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Wonder What I Want to See at WonderCon 2015 No More

The con programs I am most intrigued by are...
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Comic-Con International's WonderCon returns to the Anaheim Convention April 3-5, 2015, which has been its home since 2012, to the delight of many in Southern California and to the disappointment of many in Northern California. Fans come to celebrate their pop-culture obsessions, honoring what has come before and learning what new things they can discover. While I am interested in taking part in a number of WonderCon events, the programs I am most intrigued by are listed below. Friday Star Trek: They're Not Really Dead As Long As We Remember Them Friday April 3, 2015 1:00pm - 2:00pmRoom 207 While

My 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival Schedule (subject to change)

Each year it is harder to decide on what to see.
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With the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival a week away, I have started planning my schedule. Each year it is harder to decide on what to watch. I go in thinking I will stick with films I have not yet seen, but all-time favorites have a tendency to sneak onto my schedule. Below is my list of the top films I am most excited about and likely to attend (as of right now). Thursday: Too Late for Tears (1949): My festival will start off with my most sought after genre, film noir. I have never heard of the film but

Thoughtful & Abstract: Looking at The Walking Dead's Dr. Eugene Porter

Kim and Shawn take a thoughtful look at the man with the mullet.
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In which Kim (@kimfreakinb) and Shawn (@genx13) step back to look at one of their favorite characters. "The smartest man I ever met happened to love my hair. My old boss, T. Brooks Ellis, the director of the Human Genome Project. He said my hair made me look like, and I quote, 'a fun guy,' which I am." - Dr. Eugene Porter Kim: I want to talk about characters, because they are truly what makes or breaks a show. How much do you like the people you're rooting for or hate the ones you want to see die a horrendous

Thoughtful & Abstract: Catching up on the Current TV Season

What they talk about when they talk about what they are watching this season.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) riff on some recent TV thingies... Shawn: It's been far too long since we caught up. So I've got a few thoughts to spray out regarding some of the TV you may or may not have been watching. American Crime (ABC): One episode in and I'm interested. I think it's going to run a fine line for me. I see parts of the show like the parents dealing with the death of their son (two strong actors there - I especially like Timothy Hutton) to play out in ways that we don't always

Remembering Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

His work will live long and the audience will prosper from it.
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Leonard Nimoy died on February 27 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he claimed was due to having been a smoker even though he had kicked the habit nearly 30 years. Though he had a long career as an actor playing a variety of parts, he became forever identified the world over as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, the half-human/half-Vulcan First Officer of the Enterprise. He not only played Spock on the initial TV series for three seasons, but would return to it many times over the years from The Animated Series and the theatrical movies, and

Remembering Bruce Sinofsky and How He Changed My Life

Bruce Sinofsky has passed away at 58, but the work he did for the West Memphis Three lives on.
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Part of the reason I tend to review a lot of documentaries for Cinema Sentries because I know, on a personal level, how the work of documentary filmmakers can change your life. The film community has lost one of its greats as I found out yesterday when Bruce Sinofsky died at the age of 58 from complications related to diabetes. I cannot say that I knew Bruce Sinofsky well, but his worked changed my life. I only met Bruce once, and it was at the West Memphis Three benefit I put together at the Melrose Improv back in 2004. Both

Favorite Films of 2014

Did we mention yours?
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When the Academy Award nominations are revealed in just a few hours, the final stage of marketing/recognizing films and filmmakers of 2014 will commence. With all the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes by those campaigning and by those voting, it's understandable why people like Woody Allen, who has himself been nominated 24 times and won four Oscars, says "the whole concept of awards is silly." That's a sentiment a few of us around these parts agree with. Considering how different people's tastes are, can any group actually determine what work is the "Best"? Humphrey Bogart suggests the answer

Adam Blair's 2014 Roundup

My 10 most overlooked and eight most overpraised.
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I saw about 30 movies in theaters in 2014. Some are getting tons of attention during awards season, and rightfully so. Others have disappeared seemingly without a sound, not rightfully so. Following are my 10 Most Overlooked and Eight Most Overpraised for 2014, in no particular order. 10 Most Overlooked The One I Love: Trippy and intriguing relationship dramedy with Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass Rosewater: Serious, scary but ultimately uplifting directing debut by Jon Stewart Top Five: Super-timely comedy from truth-teller extraordinaire Chris Rock Life of Crime: Dumb criminals are always funny, plus a fine Jennifer Aniston performance Venus

These Are a Few of My Favorite Saturday Morning Shows

Return with us now to those thrilling Saturdays of yesteryear.
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September 27, 2014 was the last airing of the CW's Saturday morning cartoon line-up, known in its final iteration as "Vortexx." It featured a roster of animated adventure shows that included The Spectacular Spider-Man, Dragon Ball Z Kai, and Yu-Gi-Oh! They replaced it today with “One Magnificent Morning,” a collection of Educational/Information programs, such as Calling Dr. Pol, The Brady Barr Experience and Expedition Wild. This means there are no longer any national broadcast networks airing cartoons on Saturday mornings. Although cable, home video, and streaming services offer 24-hour access to numerous cartoons of past and present, a dream many

Thoughtful & Abstract: Sons of Anarchy: Season One: Ain't Your Father's MC

The Sons of Anarchy are introduced to T & A by way of Season One.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season One of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As we run up to the final season, here are some thoughts about the show's debut season in the Fall of 2008. Shawn: Sons of Anarchy has always been one of those shows that I didn't watch but knew that I'd love. I loved Kurt Sutter's work on The Shield and this show has lots of the touches of that show that made it unique in the police drama genre.

