Blog Profile / ThomasSpurlin.com


URL :http://www.thomasspurlin.com/
Filed Under:Film / Film Reviews
Posts on Regator:330
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:September 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Battles, Lore, Charm of 'Wonder Woman' Worth Believing In

Directed by: Patty Jenkins; Runtime: 141 minutes Grade: A- Finally. There are several ways to interpret it when a discussion about Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman begins with something like: "Finally." Perhaps it references the legion of...Show More Summary

Classic Musings: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1963)

My relationship with musicals is, overall, a little complicated. The exceptionally vibrant attitudes, the bubbly dialogue, and the unnatural introduction of songs into everyday activities might be common criticisms lobbed at the genre, but they're also what hold me back from embracing more of those productions. Show More Summary

'Covenant' an Intense, Vacuous Hybrid of 'Alien', 'Prometheus'

Directed by: Ridley Scott; Runtime: 122 minutes Grade: C+ Despite a moderately successful box-office turnout (worldwide) and earning generally positive marks from the critic community, Ridley Scott's Prometheus quickly earned and has...Show More Summary

While Stagy, 'The Crucible' Captures Play's Paranoia, Critiques

Directed by: Nicholas Hytner; Runtime: 124 minutes Grade: B- To critique the Nicholas Hytner-directed version of The Crucible is to essentially critique the play itself, both the strengths and the pitfalls accompanying that. Playwright...Show More Summary

Classic Musings: Phaedra (1962)

Modernized adaptations of classic pieces of literature have always been a crapshoot, since their themes and dramatic overtures can get watered down in the updates leveled on the setting. There's something universally impactful aboutShow More Summary

'Frontier' Puts Nostalgic Copying Above Credible Thrills, Drama

Directed by: Oren Shai; Runtime: 88 minutes Grade: C- A lot of cinematic gems that were released in the ‘70s remain largely hidden in obscurity, especially in the crime and mystery subgenres involving a drifter of sorts... but, of course, not all those movies released during that period have the merits or general strengths to be sought after. Show More Summary

'Free Fire' Loaded With Fast Quips, Wayward Bullets, Little Else

Directed by: Ben Wheatley; Runtime: 90 minutes Grade: B- There's a portion of the American population that sticks to the mantra: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Well, Free Fire tosses together a bunch of different types...Show More Summary

'Tanna' Provokes Senses, Glimpses At Evolving Tribal Customs

Directed by: Bentley Dean and Martin Butler; Runtime: 104 minutes Grade: B There's a degree of authenticity that's fundamentally built into films that use non-professional actors from around their focal settings in telling their stories,...Show More Summary

Huppert Stands Tall in Verhoeven's Sardonic, Challenging 'Elle'

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven; Runtime: 130 minutes Grade: B- The terms "comedy" and "rape" should probably stay as far away from one another as possible, since it's hard to imagine how anyone could transform such sensitive material into anything even in the ballpark of humorous. Show More Summary

"Devil Lives Here' Oozes Folklore and Ill Omens, Lacks Sense

Directed by: Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio; Runtime: 80 minutes Grade: C From the works of Lynch and Jodorowski to less widespread indies, filmmakers have ensured that their genre creations can have a lot of impact and resonance without, well, making a whole lot of sense. Show More Summary

'Man Down' Soldiers Forth As Jumbled, Bleak Portrait of PTSD

Directed by: Dito Montiel; Runtime 90 minutes Grade: C- The purpose of a movie's message shares a complicated relationship with its execution, where the noble intentions themselves in bringing a significant, unsettling topic to the big screen can distract from how the ideas actually come together. Show More Summary

Eckhart Evacuates Demons in Mundane, Vexing 'Incarnate'

Directed by: Brad Peyton; Runtime: 91 minutes Grade: D+ The actor who plays young Bruce Wayne in Gotham, David Masouz, gets possessed by evil spirits for the second time in the span of a year in Incarnate, San Andreas director Brad Peyton's latest offering to that sect of horror cinema. Show More Summary

'Mudbloods' an Appealing Sports Doc Geared For Potter Fans

Directed by: Farzad Sangari; Runtime: 89 minutes Grade: B- Even to those dedicated fans of the Harry Potter series who have read every book and seen every movie, it can be tough to imagine how a magical sport like quidditch could operate in the real world without flying golden balls with wings and players soaring around on broomsticks. Show More Summary

'Stake Land 2' an Attractive, Clumsy and Unmerited Sequel

Directed by: Dan Berk and Robert Olsen; Runtime: 81 minutes Grade: C- Stake Land struck a chord a few years back with its unique take on vampire mythology, one that gave the bloodsuckers unique, almost zombie-like properties and centered on a perspective on the state of the world closer to a slice-of-life drama than your typical horror flick. Show More Summary

'Edge of Seventeen' a Skillful, Sharp Take On Social Reclusion

Directed by: Kelly Fremon Craig; Runtime: Grade: B+ It's tough to depict the cynicism and self-absorption that can overcome teenagers in a fashion that still holds onto the individual's sincere or likable traits. Too often, these portrayals...Show More Summary

'Justice League Dark' Filled With Magic, Attitude, Contrivance

Directed by: Jay Oliva; Runtime: Grade: C+ The presence of magic tends to be a tricky make-or-break element for comic-book readers. Some dig the extents in which writers are willing to take supernatural capabilities, while others can...Show More Summary

Gans' Colorful 'Beauty and the Beast' a Dull, Passionless Affair

Directed by: Christophe Gans; Runtime: 112 minutes Grade: C Fantasy films have a way of casting a spell over their audience by drawing them into the imaginative environment or period in which they happen, a cinematic effect to which French writer/director Christophe Gans is no stranger. Show More Summary

Idris Elba Charges In Spy Thrills With Active, Thickheaded 'Take'

Directed by: James Watkins; Runtime: 92 minutes Grade: C+ Rumors have been circulating lately about who'll be the tuxedo-wearing, martini-sipping replacement for Daniel Craig as the next James Bond, and one name that's become popular in the conversation is that of Idris Elba. Show More Summary

'Frank and Lola' Gets Noir Relationship Right, Lacks Urgency

Directed by: Matthew Ross; Runtime: 88 minutes Grade: C+ Many films that fall under the neo-noir label typically share a handful of similarities to the classic ‘40s genre, whether it's a femme fatale or twisted, misanthropic conditions that get the flawed hero in trouble, without aligning exactly with all of its nuances, characteristics and pursuits. Show More Summary

Clerks Chase Nazi Sausage Monsters in Lousy 'Yoga Hosers'

Directed by: Kevin Smith; Runtime: 88 minutes Grade: D- Hard to believe that it's been two decades since Kevin Smith wrote and directed Chasing Amy, the Independent Spirit award-winning movie that cemented his status in the Hollywood spectrum after his surprise hit with the micro-budget, iconic Clerks. Show More Summary

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