The Tam News

“Zero Dark Thirty” Review: A Great Film and a Piece of Journalism

“Zero Dark Thirty” Review: A Great Film and a Piece of Journalism

By Wesley Emblidge

January 4, 2013

Time and time again films are released under the guise that they are “based on a true story” or something of the sort, but rarely do those films feel authentic. There have been some awful, contrived Hollywood films this year like “The Vow” or “Chasing Mavericks” that just paste that true st...

“Promised Land” Review: Solid Character Drama With A Political Backdrop

“Promised Land” Review: Solid Character Drama With A Political Backdrop

By Wesley Emblidge and Wesley Emblidge

December 27, 2012

Any film centered on a political issue has the challenge of taking a stance on it. Either you’re biased, choosing one side to take, or you refuse to take a side, using the politics as a backdrop to a story. In the case of “Promised Land,” the new film from director Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hun...

“Les Miserables” Review: Tom Hooper Attempts To Destroy His Own Movie

“Les Miserables” Review: Tom Hooper Attempts To Destroy His Own Movie

By Wesley Emblidge

December 25, 2012

Most bad films are, at their core, just poorly written. Even a great cast and director can’t save a mediocre script, but a good script can usually save a mediocre cast or director. However it seems in the case of “Les Miserables,” the new adaptation of the critically acclaimed musical, director Tom Hooper seems to have attempted ...

“Django Unchained” Review: Tarantino’s Western Takes Down Slavery

“Django Unchained” Review: Tarantino’s Western Takes Down Slavery

By Wesley Emblidge

December 23, 2012

One of my favorite movie-going experiences this year was seeing “Pulp Fiction” again on the big screen, and it was a reminder of what a great filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is. Now, I’ve gotten my second reminder this year, with Tarantino’s latest, “Django Unchained.” In 1858 Texas, Dr. King Sch...

“Not Fade Away” Review: Buy the soundtrack, not a ticket

“Not Fade Away” Review: Buy the soundtrack, not a ticket

By Wesley Emblidge

December 21, 2012

Nostalgia is a tool that must be done very carefully when used in film. If it’s too heavily relied on, it can alienate the audience that isn’t from the referenced era. However most films are able to achieve a good balance between nostalgia and story, letting it take a backseat to the characte...

“On the Road” Review: Just as Boring as the Book

“On the Road” Review: Just as Boring as the Book

By Wesley Emblidge

December 19, 2012

I feel like I should disclose something to preface to this review: I didn’t particularly like Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” when I read it. I liked the writing style, and thought Kerouac’s overarching description of how his generation acted was somewhat interesting, but I found the narrativ...

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Review: A Successful, If Lesser, Return to Middle Earth

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Review: A Successful, If Lesser, Return to Middle Earth

By Wesley Emblidge

December 14, 2012

I was tired when I sat down for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but excited nonetheless. The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy created one of the best-defined and most expansive universes in modern movie history, but managed to do so while still keeping an engaging story. Unfortunately for “The Hobbit,” it lacks...

“Deadfall” Review: Too Mediocre to Be Bad or Good

“Deadfall” Review: Too Mediocre to Be Bad or Good

By Wesley Emblidge

December 6, 2012

Some movies aren’t bad, they aren’t good, they just kind of...exist. There aren’t any big flaws within them, but not enough good elements either. “Deadfall” is certainly one of those movies, where everything is generally alright, and the few things that standout aren’t even that great....

“Killing Them Softly” Review: In America, You’re On Your Own

“Killing Them Softly” Review: In America, You’re On Your Own

By Wesley Emblidge

December 2, 2012

“Goodfellas” was the first Scorsese movie I ever saw, and to this day, it remains my favorite. If I was to guess, I’d say that writer/director Andrew Dominik (the wonderful “Chopper” and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) feels similarly. “Killing Them Softly”...

“Life of Pi” Review: Ang Lee’s Massive Technical Achievement

“Life of Pi” Review: Ang Lee’s Massive Technical Achievement

By Wesley Emblidge

November 21, 2012

There are a number of films coming out this year based on books that many considered unadaptable. “On the Road,” one of the less ambitious of the adaptations, failed to translate into film. “Cloud Atlas”, difficult due to the massive scope of the novel, looks incredible and is one of my m...

“Anna Karenina” Review: Theater and Film Combined with Middling Results

“Anna Karenina” Review: Theater and Film Combined with Middling Results

By Wesley Emblidge

November 16, 2012

Theater is an art I can admire and see the value in, but it’s never been one I’ve enjoyed all that much. I’m never really able to connect, all I really see is the actors reciting lines, rather than characters interacting. Maybe it’s due to how much I love movies, but for whatever reason, plays tend not to work for me. So...

“Lincoln” Review: Unfocused and Overstuffed, But Still Manages to Be Rousing and Entertaining

“Lincoln” Review: Unfocused and Overstuffed, But Still Manages to Be Rousing and Entertaining

By Wesley Emblidge

November 15, 2012

In general, biographies of big historical figures are avoided today, with filmmakers usually choosing to highlight only a specific event in the person’s life. We've seen it recently with films like “My Week With Marilyn,” “Frost/Nixon,” or “A Dangerous Method.” Steven Spielberg ha...