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Monsters University

By: Addison Wylie The most impressive attribute about Monsters University, besides its wit and vibrant animation, is its choice to not use nostalgia as a crutch to help connect movie goers – young and old – to the characters they loved in Pixar’s predecessor. Instead, the film uses two main tactics Monsters Inc. utilized to develop excitement and compassion.  Those two ingredients are imagination and heart. The campus life of Mike Wazowski and James P….

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The Place Beyond the Pines

By: Addison Wylie With his latest feature film, writer/director Derek Cianfrance has already made his Magnolia with The Place Beyond the Pines, an excellent and expansive drama intertwining complex characters and haunting pasts with a twist of fate. This is, without a doubt, a step in the right direction for Cianfrance who made a name for himself rather quickly with 2010’s Blue Valentine.  I was a fan of the tightly wound performances in Blue Valentine,…

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OZ: The Great and Powerful

By: Addison Wylie I could say that Sam Raimi’s OZ: The Great and Powerful puts the ‘Z’ in OZ because of how sluggish and boring it is, but that wouldn’t make for much of a review. Instead, OZ: The Great and Powerful can be compared to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, another big budget fairy tale that shares the same strengths and weaknesses as OZ. Like Tim Burton’s hit, Raimi’s family film is far more interesting…

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This Is 40

By: Addison Wylie I would love to see what writer/director Judd Apatow could do with a film that punches out after 90 minutes – including credits. This Is 40 starts out strong and funny, but is then torpedoed by needless subplots that are tediously stretched out causing the runtime to slowly expand. Apatow has shown with his previous directorial work that he loves to let his material breathe. Not in a pretentious way, but in…

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Hotel Transylvania

By: Addison Wylie It’s unfortunate to report that Hotel Transylvania is a disappointment.  Even young children will pick up on how often this neat set-up is treated as a one-note joke. Hotel Transylvania has everything a kid could want from a timely Halloween release including oodles of monsters. Frankenstein (voiced by Kevin James), the Invisible Man (voiced by David Spade), a talking werewolf (voiced by Steve Buscemi), and a mummy (voiced by CeeLo Green) all…