Category Archives: Close analysis

Trailer Thrash VII: The Croods, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, The Smurfs 2

Every Saturday, Check the Reel features Trailer Trash, a close look at previews, trailers, and sneak peeks for films not yet released. What does the rest of the year promise for theatres and Netflix accounts? Which are the masterpieces? Which are the … Continue reading

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Reappraising Raising Arizona: Why We Revisit Films

FOREWORD: You might be wondering why Check the Reel‘s been so barren. Briefly: I made the transition back to college at the start of September; since then schoolwork and personal life have done their part to keep my online output … Continue reading

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Not the Only Titan: Moving Past the Age of Pixar

Last month the news broke that Pixar was working on Finding Nemo 2. Original Nemo director Andrew Stanton, reported to also helm the sequel, played the usual Hollywood game of denying without denying anything, and though Pixar’s made no official announcement Ellen Degeneres … Continue reading

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ParaNorman: What Brave Should Have Been

After The Dark Knight Rises, I told myself, “That’s it for summer.” There was still another month-and-a-half of $200-300 million budget blockbusters to go, from Bourne Legacy to the Total Recall remake, and this weekend it ends with a literal bang as Expendables II rolls into … Continue reading

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Film

A friend responded to my Dark Knight Rises review with a pithy “So, uh… do you like any movie?” Admittedly, most of my articles on Check the Reel have either been critical (Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man) or qualified in their praise (Ted, DKR), … Continue reading

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Rise and Descent: Judging the Batman Trilogy’s Final Flight

(NOTE: It’s unfortunate one can’t talk about The Dark Knight Rises without talking about the tragedy from last night, and that the enjoyment of art, an act meant to combat the darkness, fear and uncertainties of life, must be obscured by the … Continue reading

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Star Acting vs. Responsibility to Narrative vs. The Amazing Spider-Man

Every time someone says The Amazing Spider-Man is better than Sam Raimi’s trilogy I cringe. In fact, it hits me right in the heart, because as a critic I aim to understand how and why people respond to films in certain … Continue reading

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