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Michael Clark

Stories by Michael

Movie Trivia Contest — Nov. 7, 2014

So, you think you’re good at movie trivia?

DISC SPOT: “The Sopranos the Complete Series Blu-ray”

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “The Sopranos the Complete Series Blu-ray”

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Interstellar’ confusing, sci-fi adventure extravaganza

Not long after his second and third critically-acclaimed but poor-box office performing features (“Memento” and “Insomnia”), Christopher Nolan signed on to direct three “Batman” movies and by default, he became one of the most powerful filmmakers in the world.

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Citizenfour’ does little to sway opinions about Snowden

Unlike the directors of live-action movies - who only have to entertain people - documentary filmmakers (if they’re doing it right) have to be unbiased, informative and entertaining.

Movie Trivia Contest — Oct. 31, 2014

So, you think you’re good at movie trivia?

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Nightcrawler' tackles issues of media hype and an ever-escalating global mindset

If there was ever a movie that knew just where to put its bad parts and get away with it, it would be “Nightcrawler.” Opening with a montage of vista shots of L.A. landmarks at dusk, it introduces us to lead character Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) and in no time flat we’re positive he’s a calm, well-mannered, highly intelligent psychopath with a masterfully economic command of the English language.

American Political X — Top 10 political movies

Unlike the typical blasé midterm elections where most people sit at home and greet them with a collective, gaping yawn, the ones taking place next week – in addition to being the most expensive ever – will likely have a wide-reaching effect on the American political, cultural and economic landscapes for the next two years, if not longer.

DISC SPOTLIGHT: Stanley Kubrick the Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film Stanley Kubrick the Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray

Ultra-violent action thriller "John Wick" successfully avoids cliche

In his nearly three-decade career as a leading man, Keanu Reeves has been in just three movies (“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Speed” and the first “Matrix”) that have any kind of staying power.

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: October 24

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

‘Birdman’ delivers true innovation, daring filmmaking

When it was announced in 1988 that Michael Keaton was going to play the title character in Tim Burton’s “Batman,” longtime fans of the Dark Knight cried bloody murder.

DISC SPOT: “Snowpiercer”

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “Snowpiercer.”

Edgar Allan Poe adaptation "Stonehearst Asylum" unscary, unremarkable

Only slightly better than the original title (“Eliza Graves”), “Stonehearst Asylum” is certainly more marketable and audience friendly than the Edgar Allan Poe short story on which it is based.

Murray delivers Oscar-worthy performance in ‘St. Vincent’

Because of his looks (average) and typical on-screen persona (irascible), Billy Murray will never be “adored” by the mainstream but is pretty much considered a national treasure amongst art-house types and the press.

MOVIE TRIVA CONTEST: October 17

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

‘Automata’ presents tired doomsday scenario

By far, the biggest complaint about movies from critics (or anyone interested in originality) is the unchecked, assembly-line mindset regarding sequels.

‘Fury’ unoriginal, unimaginative war movie

Prior to “Fury,” David Ayer wrote six police dramas (all of which he directed), the first installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise and “U-571,” a World War II thriller set in the close confines of a German submarine.

DISC SPOT: “Fargo: The Complete First Season”

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “Fargo: The Complete First Season”

MOVIE TRIVA CONTEST: October 10

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

MOVIE REVIEW: Amatuerish 'I Am Ali' is biggest disappointment of 2014 season

Even if you include world leaders, artsy types and those in the scientific community, there is probably no one person from the 20th century who could be – from a pure entertainment perspective - a more interesting subject for a documentary film than Muhammad Ali.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Pride' fails to impress by playing it too safe

Although they’ve been around forever, the sub-genre frequently referred to as “the quaint low-budget British dramedy” picked up considerable steam in the late ‘90s with films like “The Full Monty,” and “Four Weddings & A Funeral” and continued with, among others, “Notting Hill,” “Calendar Girls,” “Love Actually” and the two “Bridget Jones” flicks.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Men, Women & Children' full of insightful, social commentary

After starting his career with three near-perfect movies (“Thank You for Smoking,” “Juno” and “Up in the Air”) director Jason Reitman backslid somewhat with “Young Adult” then backslid a lot with “Labor Day.”

