Archive for the ‘Personal Takes’ Category

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

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

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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 ]

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 ]