Archive for the ‘Personal Takes’ Category

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 ]

Are Three and Four Your Lucky Numbers?

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

As usual, there’s a lot to pick from at your local movie houses but one offering you could choose isn’t the usual loud and long extravaganza (Transformers: Age of Extinction), silly romantic comedy (Think Like a Man Too), or just plain silly but with lots of action (22 Jump Street).  The alternative of which I  [ Read More ]

A Coffee in Berlin-5

I’ve recently posted my detailed review  of three cinematic offerings, A Coffee in Berlin, Cold in July, and 22 Jump Street, that have just about nothing to do with each other (except that Wyatt Russell—son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn—is in two of them, playing a low-life porno-snuff-film-scumbag in … July and a lamebrain  [ Read More ]

Keep On Tryin’ ‘till You Reach the Highest Ground

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

The recent success of X-Men: Days of Future Past brought up all sorts of discussions of movies that use time travel to the past to correct a present catastrophe, so now we can move on to a variation of that with the new Tom Cruise-Emily Blunt sci-fi action-charged thriller, Edge of Tomorrow (which I note  [ Read More ]

Are the Stars Out Tonight?

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

When you encounter something like The Fault in Our Stars that you know is supposed to confront you with sad, intense situations how do you really know when what you feel (especially if your face is so wet with tears that your popcorn is getting soggy) is the result of sincere emotions being stirred within  [ Read More ]

A Double Shot of Fantasy

Posted by Ken Burke On June - 8 - 2014 0 Comment

Given that the most financially-dominating experiences at your local movie houses this weekend either come directly from the Fantasy genre (or have elements of fantasy in them, even though they may be from other genres: Romance—The Fault in Our Stars, teenagers with cancer face life like mature adults [although I haven’t seen it yet so  [ Read More ]

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

Posted by Ken Burke On June - 3 - 2014 0 Comment

I’ve given this discussion prompt the title of an old Bee Gees song, possibly because I recently saw Barry Gibb’s fabulous “Mythology” concert in tribute to his three deceased siblings and the marvelous career that he, Robin, and Maurice had as the Brothers Gibb (along with Andy Gibb’s solo work) but it’s also appropriate for  [ Read More ]

A Spicy Triumph or a Bit Undercooked?

Posted by Ken Burke On May - 29 - 2014 0 Comment

You’re going to find a lot of positive critical commentary on Jon Favreau’s Chef, a textbook example of auteur filmmaking in which he’s the screenwriter, director, and lead actor.  Whether all of that high praise is fully deserved is up to you because I have to admit that with the trailer, the promo shots in  [ Read More ]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I Think Not

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

  I’m a little late in getting around to calling attention to the latest minor-crimes-against-humanity slapstick comedy starring Seth Rogen because I was distracted by Godzilla (he was attacking San Francisco; I live just across the Bay so I had to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice until he was through smashing skyscrapers  [ Read More ]


Two of the new offerings at your local (or not) cineplex couldn’t be any more different in content, tone, budget, and production complexities (although they come closest on that last item, given the matching double-exposure work needed in one of them).  The two include the latest version of Godzilla, in which we start the franchise  [ Read More ]

Top of the Heap? Depends on the Borough

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

Given that Popculture Galaxy is New York City-based, it seems only right that this mini-essay that deals with two cinematic depictions of the Big Apple should go under Featured Posts, but I guess I’ll just have to leave that to Editor-In-Chief Jonah Jameson Mark Bridge, won’t I? (Just kidding, Mark; get your finger off of that  [ Read More ]

Don’t Know Much About History? Here’s Some Help

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

If you can get to your local movie house fast enough you may be able to catch at least one of these currently-running (I hope) history-based films which cover quite a gamut of fiction-enhanced drama based on fact to pure documentary, all of which you can find more information about in my detailed review.  The  [ Read More ]

Stalking the Impossible

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

Depending on what other reviews you may have read about the NFL-focused Draft Day and the artificial intelligence-focused Transcendence you would most likely be inclined to avoid both of them (at Rotten Tomatoes Draft Day has only 62% positive reviews while the bottom has dropped out for Transcendence with a measly 19% positive) but I’d  [ Read More ]


There are a couple of British films (one from England, one from Scotland—even if some Scots don’t care to be part of Great Britain, and may not be by the end of this year, depending on how a referendum vote goes next September) just now opening or going wider in American markets that I’d like  [ Read More ]

Trust Issues

Posted by Ken Burke On April - 12 - 2014 0 Comment

I’ve recently posted a review of several cinematic offerings that in their various ways deal with trust problems, with the most obvious one of the bunch being the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier in which no one seems to trust each other at all until about midway through the story.  Patriotic Cap, Steve Rogers, thinks  [ Read More ]

Sacred and Profane (you choose which is which)

Posted by Ken Burke On April - 5 - 2014 1 Comment

If you come to Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, his version of how and why the Biblical Great Flood happened, expecting to get a rosy, upbeat telling of the Genesis story with this patriarch and his family as the only decent human beings left on Earth when God decided to wipe the slate (and the planet) clean with  [ Read More ]

Been There, Dune That

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 29 - 2014 0 Comment

  I wanted to call your attention to an interesting new documentary which may come and go quickly unless diehard sci-fi fans manage to generate enough buzz on its behalf.  It concerns the unsuccessful attempts by cult-embraced Chilean filmmaker (although his most noted work has been done in Mexico and France) Alejandro Jodorowsky to bring  [ Read More ]

Alternative Garden of Eden: Embrace the Snake

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 20 - 2014 0 Comment
Nympho 5

I haven’t been getting many replies to my posts here lately so if this film title and photo don’t catch your attention then I don’t know what will.  Assuming that you clicked in to see what’s going on here, let me tell you a bit about Nymphomaniac: Volume I.  If you know anything about Lars  [ Read More ]

Skyrockets in Flight

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 13 - 2014 0 Comment
Non-Stop 2

Unless you’ve caught up with the 2013 Oscar winners and nominees that you’d previously missed from the last few months you might be wondering what to choose from the not-so-consistently enthusiastically-received releases that are on your local movie screens.  While anyone could make an argument for any of the several current box-office champs making the  [ Read More ]

Post-Oscar Pleasures

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 7 - 2014 0 Comment

Now that the Oscars have been awarded (refer to my predictions and results if needed), I’d like to recommend your attention to a couple of films that didn’t win for 2013 but are still in theaters and one just opening that might have a shot at the Best Cinematography Oscar next year if the Academy voters  [ Read More ]

Oscar-Winner Predictions for 2013 Films

Posted by Ken Burke On February - 26 - 2014 0 Comment
Amry Oscar

This coming Sunday, March 2, 2014, beginning at 5:30pm Pacific Time (8:30 Eastern) on ABC we’ll find this year’s awarding of the Oscar statuettes to—if not the most deserving cinematic work released in 2013—the films considered to be the best by the roughly 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Rarely  [ Read More ]

Third-Rate Romance, High-Rent Rendezvous

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

There are a couple of films still making the rounds after not having scored as they might have recently on Valentine’s Day weekend which deal with the mystical visions of love and its counterpart of harsh realities.  The main reason these offerings didn’t do so well with box-office-receipts has to do with their very natures:   [ Read More ]