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Judge' a shockingly profane and off-putting drama

“The Judge” goes far in proving that even the best actors cannot overcome sloppy direction and a poorly written, bad-taste screenplay.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Kill the Messenger' offers look into pre-internet journalism

For anyone who works for a news reporting company (newspapers in particular), watching a movie like “Kill the Messenger” hits real close to home.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Left Behind' could be the worst movie of 2014

Not long after the unexpected box-office global windfall of “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004, studios began tripping all over each other as they raced to cash-in on what was mistakenly identified as the “Christian Film Movement.”

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Gone Girl' weighed down by excessive running length

Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay), “Gone Girl” is exactly the kind of movie we’ve come to expect from director David Fincher.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Good Lie' satisfies fans of the feel-good, inspirational genre

At about the halfway point in “The Good Lie” one of the three main characters gives his opinion of what a “good lie” is by pointing out a passage in “Huckleberry Finn” when the title character of that book explains what a “good lie” means. If you have to fib a little for the sake of good cause it’s OK to lie.

MOVIE TRIVA CONTEST: October 3

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

Tease photo

DISC SPOTLIGHT: 'Gone with the Wind 70th Anniversary Edition'

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “Gone with the Wind 70th Anniversary Edition”

DISC SPOTLIGHT: ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”

'Good People' lacks originality

If you never saw “A Simple Plan” or “Shallow Grave,” “Good People” will probably strike you as a pretty decent crime thriller and morality play.

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: September 26

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

‘The Boxtrolls” macabre-style animation caters to specific tastes

The third release from the upstart studio Laika, “The Boxtrolls” is a stop-motion animated film that will likely receive the same kind of audience and critical reaction as the first two (“Coraline” and “ParaNorman”): love or hate.

‘The Equalizer’ slow start but Washington delivers great performance

Sharing little more than the name of the lead character and the title of the ‘80s TV show on which it is based, “The Equalizer” is an ultra-stylized action drama that is a quasi-hybrid of “Death Wish” and “Taken.”

MOVIE REVIEW: Dysfunctional family dramedy 'This is Where I Leave You' fails to impress

A relatively new genre, the dysfunctional family dramedy is something many have attempted and few have pulled off. Some of them (“Home for the Holidays,” the original “Death at a Funeral,” “City Island”) have just right mix of seething anger and dark humor while most (“The Family Stone,” “Because I Said So” and many others) strain themselves beyond repair. They are neither poignant nor funny.

MOVIE REVIEW: Attention to detail and depth make 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' successful

It’s exceedingly rare for screenwriters to be nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for penning action comedies but Scott Frank did just that in the ‘90s with “Get Shorty” and “Out of Sight.” It’s no coincidence that both movies were based on Elmore Leonard novels where danger and folly live side by side quite comfortably.

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: September 19

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

DISC SPOTLIGHT: 'Eraserhead'

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “Eraserhead”

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: September 12

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

"The Drop" a fitting exit for the talented Gandolfini

In adapting his own short story “Animal Rescue,” first-time screenwriter Dennis Lehane traded in his native Boston for Brooklyn, omitted most of the action elements and replaced them with a much more nuanced character drama.

"Love is Strange" explores gay marriage at the perfect time

Over the past two decades, writer/director Ira Sachs has made a half-dozen feature films with most of them taking place to some degree or another within the LGBT community.

DISC SPOTLIGHT: The Midnight Special

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “The Midnight Special”

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Last of Robin Hood' offers nothing new about the life of Errol Flynn

While far from Hollywood’s greatest tragic burn-out case, Errol Flynn’s midlife crisis nonetheless ruined his career, prematurely aged him and eventually ended his life at the relatively young age of 50.

Fall 2014 movie preview

A look at the films scheduled to be released in 2014.

DISC SPOTLIGHT: 'For No Good Reason'

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film “For No Good Reason”

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: September 5

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Identical' is flawlessly executed

An interesting curio, “The Identical” presents a fascinating, fictional, “what if” scenario that is somewhat based on real events

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Life of Crime’ would have worked better in the 80’s

Saddled with a forgettable, generic title, “Life of Crime” is a film that might have worked better had it come out when originally intended (1986) and contained anywhere near the level of stinging and caustic wit of its’ source material.

DISC SPOTLIGHT: ALL THAT JAZZ

Micheal Clark spotlights the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film

MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: August 29

Test your film knowledge with these questions. One lucky participant will win a prize pack.