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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Sinful Spring

As theater goers were welcomed into Sin City, the calander welcomed in the beginning of the Spring movie season. The Frank Miller comic book adaptation brought to the screen by Miller and Robert Rodriguez was the first big-budget film of the calnder year and was a hit with both the critics and audiences alike. This spring may have bigger movies than even the summer with the arrival of the fiinal Star Wars saga and the beheamoth sci-fi film from Steven Spielberg, “War of the Worlds.” Along the way, there are films about haunted houses, ancient wars, galaxy hopping aliens and a Caped Crusader fighting an evil scarecrow.

The Amityville Horror

One of the biggest trends in Hollywood today seems to be the recycling of niche horror films made on the cheap for maximum profit. The team that brought you “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake is at it again with “The Amityville Horror.”

The latest telling of the classic horror tale stars Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George as a husband and wife who think they have found the perfect house to raise their three young children. The only problem is that the house seems to be possessed with evil spirits.

In the “Chainsaw” vein, the film promises to be a dark, moody and stylized modern telling of a classic horror story. However, Amityville has a trump card over other haunted house films — it’s based on a true story. (April 15)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams’ classic sci-fi novel finally comes to the big screen after years in movie development hell. Shortly before his death, Adams had reported that he had finally solved the riddle of turning his bizarre sprawling book into a terrific screenplay.

Fans of the book seem to be excited based on the glimpses shown in the preview for the film and the people involved in the project seem inspired. The big budget film was entrusted to a first time director because he apparently loved the books and had a unique vision.

The cast is also sprinkled with unconventional and interesting choices. The hero, Arthur Dent, is played by “The Office” alum Martin Freeman and his sidekick, Ford Prefect is played by hip-hop star and “Chappelle’s Show” contributor Mos Def. The cast also includes Sam Rockwell (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”), John Malkovich, Alan Rickman and Zooey Deschanel. (April 29)

Kingdom of Heaven

The sand and sandals epic continues with “Kingdom of Heaven,” an epic set in the Crusades about a young blacksmith who becomes a knight to help fight the war. The film features emerging star Orlando Bloom as the young knight and Liam Neeson as his mentor.

The genre has seemed stale since the breakout hit of “Gladiator” in 2000. “Troy” was tepidly received both critically and commercially in America and Oliver Stone’s “Alexander” was a flop of epic proportions.

However, if anyone can turn the fortunes films involving deserts, men in armor and CGI battles it is Ridley Scott who has crossed from genre to genre and is on an incredible hot streak with “Gladiator,” “Hannibal,” “Matchstick Men” and “Black Hawk Down.” (May 6)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Yes, the last two installments have been terrible bores. Yes, George Lucas couldn’t write his way out of a paper bag. And yes, the only thing more artificial than the acting has been the obviously digitized sets. But… well… this one is going to be rated PG-13.

The buzz has been building about the supposed last installment in the Star Wars saga for months, with die-hard fans already waiting in line for the film in California. Yes, they are waiting at the wrong theater, but they, and millions of their brethren, will flock to theaters once the film finally opens.

This final chapter does seem to hold promise, as it seems to be darker and decidedly more adult than previous chapters. Young Jedi, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is slowly losing way to the dark side of the force while at the same time the Republic is losing the Clone Wars and the Empire is taking over.

George Lucas has one more shot to prove that he could get it right, let us hope he takes advantage of it. (May 19)

The Longest Yard

Another big budget remake of a classic film is coming this Spring as Adam Sandler delivers “The Longest Yard.” In the film a prison football team takes on the prison guards.

The film stars and is produced by Sandler and directed by Peter Segal who previously directed him in “50 First Dates” and “Anger Management.” The cast also includes Chris Rock, Michael Irvin, Nelly and Nicholas Turturro along with Burt Reynolds, who played the Sandler role in the original film.

While it only looks like a typical Adam Sandler movie, a typical Adam Sandler movie usually means $130 million box office, which is probably all right by him. (May 27)

Mr. And Mrs. Smith

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” is a high concept action comedy starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who work, unbeknownst to the other as assassins. However, problems arise when both are told their next assignments are each other.

The film attempts to be a throwback to classic star driven adventure films with plenty of action and witty banter. The film is in the expert hands of Doug Liman who first gained notoriety as the indie director of “Swingers” and “Go” and later went on to direct the hit Matt Damon spy thriller “The Bourne Identity.”

Both Pitt and Jolie are attractive and incredibly charismatic, the only question is whether they have the necessary charisma together to make this kind of film work. (June 10)

Batman Begins

Capitalizing on the X-Men and Spiderman crazes Warner Brothers has decided to resurrect the Batman franchise that had previously been killed off by Joel Schumacher and his anatomically correct bat suit.

They put their successful franchise in the hands of British director Christopher Nolan, who has more experience making moody dramas (“Memento,” “Insomnia”) than comic book films. Nolan has promised to get back to the darker roots of the caped crusader and tell the story of the morally conflicted Bruce Wayne.

If moody was Nolan’s goal then he chose the perfect star in Christian Bale of “American Psycho” fame. Rounding out the all-star cast is Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe and Katie Holmes. (June 17)

War of the Worlds

Bridging the spring and summer seasons is perhaps the biggest film of the year. Spielberg returns to summer popcorn sci-fi fun for the first time since “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” in 1997.

The remake of the classic film based on H.G. Wells’ novel tells the tale of the greatest war on Earth between man and aliens and the people caught in the middle, mainly Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his children, including one played by Dakota Fanning. The film promises a lot of amazing special effects and amazing action sequences intertwined with a compelling family drama like only Spielberg can deliver. (June 2)

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