Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, January 19, 2019

Silver Screen


'American Made' lives up to its title, but lacks in precision

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 10/03/17 5:50pm

Tom Cruise, no matter what his personal life holds, is a bonafide, big box office movie star. Even his latest film, The Mummy, which was a critically dismissed domestic flop but boomed in China, managed to gross over $400 million. While “American Made” may be the same case, Cruise displays his ability to haul in any viewer’s attention.Doug Liman helms “American Made,” based on the true story of Barry Seal (Cruise), a commercial airbus pilot turned drug-running, reconnaissance-photo-taking ...

Read More


Harry Dean Stanton isn’t feeling too 'Lucky' in John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 09/29/17 5:00pm

The pivotal question running through my mind during the first act of “Lucky” was the following: did director John Carroll Lynch’s film merely feature Harry Dean Stanton, or was the film in fact a swan song about the iconic character actor?The film explores the life of an unassuming man named Lucky, played by Stanton. Lucky goes through the same routine every day: he wakes up, smokes a cigarette, does his morning exercises and heads out to do his daily errands. His life has seemingly been this ...

Read More


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

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 09/17/17 7:29pm

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” ...

Read More


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

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 09/15/17 8:49pm

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 ...

Read More


'Mother!' is madness in a film reel

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/15/17 2:30am

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 ...

Read More


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

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/13/17 8:43pm

“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 ...

Read More


'It' successfully floats, and so will you

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 09/07/17 11:22pm

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, ...

Read More


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

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 08/31/17 7:36pm

"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 ...

Read More


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

By Meghan Howie Last updated: 08/18/17 6:11pm

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 ...

Read More


'Wind River' portrays bleak reality for Native American women

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 08/11/17 2:42pm

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 ...

Read More


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

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 08/11/17 2:42pm

“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 ...

Read More


'Atomic Blonde' is pure hell on heels

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 07/28/17 9:51pm

“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 ...

Read More


"Dunkirk" avoids conventional storytelling en route to success

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 07/25/17 2:56pm

Christopher Nolan is one of the  most acclaimed directors working in Hollywood right now. He’s also one of the few filmmakers who can demand any budget for any script he authorizes. Following his last picture, the divisive “Interstellar,” the film public was on edge about what was in store from the British writer and director.Much to everyone’s surprise, “Dunkirk” happened to be what was in store. Really? A historic war film? It just didn’t seem like a signature Nolan movie. Nonetheless, ...

Read More


"Moka" balances stereotypical revenge trope with unrealistic characters

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 07/10/17 1:03am

Swiss director Frédéric Mermoud’s second feature film, “Moka,” follows the story of Diane (Emmanuelle Devos) who is struggling with the death of her only son in a hit and run accident. Diane is stricken with grief and anger as the police seem to be unable to find the killers, taking the case into her own hands by hiring a detective. She tracks a couple matching the description and infiltrates their lives to find hard evidence, subjecting them to the same pain that she is filled with. The ...

Read More


Top shows to watch over the summer

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 07/09/17 9:09pm

It's the summertime, and what better thing to do than to sit back, relax and escape reality. There is some great television out there to help you do that, so let The Eagle assist in choosing the top shows to watch over the summer.5) Game of Thrones (HBO)How can there be such a list without mentioning one of the most popular shows? “Game of Thrones” has become such a cultural phenomenon that even people who don't watch it feel like they do. Season 7 will be its penultimate season as well as it's ...

Read More


We care but we really don’t: A Netflix original

By Ashley Tejeda Last updated: 06/29/17 2:00pm

"Happy Gay Pride Month, we're taking away all of your representation," is basically what Netflix decided to say on June 1. On the first day of Pride Month, Netflix announced that it was cancelling “Sense8,” a show that focuses on the intersectionality of race and sexuality with a sci-fi twist. Although the show has a large following, it seems as though Netflix is hinting that there weren’t enough viewers, which comes as a somewhat contradictory statement considering that advertising for the ...

Read More


“Baby Driver” delivers a two-hour music video–but not much else

By Alix Mammina Last updated: 06/28/17 10:00pm

Veteran director and screenwriter Edgar Wright takes an unconventional approach to the typical heist film with "Baby Driver," yet fails to deliver much beyond high-powered car chases and a stellar soundtrack. The eponymous protagonist Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver with a heart of gold, reluctantly working for crime kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) to pay off an old debt. A childhood car crash took his parents’ lives and left him with tinnitus, so Baby drowns out the ringing in his ears ...

Read More


Movie Review: "I, Daniel Blake"

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 06/03/17 5:53pm

“I, Daniel Blake” is a moving look at the quagmire that is the welfare system, breaking through the callousness of glib terms like “welfare queen.” There is no crown or glory in battling an amorphic bureaucracy for something as basic as one’s right to exist and live. British comedian Dave Johns stars as Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter from Newcastle, UK, who is seeking public assistance while recovering from a major heart attack. He must navigate a byzantine system of two hour ...

Read More


"Wonder Woman" shines as one of the best superhero films to date

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 06/03/17 2:58pm

After a series of poorly reviewed movies for the DC Extended Universe, largely helmed by director Zach Snyder, actress and soon-to-be mega-star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins pick up the slack with “Wonder Woman.”Although Gadot’s Wonder Woman appeared in Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and is set to appear in this fall’s “Justice League” film, this is the first stand-alone film for the beloved comic character. The film tells the origin story of the Amazonian ...

Read More


“The Dinner” is too long and complicated to enjoy

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 05/05/17 2:00pm

“The Dinner” tells the tale of two couples who meet over dinner to discuss what to do about their sons who are cousins and commit a serious crime. The conversation deepens and more information is shown and discussed as each new dinner course arrives. While the plot is an interesting idea, “The Dinner” ultimately loses the viewer and fails to entertain. This mystery/drama is shown through the perspective of Paul Lohman (played by Steve Coogan), who is a mentally-ill retired history teacher. ...

Read More