‘Belfast’ Review: So Personal yet So Sterile

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Kenneth Branagh has established himself over the years as one of the most prolific Shakespearean actors – both on the screen and working behind the scenes. With Belfast, he opts to tell a story that should bring him closer to home, to how he saw his childhood in Ireland. While it’s easy enough to see that Branagh’s heart is in the right place when telling a movie about growing up during the Troubles, perhaps there’s something missing to supposedly meaningful revisiting of one’s own childhood. Branagh certainly is a well-meaning director, but the reminiscences of the past don’t really add up to all that much in return.

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – Review

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For all we know this probably isn’t going to be the last adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express but after having already been adapted for the screen as a theatrical film in 1974 and twice for television, one can only expect that a recent spin would at least feel distinguishable because it would at least try to find a way to introduce the story to a newer audience. In some sense it would seem that Kenneth Branagh would be both the perfect choice not only to direct but also to star in the film as Christie’s Hercule Poirot, but quickly enough I was asking myself who exactly was this film being made for. For as appealing as the idea of a stylized period piece based on Agatha Christie can be, the marketing gave an idea it didn’t seem to know who it was for from the inclusion of an Imagine Dragons song. For as much as I’m thankful that awful song isn’t in the movie, it still rings off as exactly what I described prior; a new adaptation that has no idea who it’s for.

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Dunkirk – Review

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Christopher Nolan’s films are loved and hated in equal measure, for he’s already established a dedicated following that has blown him up to the heights of being one of the greatest filmmakers of his time – and at the same time he has also established a crowd of detractors who renounce the praises of his fans. Personally I’ve found myself in the middle, for he was once a filmmaker I loved as I was getting into movies although his work after The Dark Knight I have already found for myself had not held up nearly as well as I remembered. It was one among many reasons I was skeptical coming into Dunkirk, for I was only worried that I may have soured on Christopher Nolan far too much with his most recent films not doing particularly much for me as he once did – only to find myself in for a pleasant surprise. I saw another side of Nolan that I’d also want to continue in his future films, for it felt refreshing to watch as I was seated in the theater.

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