working today. I know that may come across as a hyperbolic statement, and although I’ve defended him for years when some have described him as being past it, his latest effort, Exodus: Gods and Kings is making me reassess his works from recent years. For a man revered for Alien and Blade Runner, and capable of directing entertaining flicks like Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, it’s understandable that he may have some clunkers here and there, but it’s quite alarming when they account for four of his last five outings, all within the past six years. What compounds this even further is that this film is arguably his worst. Ever.

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A Taste of Bourbon: Booker’s

2014-11-27 09.44.15Every Thanksgiving I try to crack open a new bottle of bourbon. I open it when I start cooking and don’t stop until either the bottle is empty or the day is over. Considering I start cooking at about 9AM, it often ends up being a long day of drinking.

This year’s bourbon I’ve been anticipating for quite some time. I see it at whiskey bars and liquor stores but have not had the opportunity to take it for a spin. After so much delay, I was eager to pop the top on this bad boy and do some serious drinking. Without further ado, let’s chat Booker’s Bourbon (130.8 Proof)…

As with my previous review, I will provide my notes drinking the bourbon neat and on the rocks. You can find a bottle of this at Total Wine for about $60. Continue reading