Karen Elise Baldwin

Karen Elise Baldwin

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Death Sentence Review


Weak
In Paul Talbot's excellent Bronson's Loose! The Making of the Death Wish Films, Brian Garfield, author of the original Death Wish novel, says he was disappointed in the 1974 Charles Bronson film of his book because it lacked subtlety. In fact, he wrote the sequel, Death Sentence, to counteract what he saw as the negative effects of the film. Death Sentence, the book, is about reformation and going legit. It's about why vigilantism just doesn't work. Man, did this movie screw up that message.

Director James Wan's (Saw) version of Death Sentence is practically a celebration of vigilantism. Sure, the film hammers home the message that the business of revenge is soul-rotting, but it doesn't offer up any other solutions. The legal system doesn't work. Cops are lazy and slow. Worse, they are helpless. And the bad guys always can and will find you. The only place a person is safe today is behind the barrel of a gun.

Continue reading: Death Sentence Review

Joshua (2001) Review


Good
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua (2001) Review

Joshua Review


Good
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua Review

Mystery, Alaska Review


OK
Oh no. Someone let David E. Kelley out of his cage for a second time this year. This time, the water in his Lake Placid is frozen over, giving us the setting for Mystery, Alaska.

The title's surely a Mystery and gives you no clues about the film - so what's it all about? Those expecting a schlocky horror flick like Lake Placid will be let down. Is it a surreal and light dramedy like Ally McBeal? That's closer. Reality: Mystery, Alaska is simply a grown-up version of The Mighty Ducks. Hey, this is a Disney film.

Continue reading: Mystery, Alaska Review

Karen Elise Baldwin

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Karen Elise Baldwin Movies

Death Sentence Movie Review

Death Sentence Movie Review

In Paul Talbot's excellent Bronson's Loose! The Making of the Death Wish Films, Brian Garfield,...

Joshua (2001) Movie Review

Joshua (2001) Movie Review

Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two...

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Joshua Movie Review

Joshua Movie Review

Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two...

Mystery, Alaska Movie Review

Mystery, Alaska Movie Review

Oh no. Someone let David E. Kelley out of his cage for a second...

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