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Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Equalizer

the-equalizerDespite sporting paper-thin characterizations and being stuffed to the gills with clichés and unnecessary side plots, The Equalizer is a decent action thriller, and probably the best thing director Antoine Fuqua has done since he last teamed with Denzel Washington on 2001’s Training Day.

The film brings nothing new to the table, but Fuqua knows how to combine the familiar elements and push all the right buttons, while Washington performs his role as a man with “a very particular set of skills” (to borrow a phrase from a similar film) with aplomb.

Washington is Robert McCall, a man with a seemingly simple life. He lives alone, filling his days working at a hardware store and his nights reading Hemingway over dinner at a local greasy spoon. Outwardly, he’s friendly – well-liked by his co-workers and quick with a joke. But beneath the surface, he seems troubled. He shows signs (never much explored in the film) of obsessive compulsion. His life is built on routine, but the façade is fragile.

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Magic In The Moonlight

magic-in-the-moonlight-posterAs Woody Allen movies go, Magic In The Moonlight is middling. It’s nowhere near his worst, nor does it stand with his best.

The film takes place in the twenties, where we meet Stanley (played by Colin Firth), a debunker of spiritualist frauds, who also happens to be a magician. He performs incognito as the world-famous Wei Ling Soo (who, incidentally, is a character based on a real magician, named William Ellsworth Robinson, who performed back in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds as Chung Ling Soo. Just, y’know, FYI).

One night after a show, Stanley’s longtime friend and colleague Howard (played by Simon McBurney) arrives backstage and begins to tell him about the latest spiritualist he’s met. Simon brings Stanley in when, as is the case here, he’s unable to work out how a particular medium is deceiving people. Stanley vows to expose her and the two set off immediately for the French Riviera.

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