Films

by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, July 30 | Posted in Film

Remember when movies were fun?

Actually, let me clarify. Remember when experiencing movies was fun?

Once upon a time, in a magical, now largely mythologized era known as the 1980s, this author — who has served as a film critic since around 2001 or 2002 — was just an awkward, alienated, nerdish kid trapped in childhood in a tiny Kansas town.

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by Don Winsor | Tuesday, June 30 | Posted in Film

Jurassic World is the fourth film in a beloved series centered around people running from dinosaurs which wouldn't exist if people weren't horrible. The first Jurassic Park was released in 1993 with a strong cast and groundbreaking special effects. Effects which if we're honest with ourselves, while still passable, don't REALLY hold up in places. The directing chores this time are handled by the very capable Colin Trevorrow, who helmed the offbeat indie Safety Not Guaranteed which not enough people have seen.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, June 11 | Posted in Film

The horror franchise.

It has been a staple of cinema going back to the Universal Monsters years, often following the logic that, if produced on a modest budget for medium to big returns, it's an easy well to revisit every year or so as long as the audience keeps turning out.

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by Mike Marlett | Monday, June 8 | Posted in Film

Nerds, squeeeee.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, June 4 | Posted in Film

If you've seen the trailer for San Andreas, rest assured you already know exactly what type of film it is. Remember that spate from the late 1990s through the late 2000s when films like The Day After Tomorrow, Volcano, 2012 and Deep Impact were major moneymakers? Yeah… it's one of those sort of things.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, June 4 | Posted in Film

Immortality is a quality we all fantasize about. We all know someone (or are someone) who doesn't want to acknowledge their age. We all wish to stay young. It has long been a common theme in fiction. Making a feature film that deals with the subject can prove to be difficult for a multitude of factors, and one is finding an actor who can portray a character that is beyond the actor's years. The latest film to play off of this notion is The Age of Adaline, which presented an intriguing idea through its trailers and marketing, but unfortunately couldn't live up to its premise.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, May 28 | Posted in Film

Given how many remakes we've seen of prime 1970s and '80s horror classics over the last few years, it'd seem natural that the iconic 1982 Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg production Poltergeist would eventually receive such treatment.

While the new Poltergeist — directed by Gil Kenan of Monster House fame — is at least mostly loyal plot-wise to the classic original, it fails to find a contemporary conduit for the spectacle, imagination and smarts that made its predecessor such a thrilling experience.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, May 28 | Posted in Film

Hey, kids, summer's here and it's time for movie camp. While this year's summer movie season doesn't have any real notable comedies coming, it doesn't mean that you can check out a classic summer flick at the Palace Theater this weekend. What's coming is a special bonus screening of the summer camp film classic, Meatballs.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, May 21 | Posted in Film

That Mad Max: Fury Road was going to be an adrenaline-rush vehicular monster mash of the first order looked to be fairly obvious from the eye-popping trailers invading theaters and the internet over the last several months.

That George Miller's long percolating return to the franchise that originally established him as an action director to be reckoned with would be so good, though, makes for the ultimate, gleeful surprise.

Quite a surprise given his most recent efforts include the Babe and Happy Feet films.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, May 21 | Posted in Film

The year 1977 is cemented in film history with the releases of Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saturday Night Fever, Smokey and the Bandit and Annie Hall. While all of these films enjoyed mainstream success and acclaim, there was another monumental film that left its mark in more ways than one. Audiences wouldn't have found it in their usual megaplexes nor would it be recognized by the Academy Awards. It became one of the cornerstones of the midnight movie circuit and the textbook example of surreal cinema.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, May 14 | Posted in Film

Hot Pursuit is the sort of movie that's so unpleasant to watch, one has to wonder how no one noticed in the development stages that what was being brought into being was little more than an unfunny train wreck.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, May 14 | Posted in Film

What defines human behavior? Some think it is our varying degrees of emotions, from love to hate. Ultimately, the one quality that often proves to be an undoing is that of ignorance, especially in our abilities to create.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, May 7 | Posted in Film

On my coffee cup at work I have a sticker I was given my first day. It reads my name, and asks for an interesting fact about me. I'd written, "movie critic."

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, May 7 | Posted in Film

While the 2015 summer blockbuster movie season has just begun, there's no denying an opportunity to see a prime example of the sci-fi action genre on the big screen. The Warren Theatres' Return of the Cults series rages on with John Carpenter's Escape From New York, featuring Kurt Russell in the iconic role of the eyepatch-wearing mercenary Snake Plissken. His mission is to infiltrate the city of New York, which has been transformed into a maximum security prison with all sorts of hazards, in search of the crash-landed President (Donald Pleasance).

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, April 30 | Posted in Film

Hearing that another Nicholas Sparks movie is in the theater probably puts the fear into a lot of men's hearts over the prospects of watching romance schmaltz at its finest. As for me, I'll bite if there's a good gimmick to drive the story along that's not a repeat of "Love Story" with one of the romantic leads just simply suffering from another disease.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, April 23 | Posted in Film

With Mad Max: Fury Road set to roar into theaters May 15, Wichita's going to get an opportunity to see George Miller's original Mad Max at the Palace Theatre at 7, 9:15 and 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Initially released in 1979, Mad Max became a cult sensation, launching Mel Gibson to stardom and marking George Miller as a new director of note.

Wichita Big Screen Initiative founder Leif Jonker said that very few in America ever realized what a huge hit the film was overseas.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, April 23 | Posted in Film

While cell phones and general electronic connectivity as a whole have been incorporating themselves into the horror genre for a while — particularly in Japan, where films like Ringu, Kairo, Phone and the original One Missed Call made such technologies weapons under the power of angry revenants — Unfriended makes the leap connecting technohorror and the first person subgenre to astonishing effectiveness.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, April 23 | Posted in Film

Life is often viewed as a series of regrets and filled with thoughts of, "What if I did this instead?" Even those with a privileged life and status as an icon, those fortunate to be branded to be a "star," whether it's in movies or music, probably ponder that thought of "what if" more often than those who aspire to achieve their status. Instead of simply thinking what could be done, it's best to enact those thoughts in hopes of creating a better life than what was previously done.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, April 16 | Posted in Film

While Daredevil is the sort of property Marvel fans have hoped and dreamed they would see handled by Marvel itself, this latest adaptation from Stan Lee and company's media juggernaut (get it? Juggernaut? See what I did there?) is likely to exceed fan expectations. It's that good.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, April 9 | Posted in Film

Dreamworks Animation has not had a very good couple of years.In January studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg announced an estimated 500 layoffs, budgetary cutbacks and a reduction to two annual features to help right a ship that, despite wins like The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon 2, found itself taking on water due to the failures of Rise of the Guardians, Turbo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and The Penguins of Madagascar.

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