Screened Out – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

By : Stephen Miller
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Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Terrence Stamp

Tim Burton peddles in peculiar stuff like Miss Peregrine. So it is no wonder he opted to film Ransom Riggs’s famous YA story (or a version thereof – this expands the first book significantly). It’s a tale of gifted, perpetual children and the bird-women who protect them from extinction.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children presents a fascinating and wondrous world. It also introduces intriguing characters. Finally, there is no shortage of that brilliant Tim Burton visual style. And yet what it often lacks is something that hollows out many other Burton films: storytelling cohesiveness.

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Screened Out – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

By : Stephen Miller
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Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Powers Booth

It was a dark and stormy night in Sin City – a night too much like the first time we wandered into this wicked, twisted cartoon town nine years ago.

This current chapter continues the nifty noir style of the first flick. Besides that, A Dame to Kill For doesn’t offer much reason to see it.

Some fans may appreciate even more film-noir and graphic novel violence-slash-visuals. Frame after frame is bold black and white – even animation – with lurid splashes of color. Mostly blood, some sex, but mostly blood. The characters are appealingly broad and cartoonish. The dialogue is of the scene-chewing variety: “She glides out of her coat like it was Christmas wrapping.” The gory story, however, is too scattershot. This little pic desperately cries for cleverness, cohesion.

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