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Showing posts from November, 2016

"Tower" Review (***½)

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“Tower” mixes animation with archival footage. “Tower” follows the tragic story of the 1966 University of Texas at Austin sniper shooting. This documentary brilliantly juxtaposes live action film, radio archives, and animations to parallel the narration of both survivors and witnesses to the event. One thing I had difficulty remembering was how unheard of school shootings were at the time. It’s almost an unsettling blast from the past into just a relevant presence, but one important aspect of this film is that it does not ‘glorify’ the killer. “Tower” truly focuses on the heroes and survivors, while honoring the victims. “Tower” makes curious artistic choices in its visuals. The roughly 80-minute runtime is full of historical footage, new animation, and live action interviews—all intriguing and well-balanced. However, the neat difference is in the decision to layer live footage with animation. A few of the scenes mesh reality and ‘cartoon’ to fill the gaps lost in the time it took cam

"Arrival" Review (****½)

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Amy Adams stars in “Arrival.” Denis Villeneuve, one of our most consistent filmmakers, has crafted one of the best sci-fi movies of the decade with “Arrival.” A slow-burn, intellectual approach keeps the story front and center—and what a story it is. Amy Adams plays Louise Banks, a linguist whose skillset becomes invaluable when mysterious spacecrafts land around the world—twelve different ones to be exact. Hovering quietly above random locations across the globe, humanity has to make the next move. Do we attack? What do they want? Why are there twelve? These questions are only the beginning of the mystery that falls into the hands of Louise and her physicist partner Ian (Jeremy Renner). The two of them board one of the giant floating pods in search of answers and are face to face with the aliens themselves. Giant, 7-tentical beings engulfed in white mist, the aliens spray a black substance against the wall that separates them as if writing in their language. Buried in hazmat suits, Lo