Battling the Bear: Reflections on Robin Williams (1951 - 2014)

It is important to focus on his life and the whole picture of who he was, not how he died.
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“Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you” - Preacher Roe That quote is what has been running through my head as I write this piece. I first read it when I was reading about Spalding Gray after he took his life in 2004. I thought about that same quote a lot when my friend Andrew took his life in 2010. And I am thinking about it now as I am still reeling from the news about Robin Williams' suicide. I read headline after headline hoping that each one would be followed by the news that it

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Killing: Season Four Gets Sent Off

The fourth season of The Killing tries to go out with a bang.
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This conversation takes place between Kim (@kimfreakinB) who watched The Killing as it aired and Shawn (@genx13) who watched every episode in the past five weeks. It centers around the six episodes of season four that debuted on Netflix on August 1st. Shawn: I have to wrap my head around this in segments. I'm still working through my opinions. In short, I'm not satisfied. At all. But why? I asked myself a couple questions to start. Were the characters consistent between the initial three seasons and this last season? And was it the story that let me down? That doesn't

Thoughtful & Abstract: An Awesome Mix of Ideas about Guardians of the Galaxy

The current state of the Marvel film empire is considered.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Comics movies: Shawn: I am Groot! Spoiler alert - I loved it. I don't know when I've left a theater more satisfied with a superhero film than with Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it's partially the lack of hype of the previous films this year and that it sneaks in at the tail end of Summer when there isn't much competition. But I was surprised that it even exceeded my expectations. So where does it fit in the spectrum for you, Kim? What are

Thoughtful & Abstract: Changes at Marvel Comics Fail To Impress

The reboot of the Avengers' core characters, while not surprising, is disheartening.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider the news about changes coing to a couple Marvel Comics characters: Shawn: This past week brought the announcement of a few changes coming to the Marvel Universe this Fall. It's funny what changes in the comic industry make the mainstream news and which ones go unnoticed. First, we're talking about fictional characters. Second, over the past 75 years, comic companies have proven that no change is permanent. I think the current changes caught the attention of Social Media because of a confluence of events. The week around San Diego Comic-Con always brings

The Best and Worst of Summer 2013

Three writers give a postmortem on the Summer of 2013.
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Although summer officially ends on September 21, for movie fans, summer ends Labor Day. Hollywood blockbusters fade from the multiplex screens and the focus turns towards more serious fare that will be competing for year-end awards. But before moving, we here at Cinema Sentries, along with some friends, wanted to take a moment and look back at the highlights and disappointments from the summer. Gordon S. Miller's Picks If it hadn't debuted in April and missed our arbitrary starting point by a week, Jeff Nichols' Mud would have gone wire to wire. It'll certainly be on my year-end list. By

Pulp Fiction: The Five Things I Love About It

Did yours make the list, Honey Bunny?
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What can be said about Pulp Fiction that hasn't been written since the film's release in 1994? With that, I didn't want to necessarily do a typical review citing the things I liked and disliked as that's been done before. I wanted to go back and count down the few things that I've loved about the film since I was a child. Yes, my mother was cool enough to let me watch Pulp Fiction when I turned 14, and I adored it. If I could go back in a time machine, these are the five things a 14-year-old me would

Don't Go See A Movie This Weekend

Sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out.
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I know that seems an odd statement coming from a website that revels in movies, but that was my immediate response to the many film bloggers and fans who took to the Internet and pleaded with people to "Go see a movie this weekend" as the best way to respond to the tragic events that left 12 killed, 58 injured, at the time of this writing, during last night's midnight screening of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Really?  Burying oneself in the passive experience that is movie-watching for a couple of hours is the best next

Cinema Sentries Select the Best of 2011

Forget the envelope; just continue reading.
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With the Oscars just hours away from honoring the best of 2011, a few Sentries have gathered to name their selections as Award Season comes to a close. Margaret selected by Dusty Somers History will venerate Kenneth Lonergan's follow-up to acclaimed 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me, even if moviegoers initially ignored it to the tune of a $40,000 gross. It's not like you can blame the public. After a protracted legal dispute over running time and final cut -- delaying the release nearly five years -- Fox Searchlight unceremoniously dumped it into less than 20 theaters last

So This Guy and a Girl Went to Sundance

Amanda and Max were lucky enough to make it out to the Sundance Film Festival and talk about what it is really like.
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Max Naylor: Hi everybody.  I’d like you to meet Amanda.  She's a programmer from an independent film festival in Southern California, and she was lucky enough to be able to attend the Sundance Film Festival this year. Amanda Salazar: Thanks Max, that is such a kind introduction. Max is also a festival programmer and he has one of those faces that everybody says 'I think I know him' when you bring up his name. So, Max, what are your basic thoughts on Sundance? MN: My main goal at Sundance is to see as many films as possible, and try to

My Last Movie Before the Rapture

It's too late and would be disingenuous to start pandering now.
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While I don't understand it myself, a number of people in the media have apparently decided to stop paying attention to important matters to instead focus on (what I presume are) the mad ravings of Harold Camping, a Christian radio evangelist and president of the Family Radio network, who has predicted that May 21, 2011 would be the day the Rapture would take place as prophesied in the Bible. He even specified the hour, 6 p.m. local time. Considering he made the same claims about the Rapture taking place on September 6, 1994, it seems odd that Camping would be

Best Movies and Trailers of 2010

One man's attempt to boil his movie-going experiences of 2010 into list form.
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Each year I predict what my favorite movies for the upcoming year will be. I'm usually so far off that it's funny to look back to 12 months ago. This year, I'm surprised how many stayed in my Top 10. Here are last December's predicitons . . . BEST MOVIES OF 2010 (as predicted in December 2009) 1. Toy Story 3 (June) How will this not be my #1 movie next year? There isn't a way. Pixar - I've never doubted you. 2. Kick-Ass. Am I overhyped based on a few decent trailers? Maybe. Maybe not. 3. Scott Pilgrim Vs.

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