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Seven Sentence Review: (Spoiler Free!) Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Posted by on 12:47 am in Seven Sentence Reviews | 48 comments

Seven Sentence Review: (Spoiler Free!) Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens feels redemptive in so many ways, making up for misguided prequels, somehow restoring a balance to the Force as it restores old friends and ideas to the screen. From the famous title crawl and pan down across the stars, the unexpectedly humorous first third of the movie is non-stop pleasure  as we watch perfectly cast new-comers – delightful in their youth, insecurity, and self-discovery – cross paths with people and objects that are admittedly oddly sentimental to people of my generation, and director...

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Photoshop vs. Lightroom – What’s the Difference?

Posted by on 12:44 am in How-To | 2 comments

Photoshop vs. Lightroom – What’s the Difference?

Intro This is going to be a unique post. I’m writing it specifically for a friend in response to a Facebook question he asked. He wanted to get some good training in Photoshop and was frustrated by what he had tried already. But I asked why he wasn’t using Lightroom instead. He had done some research and determined that Photoshop was the tool he needed to learn. I’d like to convince him, though, that Lightroom needs to be a part of his workflow, too. It doesn’t replace Photoshop, nor does Photoshop replace Lightroom....

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Seven Sentence Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted by on 4:15 pm in Seven Sentence Reviews | 53 comments

Seven Sentence Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

There’s a scene early on in Mad Max: Fury Road where our titular character Max (Tom Hardy) has been captured and affixed to a post on the front of a car, hung there like a figurehead on the bow of a ship, powerless and vulnerable as the car careens through the desert in a caravan of war machines doing battle, praying his enemy, the driver, doesn’t wreck, shoot him, or slam him into the car in front of him. And that’s kind of how I felt watching this movie, where the term “edge of your seat excitement” proved to...

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Seven Sentence Review: Avengers: Age of Stupid

Posted by on 12:31 am in Seven Sentence Reviews | Comments Off on Seven Sentence Review: Avengers: Age of Stupid

Seven Sentence Review: Avengers: Age of Stupid

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a really stupid movie that opens in the middle of an intense fight/chase sequence that looks a whole lot like a video game, so much so that I thought it was clever how they were going to then pull the camera back and show that the Avengers were, in fact, playing The Avengers video game. Except they didn’t, because that would have been the smart thing to do, and as I said, this is a really stupid movie. And let’s just get this out of the way: It’s not that I don’t like a good action movie with...

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Seven Sentence Review: Twenty Feet from Stardom

Posted by on 12:14 am in Seven Sentence Reviews | 50 comments

Seven Sentence Review: Twenty Feet from Stardom

Twenty Feet from Stardom won the 2014 Best Documentary Academy Award, and boy, does it deserve it, as filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a bright spotlight on backup singers, some of the most talented and under-appreciated musicians around. More historical than contemporary, the film looks primarily at the long careers of some African American women whose voices you’ve heard over and over on some of Motown and Rock and Roll’s greatest hits without ever fully grasping how uniquely talented they are and how important their sound is to...

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Seven Sentence Review: American Sniper

Posted by on 11:21 pm in Seven Sentence Reviews | 46 comments

Seven Sentence Review: American Sniper

American Sniper is one of the best war movies I’ve ever seen, and shows the particular horrors of modern war and its impact not just on the people with whom we do battle, but also on families and individuals. Let me say this at the outset: The movie is not a documentary, and it is not politically nuanced, but rather tells the true story of an American soldier through one very focused (and greatly limited) lens, and can and should be appreciated on those merits. Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the real-life Chris Kyle is riveting to...

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Seven Sentence Review: Boyhood

Posted by on 10:38 pm in Seven Sentence Reviews | Comments Off on Seven Sentence Review: Boyhood

Seven Sentence Review: Boyhood

Boyhood is a slow-moving, over-rated, uneven film in desperate need of an editor to trim some time from its almost 3 hour length. That being said, it’s also an impressive project, filmed with the same actors over 12 years so that we get to see Mason Evans Jr. (the Boy in Boyhood, played by a subdued Ellar Coltrane) literally grow up before our eyes, while his parents slowly age and mature, not just physically but emotionally, too. Performances by the leads are very good, and Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, and Ethan Hawke are all...

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Seven Sentence Review: Into the Woods

Posted by on 5:16 pm in Seven Sentence Reviews | 2 comments

Seven Sentence Review: Into the Woods

Film-making is a collaborative process, and nowhere is this more evident or enjoyable than in a film like Into the Woods, where the acting, directing, costumes, production design, cinematography, and music are all performed by artists at the top of their game. From the opening notes of the prologue, this musical adventure into fairy tales melded and blended together dazzles with beautiful painterly images, rich sets, and performances that that were surprisingly competent. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen too many musicals miscast...

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Seven Sentence Review: Unbroken

Posted by on 7:30 am in Seven Sentence Reviews | 51 comments

Seven Sentence Review: Unbroken

Unbroken, based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand (a great book that you should read), tells the true story of Louis Zamperini (played by Jack O’Connell), a World War II hero who survived two plane crashes, then survived stranded on a raft in the Pacific for an unheard of 47 days before being “rescued’ by the Japanese, who then imprisoned and tortured him for two years. The movie isn’t the kind of meaty movie that sticks with you for months on, providing excitement and plot but lacking in deeper character...

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Seven Sentence Review: Gravity

Posted by on 1:45 am in Seven Sentence Reviews | 56 comments

Seven Sentence Review: Gravity

Gravity, though not a perfect film, is well worth watching, as Sandra Bullock ably carries this film on her shoulders as an astronaut/scientist on a space mission that quickly turns disastrous. While on a spacewalk, Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, learns that a missile has destroyed a Russian satellite, setting off a chain reaction of space debris that destroys even more satellites as pieces hurtle through space at the speed of bullets. I won’t give away plot details, except to say that in most of the movie Bullock is the...

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