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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest of Marvel‘s marvels, an upscale homage to the daytime matinee serials of yore and a mishmash of movies and characters that we’ve all seen before. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a ravager (ie a space pirate) who steals an orb which, unbeknownst to him, contains the…

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The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Last year’s The Purge (2013) was a sleeper hit, a harmless action (horror?) flick that was a lot less clever and engaging than it purported itself to be but whose success guaranteed it a sequel. It’s March 21, 2023 and the annual Purge, whereby the law closes both eyes to almost any kind of crime for…

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The Merchant of Venice (2014)

This year MADC undertook one of the most well-known and controversial plays by William Shakespeare, one that walks a very fine line between sympathy and outrage at the world’s most (in)famous moneylender. Bassanio (Philip Leone Ganado), madly in love with Portia (Coryse Borġ), asks his friend Antonio (Michael Mangion) if he could intercede on his behalf and ask…

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The Dance of Reality (2013)

Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s latest film, La Danza de la Realidad, is an account of his childhood spent in Chile, segueing into his father’s existential journey triggered by a political act. Despite being a native of the little town of Tocopilla, little Alejandro (Jeremías Herskovits), the son of Russian immigrants Jaime (Brontis Jodorowsky) and Sara (Pamela Flores), finds…

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The Voice Thief (2013)

Adan Jodorowsky, son of the famous Chilean director, directs a little baroque gem of a film based on a story written by his father, featuring revered cats, transgender a cappella midgets and a quest. Naya (Asia Argento), an opera singer, blames the critical thrashing she received for her last performance on her husband Noev (Cristobal…

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Contending with the fretful elements: King Lear (2014)

Many are those who argue that King Lear is hands down William Shakespeare‘s best play. Personally, I much prefer sojourning in Elsinore or Inverness or Alexandria than in a desolate heath in England; but I would have to be twice a coxcomb to stay bickering about greatestness in the midst of such colossal works of art. In a way, when…

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How to Train your Dragon 2 (2014)

In this sequel to the 2010 adaptation of Cressida Cowell‘s How to Train your Dragon book series, director Dean DeBlois revisits the vibrant land of vikings and dragons, in a tale that has more heart than plot. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Astrid (America Ferrera) come across the remains of a fort buried underneath what appears to be…

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Devil’s Knot (2013)

Atom Egoyan, one of the key Canadian directors, returns to the big screen with Devil’s Knot, a low key, somewhat prosaic rendition of the infamous events surrounding the death of three little boys, in what is known as the West Memphis Three case. Everything happens in 1993, when Pamela Hobbs (Reese Witherspoon) allows her young…

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Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2 (2013)

Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2 ditches the untroubled, carefree approach that characterised much of the former volume, in order to delve deep inside the dark and disturbing recesses of Joe’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg) odyssey. Joe had her first orgasm during a school trip where she had a vision of Messalina and the Whore of Babylon. Seligman…

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Oculus (2013)

Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus is a breath of fresh, menacing air in the midst of a genre that is as much loved as it is abused by filmmakers who think that it’s all about making people jump in their seats. Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has been looking for a mirror that belonged to her family ever since,…