Archive for the ‘Personal Takes’ Category

Oscar Yes, Oscar No … And Something Else Entirely

Posted by Ken Burke On January - 21 - 2015 0 Comment

Among the good things about being an unpaid film critic blogger is that I don’t have to meet deadlines, write my reviews to a prescribed length, or submit to someone else’s idea of how my postings should be edited; however, among the bad aspects of this (including that “unpaid” part) is that when other areas  [ Read More ]

Catching Up with Some Late 2014 Releases

Posted by Ken Burke On January - 12 - 2015 0 Comment

I took a little time off from blogging over the recently-concluded holidays so my latest detailed review attempts to catch up a bit with many of the films released recently as a couple of them might be up for major awards (although there are much stronger contenders still to come in my postings intended for the  [ Read More ]


  There’s an odd congruency between two new offerings at your local theaters, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and The Imitation Game, with the first being pure fantasy and the finale of Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-earth trilogy while the second is based on the true story of Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician, cryptographer, and  [ Read More ]


You could make the observation that the two movies I’ve done a detailed review of this week have a common thematic element of the chief protagonist in each one being a man in mid-career transition (based on the events of these narratives you could also make an argument for mid-life crisis, but that would likely upset  [ Read More ]

I’m Walking Here… But You May Not Want to Join Me

Posted by Ken Burke On December - 14 - 2014 0 Comment

Back in 1995 a woman named Cheryl Strayed was at her wits’ end even though she was only 26: She was already divorced; she’d fallen in very deeply to alcoholism, heroin use, and any available sex; plus, her mother, who’d been a lifelong source of comfort and support after they left her abusive Dad, died  [ Read More ]

Sons On The Run

Posted by Ken Burke On December - 6 - 2014 0 Comment

One connection shared by two otherwise completely disconnected movies that are currently in circulation, Horrible Bosses 2 and John Wick, is how their plots turn on the actions of the ego-driven, idiotic sons of powerful antagonists who set out to make life miserable for the various protagonists in these stories.  While you can get plenty  [ Read More ]

Still Hungry After All These Years

Posted by Ken Burke On December - 1 - 2014 0 Comment

By now you’ve likely had an opportunity to see the latest cinematic chapter of The Hunger Games, the one where the final book in Suzanne Collins’ source-material-trilogy was cut into two movies with Mockingjay—Part 1 now raking in enormous sums of cash all over the globe (closing in on $500 million worldwide after only 2  [ Read More ]


Proceed with caution this time to my detailed reviews of The Theory of Everything and Foxcatcher because the former is just now going into wider release and the latter is barely beginning its rollout, so unless you don’t mind being battered by Spoilers aplenty you may want to see either or both of these films before  [ Read More ]


By now I’m sure you’re aware of the arrival of Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited sci-fi spectacular, Interstellar, about a time in Earth’s not-too-distant future when the planet’s on the verge of becoming uninhabitable because some sort of blight is killing off all the crops while horrendous dust storms frequently blow through the farmlands like the brutal  [ Read More ]

Birdman Takes Majestic Flight

Posted by Ken Burke On November - 9 - 2014 0 Comment

As we’re getting closer to the dawning of the awards-nomination season for 2014 films another strong contender in many categories, I would think (along with Boyhood, Gone Girl, Ida, and Whiplash among others—you can find analyses of all of these at my blog review summary site), is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)—I won’t be  [ Read More ]

Just Loco Parentis

Posted by Ken Burke On November - 1 - 2014 0 Comment

There are a lot of examples of terrible parenting and troubled family structures on display in your local cinemas at present (in most cases for the films I’m about to note, although the last one may have finally reached the end of its road by the time I got around to seeing it and writing  [ Read More ]

Is Anybody Reading This? :) Do You Think I Care? :(

Posted by Ken Burke On October - 24 - 2014 0 Comment

Two films—one just now opening in select markets, Listen Up Philip, and the other which has been out for awhile but you may have missed because it’s gotten such undeserved bad responses from others in the critical establishment, Men, Women & Children—in their very different ways explore the difficulty of communication in our over-mediated world,  [ Read More ]

Whiplash, The Two Faces of January, and The Judge

Posted by Ken Burke On October - 18 - 2014 0 Comment

Time and energy have been in short supply for me this week so I’ll just quickly direct you to three options at your local cinemas, Whiplash, The Two Faces of January, and The Judge (the last one much more available than the other two; Whiplash is just now opening in a slow rollout across the  [ Read More ]

