Archive for the ‘Personal Takes’ Category

Wild Pitches That Strike Home

Posted by Ken Burke On March - 23 - 2015 0 Comment
war-worlds-broadcast-1938

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
129019_ori

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
MV5BMTQ1NDQ0MDYzMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzY5Nzk3MTE@._V1__SX1426_SY799_

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
125599_ori

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
113246A_gal

 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 ]

Birdman

    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
127234_gal

  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
125953_gal

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
126396_gal

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
126899_gal

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
121901_gal

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 ]

MV5BMTc1NjYwODIxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjkzNDM2MzE@._V1__SX1535_SY794_

  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 ]

MV5BMTQ3NzA5MTcxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODMzNjUxMjE@._V1._CR42,14,2914,1939__SX1535_SY794_

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
118484_gal

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
121085_gal

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
MV5BMjA0NzM2MDk1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODEwMzkxMzE@._V1__SX1360_SY801_

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 ]

124387_gal

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 ]

MV5BMTAyOTI5MTg5MDFeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDYyMjg4MTMx._V1__SX1002_SY787_

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
120790_gal

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
119453_gal

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
122527_gal

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
120681A_gal

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
112636_gal

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
123547_gal

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
119944_gal

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 ]