Category Archives: Movie review

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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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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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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Magic Mike’s Target Audience…

There isn’t one. Magic Mike is a great movie, one of the best American films so far this year (the others, for the record, are Moonrise Kingdom, The Grey, Chronicle and Cabin in the Woods). It’s also an important film. In a … Continue reading

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Ted: The Shadow of a Great Movie

I have no problem with Seth MacFarlane as an animator, comedian, writer, or person. I’ve never cared for Family Guy – its humor and animation strike me as lazy without reason, the result not of an aesthetic choice (like South … Continue reading

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Why is it called “Brave”?: Pixar’s Problem of Flow and Gender

Do I need to explain why Pixar’s awesome? It’s a given by now, and I’ll only add that they prove a company made up of self-motivated artists devoted to their craft can enjoy continued commercial and critical success. That said, I … Continue reading

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