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Michael Clarke Duncan, R.I.P.

It’s very strange to hear that an actor who really emerged during your life time has passed away. I was actually already an aspiring movie buff when Michael Clarke Duncan gave his breakout performance in The Green Mile. Duncan, of course, had been around for a while before that. He’d been working in the entertainment industry even before he decided to seriously pursue acting as a career – the early nineties saw the guy working as a bodyguard for Will Smith among others. He turned earnestly to acting in the mid- to late-nineties, and had a small but memorable role in Armageddon that led Bruce Willis to recommend him for The Green Mile. In many ways, I watched Duncan become a recognisable screen presence, and I was very shocked and saddened to hear of his passing.

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Non-Review Review: Green Lantern

Green Lantern is solidly middle of the road as far as superhero movies go. Perhaps in a less crowded (and less high quality) summer action season it would seem a stronger contender, but the film really shows as Warner Brothers’ first major attempt to produce a big-budget superhero film not directly related to Superman or Batman. It’s perfectly functional, managing to do everything it sets out to in a relatively efficient manner, but there’s never really a sense that the film exists as anything more than a series of plot points that need be checked in order for the movie to cross the finish line. Given the potential of the source material, as well as its relatively unique nature amongst the slew of generic superheroes, a functioning and formulaic adventure can’t help but feel like a bit of a disappointment.

Hal Jordan: Space Cop? It has a nice ring to it...

Note: We also have an introduction to the Green Lantern mythos available, if you’re interested in checking it out.

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Non-Review Review: The Green Mile

I never really responded to The Shawshank Redemption. I’ll go into why exactly if I ever get around to writing a review of it, but perhaps the fact that I never really embraced the film as strongly as most film fans (or even just, y’know, people) is the reason that I am somewhat fonder of The Green Mile than most. The Green Mile is admittedly as guilty as Frank Darabont’s early Stephen King adaptation set in a prison when it comes to emotional manipulation of its audience (look at us humanise the prison guards by having the three of them tackle a mouse in a borderline comedic fashion!), but I find it a lot more honest about its inherent darkness than that tale of redemption in Shawshank.

No, it's not a halo, but it's pretty close...

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