colin farrell

Review: “Epic”

I’m genuinely eager to thumb through William Joyce’s picture book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs,” the credited source material for “Epic,” just to see how much in common the movie has with the 1996 text. That’s because the movie plays less like an original creation than the result of its (count ‘em)

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Review: “Seven Psychopaths”

“Seven Psychopaths” is not so much under- or over-written as it is written. It’s a comedic crime thriller that becomes about its own construction ala “Adaptation,” with writer/director Martin McDonaugh figuring as the lead. But unlike the Spike Jonze film, “Seven Psychopaths” never really gels right; its disparate elements, often strong on their own, chafe against

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Review: “Total Recall”

It’s fitting that Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” remake features a gigantic robot army, given that his films have always demonstrated the bare minimum level of interest in actual people. That’s why Wiseman was a particularly poor choice for adapting Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 masterpiece about a man who discovers that his memories are false and he’s

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Streaming Pick: “The Way Back” (2010)

Peter Weir’s 2010 film “The Way Back” is a magnificent true story that just so happens not to be true. Based on “The Long Walk” by Gulag survivor Slawomir Rawicz, the film concerns a group of Soviet prisoners in 1939 who make a run for freedom. Problem is, they start in the middle of Siberia, trekking south towards hopeful freedom. By the time the surviving escapees reach safety, they’ve walked over 4,000 miles.

Rawicz’s book was apparently inspiring enough to sell over half a million copies upon publication in 1956, though recent records have indicated that the author did not escape from the Gulag, but was released in 1942. So the film was at least inspired by, if not directly based, on the tale of a liar, one who might have found that merely surviving the Gulag wasn’t itself an interesting enough story. We’re commonly moved by entirely fictional stories, but does a lie accepted as truth deserve the same respect?

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