Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, September 20, 2018

Silver Screen

'Rebel in the Rye' misses capturing J.D. Salinger

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 09/17/17 3:29pm

Director Danny Strong offers a tepid biopic riff on the 2013 documentary Salinger in “Rebel in the Rye.” The film explores the 1950s, around Salinger’s writing of “The Catcher in the Rye,” whose place in the pantheon of great American novels is indelible. Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, gave a voice to the disaffection and confusion of modern living and his condemnation of all things fake rendered the book timeless and dearly loved. The main issue with “Rebel in the Rye” ...

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'American Assassin' is another spy action movie, but worse

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 09/15/17 4:49pm

Michael Cuesta directs the film adaptation of the New York Times bestseller, “American Assassin.” The action novel, written by Vince Flynn, received an incredible amount of praise from both critics and audiences, so it is not any surprise that Hollywood has decided to turn it into another action movie. However, this adaptation takes the mindless formula of a spy action movie to a whole new level─and not in a good way.The movie begins with Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) watching his fiancee die ...

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'Mother!' is madness in a film reel

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/14/17 10:30pm

Little was known about “Mother!” leading up to its release, and that is exactly as writer/director Darren Aronofsky wanted. Marketing for the film has been gearing it towards the horror genre, though that is nowhere near what the film truly is.Still, it didn’t prevent the marketing team from producing one of the most memorable trailers in recent history. Use of pizzicato to stir and illicit heightened tension as the trailer ramps up the intensity is original and unnerving. “Mother!” itself ...

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'Good Time' proves to be a wild, eclectic ride

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/13/17 4:43pm

“Good Time,” directed by Josh and Benny Safdie (Benny also stars in the film as Nick) tells a one night tale of madness and crime in New York City. After a bank robbery gone wrong, Connie (Robert Pattinson) must get his brother, Nick, out of the dangerous Rikers Island Prison before the night is up. Pattinson has shifted his own career following the “Twilight” series, which sprang him to stardom. He took two years off from acting before his transformative return in David Michôd’s ...

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'It' successfully floats, and so will you

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 09/07/17 7:22pm

Stephen King’s seminal─and wildly popular─tome “It” is newly interpreted by “Mama” writer and director, Andy Muschietti. Unlike the 1990 TV mini-series, this silver screen adaptation focuses on the protagonists’ childhood encounter with the demonic killer-clown Pennywise, leaving the adulthood one for a future sequel. The setting is 1989 in the small town of Derry, Maine. Beneath the bucolic exterior, something dark is stirring in the town’s underbelly─literally, in the sewers, ...

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'Shot Caller' shows strength but ends up locking itself up

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 08/31/17 3:36pm

"Shot Caller" tells a story of a man named Jacob Harlan, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who had it all: a beautiful wife who loved him, a kid and a successful career. All of this changed one night when he was charged with a DUI manslaughter and was sent to a federal penitentiary to serve his time. This ends up being the first of many catalysts that charts the journey of the titular character from straight-laced man to a leader of a neo-Nazi group. Director Ric Roman Waugh shoots this film with ...

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From 'West Wing' to 'Parks and Recreation,' here's what to watch during Welcome Week

By Meghan Howie Last updated: 08/18/17 2:11pm

We’ve all been there: The activity of the evening for Welcome Week just doesn’t seem all that entertaining and now you’re left with a few hours to spend with your new friends. You can only go monumenting at night so many times, and you’ve definitely done your due diligence. It’s time to break out the movies and favorite shows. Read on for The Eagle’s guide to the top five flicks and shows to watch with the new crew.5. “Game of Thrones” (HBO)This series seems to have taken on ...

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No Justice; No Streets: Documentary sheds light on Ferguson protests

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 08/11/17 10:42am

“Whose Streets” is a first-hand account of the protests following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The necessity of covering the events from a perspective other than that of the mainstream media is without question, and this film offers unprecedented access. “Whose Streets” captures the siege-like atmosphere in Ferguson when the protests began─including how the midnight curfew, an intimidation tactic, was couched as a safety measure. A woman shouts, “This is not Iraq,” as ...

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'Wind River' portrays bleak reality for Native American women

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 08/11/17 10:42am

There is no comprehensive reporting system for the number of missing and murdered Native American women and girls in the United States--the only category of missing persons without one. Many reports, however, estimate that Native women are murdered at more than 10 times the national average. “Wind River,” although fictional, portrays this bleak reality with a steely resolve. Screenwriter and director Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario” and “Hell and High Water”) paints a picture of life ...

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'Atomic Blonde' is pure hell on heels

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 07/28/17 5:51pm

“Atomic Blonde” drives a stiletto straight into the jugular of every “girl power” spy movie out there, literally and figuratively (watch the trailer and you will see what I mean). Based on the graphic novel series “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston, Sam Hart and Steven Perkins, “Atomic Blonde” is set in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall is collapsing. Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, a British MI6 operative sent to Berlin to find a watch that contains the names of wanted ...

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