Donald Buckingham

“The Fate of the Furious” – New Tires, Same Ride

If you are a fan of the long-running “Fast and Furious” franchise, chances are you will see “Fate of the Furious” no matter what. The good news is, you’ll have a blast. The eighth film in the franchise has all of the crazy action, slick cars and family melodrama that fans have come to expect from the series. While it may not be the best film the in the franchise (“Fast Five” still reigns supreme), “Fate of the Furious” comes pretty darn close. The plot follows our heroes as they race to stop an evil hacker named Cypher, played...

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Street Races and Car Chases: A Fast & Furious Retrospective

This past weekend saw the release of “Fate of the Furious,” the eighth film in the most inexplicable film franchise in the history of Hollywood. Featuring a plethora of unknown and up-and-coming actors, increasingly absurd action set pieces and an almost overly convoluted timeline, the “Fast and Furious” franchise makes very little sense on paper, yet is currently the seventh highest grossing franchise of all time. The Fast and Furious franchise is an original story, featuring original characters. It has no built-in audience like franchise superhero movies do, it doesn’t have any eye-catching state-of-the-art effects like “Avatar” or “Star...

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A Brief Look at Cyborgs in Film

“Ghost in the Shell,” a live-action adaptation of the manga and subsequent anime of the same name, is currently making the rounds in theaters. The film follows the metaphysical exploits of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg law enforcement operative in the high-tech, low-life fictional future prefecture of Niihama, Japan. The Major, as played by Scarlett Johansson, is the latest in a rich canon of films featuring cybernetic beings. Let us take a moment today to look back at a few great moments in cyborg cinema, as we pay tribute to a few semi-mechanical heroes The Original Model To clarify, a cyborg...

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“Life” Review

Daniel Espinosa’s new film “Life” is frighteningly similar to Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Both films feature a small crew on a cramped spaceship being menaced by an imposing alien life form, and both films are more interested in horror and suspense than action and laughs. Luckily, “Life” follows in the footsteps of “Alien” in another key way: it’s quite good. The film opens with an international team of astronauts (portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds, among others) intercepting a probe from Mars. The probe contains a microscopic organism from the Red Planet, the first proof of alien...

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Top 5 Giant Monster Movies

With Kong: Skull Island stomping around theaters, many a filmgoer, myself included, is itching for some more giant monster action. Whether they use rubber suits and miniature cities or state of the art CGI, here are five movies guaranteed to scratch that skyscraper-sized itch. 5. Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) Imagine a giant turtle. Now give that turtle tusks, let it walk on its hind legs, and give it the ability to fly by shooting fire out of its shell like a jet. That awesome image in your head is Gamera, a Japanese monster created in 1965 for...

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The Top 5 Movies to Watch Over Spring Break

  Spring break is upon us, that magical time of year filled with vacations, world-ending parties, and college-aged debauchery. Or, if you’re like me, filled with watching movies, sleeping, watching more movies, and occasionally eating. If you find yourself to be more on my end of the spring break-spectrum, here are five movies you can watch to give you all that spring break fun with none of those spring break hangovers.   Nightmare Beach (1989) Also known as “Welcome to Spring Break”, this 1980’s slasher film has it all: scantily clad young people, overlong beach parties, and the ghost...

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