Archive for the ‘Personal Takes’ Category

Catch a Wave and You’re Sittin’ on Top of the World

Posted by Ken Burke On June - 11 - 2015 0 Comment

The two current films (although one is much more so than the other, based on time in release) that I’d like to actively recommend to you (and which are explored in detail in my spoiler-filled review) are completely off in another direction from the high-powered box-office hits that are already opened, soon to be joined  [ Read More ]

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Ken Burke On June - 6 - 2015 0 Comment

I realize that I’m a bit late in posting some comments on two relatively-new movies, Tomorrowland and San Andreas, but that’s due to some production problems at my end that are explained in my detailed review, also posted last week a bit later than I normally prefer.  However, my temporary noninvolvement hasn’t seemed to have  [ Read More ]

Madness Rides Through the Desert Again

Posted by Ken Burke On May - 27 - 2015 0 Comment

You surely know by now that “Mad” Max Rockatansky is on the road again—or at least what passes for roads in the almost-total-desert that is near-future-Australia after nuclear war over oil and water has left what we know of Earth in the sort of state that actual Australia was suffering through not long ago as  [ Read More ]

“Will the landslide bring you down?”

Posted by Ken Burke On May - 15 - 2015 0 Comment

The title I chose for this discussion prompt is from a well-known Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide,” a song from which I pulled the title of my actual detailed review of an intriguing film, Clouds of Sils Maria (also appropriate because of the Alps setting of the story) starring renowned French actor (despite the objections of  [ Read More ]

Heroes and Villains, from Comic Books to Forests

Posted by Ken Burke On May - 11 - 2015 0 Comment

Now that Avengers: Age of Ultron has hit a height of over $875 million globally (and still actively climbing, which will surely take it farther up than its current #38 on the All-Time global list) I doubt there’s much I could say about this over-stuffed story that would matter as it’s already been actively seen  [ Read More ]

Eternal Women

Posted by Ken Burke On May - 1 - 2015 0 Comment

A couple of interesting choices available to you at many of your local movie houses feature two very unique female (although you may have to consider and debate that term where one of them is concerned) protagonists (although you might well consider one of them more as the antagonist, depending on where your sympathies lie  [ Read More ]

History Offers Some Bitter Lessons

Posted by Ken Burke On April - 27 - 2015 0 Comment

There are a couple of films somewhat available for your consideration if you’re looking for alternatives to such fare as Furious 7, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Home, The Longest Ride, and Get Hard (although the one I want to promote the most, Black Souls, will be the hardest to find as it’s seemingly playing  [ Read More ]

Gold, Old, and Rolled

Posted by Ken Burke On April - 16 - 2015 0 Comment

I’m not going to try to rationalize any connections among the most recent cinematic opportunities that I’ve had a chance to see and review; they’re just three unrelated current releases playing in at least some of your local movie houses, the latter one especially which may be on its way to being seen by everyone  [ Read More ]

Inspirations from John Lennon, Part 2

Posted by Ken Burke On April - 14 - 2015 0 Comment

While it apparently never got a chance to play very much in the U.S., Spain’s entry in the competition for the most recent Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, tells a marvelously-intriguing story, based in fact, about a Spanish teacher of English to middle-school kids back in 1966 who was  [ Read More ]

There are two great documentaries well worth your time to see, but they’re playing in the giant shadow of the recent opening of the car-crazies in Furious 7 (took in an astounding $147 million domestically in its first weekend, now has climbed to over $161 million making it the third-highest-grossing film of 2015 in less  [ Read More ]

It took me almost as long to get around to seeing one of the movies in my latest reviews as it did for some of the protagonists to get into present day (considering that group is all vampires from a time span of many millennia ago all the way up to our current era where a  [ Read More ]

Wild Pitches That Strike Home

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 23 - 2015 0 Comment

As you can read in my detailed review of three options that you might have at your local movie houses—one for sure, as it’s playing actively all over the world, but the other two may be considerably harder to find—there are some varied choices to be found in current offerings that should provide something useful  [ Read More ]

Double Dev (Patel, that is) Delights (mostly, that is)

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 17 - 2015 0 Comment

While Dev Patel’s characters in both of the current, competing releases, Chappie and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, aren’t exactly the central focus of these respective movies they are critical in energizing the two plots which deal respectively with: (1) the challenges faced by humanity when true sentient consciousness emerges in a computer-driven robot  [ Read More ]

Hidden Sides of Public Life

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 10 - 2015 0 Comment

The odd but somewhat appropriate pairing of new cinematic options for you in Maps to the Stars and Focus, with analysis contained in my most recent detailed reviews, presents us with stories that take place behind the standard facades of normality, whether that “normality” is the exaggerated, meta-media world of Hollywood filmmaking or the sites  [ Read More ]

Final Oscar Catch-Ups and Some Newer Offerings

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 4 - 2015 0 Comment

Now that the dust has settled from the recent Oscar award decisions for films released in 2014 (details on the winners, along with my somewhat-correct predictions available if you’re still interested in looking them over) I’ve finally had a chance to see some of the now-somewhat-passé (but still worth seeing) contenders (including a couple of  [ Read More ]

Oscar Predictions for 2014 Films

Posted by Ken Burke On February - 19 - 2015 0 Comment

 I invite you to read my new posting at my Film Reviews from Two Guys in the Dark blog site (although I’m the only one writing reviews, but it’s a long story …), which is my cluster of predictions for who will win the Oscars—to be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2015—for feature, documentary, and short  [ Read More ]

    By now 2014 is getting to be a distant image in the rear-view mirror but it’ll stage a notable comeback this coming weekend (Sunday, Feb. 22, 5:30pm PST/8:30 EST, ABC TV) when the Oscars are given out for what the majority of about 6,000 voters determine their opinions to be for the top  [ Read More ]

Sometimes It’s Hard To Be a Woman (just ask these two)

Posted by Ken Burke On February - 10 - 2015 0 Comment

  Now that the critics groups’ awards have all been conferred and the nominations from the industry guilds are in place, those of us in the hinterlands (an odd concept for a place like the San Francisco area, but where “small film” release schedules are concerned it’s often true here more than you’d think) are  [ Read More ]

Got Violence? Here’s Plenty for You

Posted by Ken Burke On February - 3 - 2015 0 Comment

I’d like to call your attention to my latest detailed review, this time a tale of two early Oscar-potential-buzzers from two well-respected directors featuring some notable actors, one of which, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, did grab six Oscar noms (Best Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing) in anticipation of that upcoming Feb.  [ Read More ]

Sorrow, Silliness, and Sex (somewhat), So Take Your Pick

Posted by Ken Burke On January - 27 - 2015 0 Comment

Now that the Oscar nominations for 2014 film releases have been announced, there’s been some time for controversies to build over such topics as exclusions (here, there, and everywhere but primarily about Selma’s director and lead actor being left out) and red-blue clashes over content (primarily about whether American Sniper is a jingoistic pro-war diatribe—as  [ Read More ]

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 ]