Kyle North

Staff Writer



As "Knight" Continues, So Does The Legend... Review

While Hollywood missteps again with the engorged and costly excess of Seventh Son, not to mention a potential write-down on Jupiter Ascending looming, Legends of the Knight proves that true independent film is alive and well. Brett Culp’s breakout feature doc isn’t a “Hollywood indie,” where the cast is still A-list, but the budget is slightly lower for catering; no, his project is a true grassroots passion project built from the ground up. Funded by over 1,100 fans, the $65k 76-minute journey is a beautiful shot and told examination of the effect Batman, a character who has transcended from the comic book pages of the mid-20th century to modern folklore, has had on common men and women everywhere.

Feb
19
2015
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Ugh, Not Cool "Moebius" Review

A wife drinks and tries to take a phone away from her husband. His mistress is on the other end. Their teenage son watches them wrestle on the floor, then sees his father eating dinner, then having sex with his younger mistress in a car. So does the wife. Mommy dearest sees her son masturbating, tries to cut her husband’s penis off, then, when he fights her off, cuts her own son’s penis off. Then eats it. Feeling squeamish? That’s just for the first ten minutes of Moebius.

Feb
19
2015
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History Channel's Gleeful Descent Into Pseudo-History Continues with More "Ancient Aliens" Review

Some time ago, this writer reviewed History Channel’s Mountain Men: Season 2, attesting then that the channel once known for, to put it bluntly, covering history had sold out to make itself a competitive brand. The onslaught of 21st century reality TV shows had changed the playing field, creating a model of content creation that required almost no budget, with the potential for large fan-followings and merchandising. It’s hard to say if History Channel’s next review appearance on this site, for the first volume Ancient Aliens' sixth season, brings us back closer to the Channel’s original historical mandate for programming, or farther afield into the swamplands of the non-history History Channel.

Feb
12
2015
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The Charms of "Boyhood" Grow Old Fast Review

Time to pull this car over. The BAFTAs were just announced and Ethan Hawke accepted for Richard Linklater and his 12-year filmic odyssey, Boyhood. Linklater’s added three more Oscar nominations (Directing, Picture, and Screenplay) to his previous two, with words like “breakthrough,” “revolutionary,” and “unprecedented” flying around like a flock of seagulls over a hot dog stand. There’s just one problem; take away the gimmick of filming with the same cast over more than a decade, and you’ve got a bloated, inconsistently performed and written family drama that deserves to be respected for its achievements, but not awarded in its totality.

Feb
09
2015
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"Audrey Hepburn Collection": She's Still Got It Review

[Editor's Note: Previously this article was posted with the review for the old DVD version of the product and not the newly released Blu-ray version. As of 2/13/2015 this has been corrected.]

Every time a new medium debuts, all the old classics are restored and re-released. This long overdue Blu-ray collection of some of Audrey Hepburn’s greatest hits does not disappoint. One could really see this tantalizing trifecta of grand glamour as the “Master Directors and Audrey Hepburn Collection,” with each film toting one of the top names of her golden age: Billy Wilder helming Sabrina, perhaps the least recognizable, but no less impressive Stanley Donen helming the meta-musical Funny Face, and Blake Edwards rounding out the incomparable trio with his leadership of the most well remembered of the bunch, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to a painstaking and attentive restoration, and the directors’ seamless craftsmanship, this collection lets you sit back and bask in the wonder that was Audrey Hepburn.

Jan
20
2015
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Things Used To Be Better, "Once Upon A Time" Review

The mafia genre ain’t what it used to be, and that’s a tragedy. One of the oldest genres, the mob hit the big screen in a big way from Hollywood’s earliest moments, with the likes of Edward G. Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Scorsese became the unofficial, though widely acknowledged master of the genre in the 1990s, and The Sopranos took the family to the same screen and made television history. But since then, the genre has fallen from favor. Mafia films used to be a breeding ground for young, aggressive actors flexing their stuff: DeNiro, Pacino, Liotta, Pesci, and more. Today, the genre churns out the occasional flick, but the stars have, strangely, stayed the same. The “old” mafia movie, with has-beens and never-was returning the streets saw Pacino and Walken take on Stand Up Guys, and now it has Goodfellas’ own Paul Cicero, Paul Sorvino, returning to Queens after a twenty-year bit.

Dec
27
2014
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"Le Chef" Serves Paris Right Review

No, not the one with Jon Favreau and the food truck. Sadly, still not the one with Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara. Instead, France’s Le Chef hinges on the always appealing talent of The Professional himself, Jean Reno. Falling into the strangely popular food-porn genre that is all the rage at the moment – think Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey or, yes, even RatatouilleLe Chef delivers on the promise of a culture and a cuisine. Paris is exhibited in all its romantic glory and the food is done up in its seductive best, beautifully lit and tantalizingly displayed. Like all such movies, the film is enough to get any foodie ravenous and has endearing, if simple, performances, from the cast.

Dec
03
2014
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"Kundo" Hits The Bullseye Review

Neither Kevin Costner or Cary Elwes make an appearance in this Robin Hood story. From American distributor Well Go USA Entertainment, comes this South Korean import of a hierarchical time of tyranny and the warriors who rose against the wealthy to empower the lower classes. In his fourth outing, director Yoon Jong-bin confidently follows in the footsteps of recent Asian epics, a la Zhang Yimou’s Hero and House of Flying Daggers. With more aesthetic grandeur and matured filmmaking, these imports with their lush visuals and nuanced emotionality make Hollywood’s found footage and handheld films look like juvenile student films. The sensibility is undeniably different, and most people might still want Costner or Crowe to play the Prince of Thieves, but Kundo delivers on an exciting, vibrant ride.

Dec
03
2014
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"Covert Operation" Will Stay Classified In The 99 Cent Bin Review

Covert Operation, a.k.a. The Borderland, is one of those valiant attempts to launch a film career for a legitimate martial artist. Sedina Balde, former World and European karate champion, stars as a bounty hunter granted his freedom on the condition that he can rescue prisoners from a North Korean military compound. The film is by turns action and comedy, but Sedina is no Van Damme. While both share a heavy accent that impairs their English-language performances, the latter had a certain inexplicable on-screen quality that catapulted him to superstar status. Sedina is in a decidedly different group, more closely comparable to the likes of WWE’s deluge of screen stinkers.

Dec
02
2014
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"CrazySexyCool" Doesn't Go Chasing Waterfalls Review

Remember buying TLC’s second album? If you do, you’re most likely that particular group of millennial that doesn’t in any way want the millennial title. That’s right; kids who actually grew up in the ‘90s and didn’t get cell phones until college. In 1994, TLC released the album CrazySexyCool, becoming the first all-girls group to have their work go Diamond. Almost twenty years later, VH1 released the biopic of the same name, charting the rise to power of one of the world’s most successful R&B/hip-hop trios.

Dec
02
2014
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