Sometimes Crime Pays in Very Strange Ways

Posted by Ken Burke On October - 9 - 2014 0 Comment

I’m mostly going to use comments on Gone Girl as a means to open up some thoughts on depictions of criminals in current films so that I can focus more on one, The Drop, that hasn’t gotten nearly the attention that the press and the ticket-buying public have lavished on Fincher’s big splash with Ben  [ Read More ]

The Equalizer = Badass Geezer Time

Posted by Ken Burke On October - 6 - 2014 0 Comment

OK, so being almost 60 may not qualify the great Denzel Washington for being a geezer (although at almost 67 myself I think I’ve been proven ready for that designation, even though no one on mass transit ever gets up to offer me a seat but they’re all absorbed in their smart phones and earbuds  [ Read More ]

Sibling Revelry (well, at least some of the time)

Posted by Ken Burke On September - 27 - 2014 0 Comment

If you’ve noticed (which I doubt that anyone has because I’ve been putting posts here for about a year now encouraging readers of Popculture Galaxy to read my detailed comments at the Film Reviews from Two Guys in the Dark blog and have yet to get a single comment either here or at my blog  [ Read More ]

Unexpected Journeys: There But Not Always Back Easily

Posted by Ken Burke On August - 15 - 2014 0 Comment

It’s been a sad time in celebrity-land lately with the assumed suicide of Robin Williams paralleled by the natural death of Lauren Bacall, but they each left no last significant film on the horizon to simultaneously torment us with their loss but ease the pain a bit by giving us one final memorable role to  [ Read More ]

Please, Please, Please … See This Film

Posted by Ken Burke On August - 10 - 2014 0 Comment

While everyone in the world seemed to be at Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend and it looks like many of them may be headed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this time around, I’d like you to consider another option:  Get On Up, the new biography of The Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1,  [ Read More ]

Each Day Just Goes So Fast, I Turn Around It’s Past

Posted by Ken Burke On August - 1 - 2014 0 Comment

When I was growing up in Texas back in the 1950s (yes, some people are that old) I remember a joke book called You Can Always Tell a Texan … But Not Very Much, which alludes to the stereotype of the time (and today, where Rick Perry is concerned): the big-mouthed, long-winded braggart who could  [ Read More ]

Lucy (and Jenny), You Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do!

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 31 - 2014 0 Comment

When you combine all of the movies that Luc Besson has written and/or directed you might get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pulse-pounding action that he’s brought to screen, but that doesn’t stop him from throwing even more at us in Lucy, where he puts all of the casual killings, car chases, well-armed-army showdowns,  [ Read More ]

Do You Believe in Magic? How About Love?

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 26 - 2014 0 Comment

Whether he continues to conform to a majority of tastes anymore or not (despite no charges ever being filed, those accusations of child molestation that periodically emerge do no one’s public credibility much good, even when you’ve previously won some Oscars—4 to be precise from 23 nominations along with other noms and wins for Best  [ Read More ]

Furs Flies with Venus and the Apes

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 21 - 2014 0 Comment

If you’re a bound-for-glory masochist, a student of evolving and interwoven themes in the arts, or just a lover of well-conceived, well-made films then I recommend Roman Polanski’s latest to you, Venus in Fur, adapted from the Davis Ives hit Broadway play, itself adapted from the famous 1870 Leopold von Sacher-Masoch novel, Venus in Furs.   [ Read More ]

An Obviously Good Film about Leaving Childhood Behind

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 10 - 2014 0 Comment
Obvious Child

Unfortunately, it’s taken me long enough to get around to seeing Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child that by the time you read this review you may have a hard time finding the film if its content intrigues you.  The intrigue is real, though, just as are most of the personalities and situations here—although the story veers  [ Read More ]

Thumbs Up for the New Roger Ebert Documentary!

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 6 - 2014 0 Comment

Roger Ebert was a larger-than-life figure in the world of film criticism, both physically—he admits he was up to 300 lbs. at one point before he forced himself to address his weight and his alcoholism—and conceptually, in that his prolific writings, his huge personality amplified ever further with all those years critiquing movies on TV  [ Read More ]

Could We Transform This Franchise to Something Better?

Posted by Ken Burke On July - 6 - 2014 0 Comment

The latest entry in the ongoing Transformers saga has opened recently to a huge box-office response (not just domestically but also worldwide, including the biggest opening weekend ever in China, where part of the movie was shot) along with universal critical distain (17% positive reviews from the Rotten Tomatoes collective, 31% average score from the  [ Read More ]