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Luke has written 14 reviews for films during 2013.

  • The Purple Rose of Cairo

    The Purple Rose of Cairo

    ★★★★½

    Woody Allen's whimsical comedy about a movie character that steps out of the screen and befriends a married women trapped in an abusive marriage, is nothing short of a true delight, and one of the greatest movies about movies ever made. Not only does it feature warm and memorable characters, and a completely original story for its time, but it also courageously examines the nature of why we go to the movies, while at the same time not allowing itself to be marred by typical Hollywood cliches that so many films often fall into.

    Grade: A

  • The Kings of Summer

    The Kings of Summer

    ★★★

    3 high school guys, fed up with authority, rules, and living under their parents’ roof decide to run away. Building a house in a nearby forest, they claim it as their kingdom to rule over. However, things don’t go as well as they hoped and they quickly learn that growing up to quickly has them wishing they were back at home. A mix between MOONRISE KINGDOM and INTO THE WILD, though this film lacks the whit of MOONRISE and the depth of INTO THE WILD, it still boasts warm characters, an interesting premise, and lots of laughs. It remains an enjoyable summer movie.

  • The Act of Killing

    The Act of Killing

    ★★★★½

    Joshua Openheimer’s searing documentary about former Indonesian communist killers is a profound statement about many things including murder, celebrity, the effects of Hollywood, and moral decay. It follows three older men as they plan and produce a bizarre film about their countries dark history, in which a 1965 military uprising led to the death of 1 million hypothesized communists who were systematically and viciously murdered by local gangsters given military approval and power. There accounts are grisly and horrifying, which…

  • Monsters University

    Monsters University

    ★★★½

    Mike and Sully are back, accept this time we meet them as they enter into their first year of College, and before they are best friends. They both have one goal in mind, to graduate from “Scare School” and get a job at Monster’s Incorporated. The film follows their misadventures in college, and they are hilarious ones at that, and full of wonderful and creative characters. The folks at Pixar have crafted a film that is sweet, nostalgic, and very…

  • Rising from Ashes

    Rising from Ashes

    ★★★★

    I am probably biased as I have been to Africa twice now, but I found this documentary to be incredibly delightful from its lush photography to its vibrant musical selections. Underdog stories don’t get much more underdog than this as we see a team of cyclists rise from the Rwandan genocide of the 90’s all the way to the Olympic games in 2012. This is a film that inspires, captivates, and touches the heart with its message of brotherhood, perseverance, and reconciliation.

  • The Sapphires

    The Sapphires

    ★★

    Based on a true story, three aborigine sisters, and there cousin, along with their white manager, win a talent contest that sends them on a singing tour through war torn Vietnam in order to entertain and boost the morale of American soldiers. On their journey to bring soul music to the war front, they face strife within their group and outside as they reach for stardom beyond the racism that still entangles their society. Though the film boasts some comical…

  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

    The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

    ★★

    The best part of this film was when the credits magically appeared. If only they had come a bit sooner. Steve Buscemi and Steve Carrel are nerdy best friends Burt and Anton who grow up to become Vegas magician sensations. However, though rich and famous, their fame and friendship is tested by a radical new form of magic introduced by Jim Carrey’s street smart Steve Gray. The battle of the magicians and the right to headline at a new casino ensues. Though the film boasts a few genuine laughs, it’s exactly what you think it would be, silly and forgettable.

  • Blancanieves

    Blancanieves

    ★★★★

    I found this silent, black and white, Spanish retelling of the Snow White story, and in some ways Cinderella, to be thoroughly enjoyable. Many will compare it to THE ARTIST, and they will do so unfairly. In many ways I found this to be a superior film to THE ARTIST and I wonder if this film had been released two years ago if THE ARTIST would have received as much pomp and circumstance. The film has a whimsy and enchantment…

  • Disconnect

    Disconnect

    ★★★½

    Like MAGNOLIA and CRASH, DISONNECT weaves multiple storylines together in order to present the case that the internet might not be connecting us together as much as we hope or think. Though the story lines could be better intermingled, I found Henry Alex Rubin’s film to be timely and emotionally hard hitting. What becomes front and center in this parable of human relationships is that the internet is a tool that can be wielded for good or for evil, and…

  • Oz the Great and Powerful

    Oz the Great and Powerful

    ★★½

    From a technical and design perspective, OZ was one of the most imaginative and beautiful worlds created since AVATAR. From a story perspective while the beginning was promising the end proved to be ho hum in presenting a hero who uses manipulation and tricks in order to save the day. Then again, how do you set up a prequel about a character that doesn’t really complete his story arc until the next film? It leaves the film mostly pleasant to look at, but unfortunately unsatisfying in depth the story department. Rachel Weiss remains the films greatest asset.

  • Ginger & Rosa

    Ginger & Rosa

    ★½

    This story of friendship between two British teenage girls and their growing political activism boasts some great performances, especially from Elle Fanning, but overall the story remains underdeveloped.

  • Upside Down

    Upside Down

    ★★★

    Two worlds with their own gravity fields exist nearly on top of each other. In one exists the rich and technologically advanced, and in the other, the poor working class. Forbidden to communicate with others from opposite world, a chance meeting between Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst) as kids quickly turns into a prolonged romance. However, after an accident Eden is stricken with amnesia and Adam will have to overcome the gravity of both worlds in order to…