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Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’ offers a frosty portrayal of a pilot’s historic journey to the moon

October 15, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Oct. 15, 2018 First Man, director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2016 feature film La La Land, documents how Neil Armstrong progressed from being one of a handful of test pilots pushing past Earth’s atmosphere to the first individual to set foot on another celestial body. The movie serves as a […]

Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ is an entertaining and engaging love letter to movies, jazz, Los Angeles and love itself

December 27, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Dec. 27, 2016 Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is an utterly charming romance about star-crossed lovers in Los Angeles. She is Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress working as a barista at a movie studio lot and sharing an apartment with three other wannabe performers. He is Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), […]

Adam McKay explains how the end of the world got monetized in ‘The Big Short,’ his surprisingly entertaining tale of real-life financial shenanigans

January 2, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 2, 2015 The Big Short is a strangely entertaining and extremely timely movie about a wholly unlikely subject: A handful of investors who anticipated, and got rich because of, the collapse of the American housing market. Director Adam McKay’s feature is based on Michael Lewis’s 2010 nonfiction book, The Big Short: Inside the […]

The romantic comedy ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ suffers from crazy, stupid psychology

July 14, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 14, 2015 There’s a short scene about two-thirds of the way through the 2011 movie Crazy, Stupid, Love that captures its willful cluelessness about how the world works. When a quartet of adult men brawl behind the house that Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) and Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) used to share with a son […]