• REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 [2017]

    “Because you’ve never seen a miracle” Survival is a selfish endeavor, but not necessarily one driven by ego. On the contrary, survival is often a selfless means to place community ahead of the individual. Look at our country’s current, abhorrent divisions along lines we should have erased decades ago or never created in the first […]

  • REVIEW: The Florida Project [2017]

    “What are you playing?” It’s hard not to think about another A24 produced film while watching Sean Baker‘s The Florida Project. The themes it presents due its impoverished central characters barely scrapping by financially on a day-to-day basis are identical to Andrea Arnold‘s American Honey and its band of twenty-somethings traveling the countryside to scam […]

  • TIFF17 REVIEW: Princesita [2018]

    “The darker the night, the brighter the stars” Miguel (Marcelo Alonso) compares God to a fire when explaining how the ones our religions’ sacred books describe aren’t quite right. Our creator is simpler than those iterations. He has the power to turn wood into ash and water into steam. He has the power to transform. […]

  • TIFF17 REVIEW: Jusqu’à la garde [Custody] [2018]

    “Which of you is the bigger liar?” It didn’t win the Oscar for best live action short in 2014, but Xavier Legrand’s Just Before Losing Everything was by far my favorite nominee. Discovering his debut feature Jusqu’à la garde [Custody] was constructed as an expansion of that story therefore made it a must-see. The short […]

  • REVIEW: De sidste mænd i Aleppo [Last Men in Aleppo] [2017]

    “If I leave, it will be to the cemetery” It’s a shame that those who need to watch Last Men in Aleppo are those who won’t. I’m talking the brainwashed masses quick to call a liberal media “fake news” while they help facilitate legitimate fake news fabricated by enemy regimes hoping to plant dissent. They […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Destined [2017]

“Either way you started a war” A young boy residing in the Brewster projects of Detroit follows his friend to a stash house unaware that the consequences of this moment will shape the rest of his life. He’s coerced into dealing as a means for survival—the only way to convince his friend’s bosses that he […]

REVIEW: Justice League [2017]

“I don’t have to recognize it. I just have to save it.” There are a lot of haters out there—those who pile on Zack Snyder, the DC Extended Universe, and both. I’m not one of them. But that doesn’t mean I’ve loved what they’ve delivered. We’ve received one good film (Wonder Woman), one ambitiously enjoyable […]

REVIEW: This is Congo [2018]

“The one who should keep you safe is the one who can kill you” Documentarian Daniel McCabe wastes no time getting to the point of his film This is Congo with the words of DRC National Army Colonel Mamadou Ndala. This smiling dreamer of peace and unity speaks about his home like a philosopher as […]

REVIEW: Die göttliche Ordnung [The Divine Order] [2017]

“But here at home time stood still” The opening transition from credits to film of Petra Biondina Volpe‘s Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award-winning Die göttliche Ordnung [The Divine Order] is absolute perfection. With Jo Jo Benson and Peggy Scott-Adams’ “Soulshake” playing atop images from America spanning women’s liberation, civil rights, Woodstock, and more, we begin […]

REVIEW: Curtains [1983]

“Call it research” By the end of Peter R. Simpson‘s Curtains—I use the producer’s name since he ultimately finished the film two years after original director Richard Ciupka left with only forty-five minutes shot—there are just three surviving characters. One is the potential victim being chased, another the homicidal maniac under a plastic old woman […]

REVIEW: Goodbye Christopher Robin [2017]

“I’ve had enough of making people laugh. I want to make them see.” It begins with a letter—the kind that rips heart from chest. World War II is in full swing and the Milnes (Domhnall Gleeson‘s Alan and Margot Robbie‘s Daphne) are biding their time awaiting word from their son Christopher (Alex Lawther). They know […]

REVIEW: Princess Cyd [2017]

“You get to see where your mom came from” Tragedies are never isolated incidents with a single victim, perpetrator, and survivor left to remember (or forget) what happened. Oftentimes those roles expand to encompass multiple parties or even overlap in ways that let blame, hate, and forgiveness coexist. This scenario is only rendered truer when […]

REVIEW: Bad Grandmas [2017]

“I’m nervous like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” Writer/director Srikant Chellappa and co-writer Jack Snyder aren’t fooling around when it comes to Bad Grandmas. We don’t meet their senior citizens as innocent grannies playing Rummy before watching them turn “bad.” No, Mimi (Florence Henderson) walks into Jim’s (David Wassilak) place […]

REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express [1974]

“With the help of a hat box” If the way in which Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) manipulates his suspects into perfectly incriminating themselves upon inquisition—often unbeknownst to us until the final reveal—infers that he has a photographic memory, we the audience need a bit more exposition as it concerns yet unseen connections than perhaps the […]

REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok [2017]

“Good luck with that, new Doug!” Marvel fatigue has officially hit me, but not like a ton of bricks as much as a nagging sense that the studio is merely going through the motions. Unfortunately this slow unraveling is worse than a huge misstep because it means that a shift back onto the rails is […]

REVIEW: Das merkwürdige Kätzchen [The Strange Little Cat] [2014]

“And onions are my cats” We’ve all felt paralyzed at one time or another, fearing existence and responsibility as opposed to external forces and death. Life becomes our burden, the rote machinations to remain an upstanding member of society and the myriad social imperatives endured to be seen as a person worth ignoring—someone who neither […]

REVIEW: Mayhem [2017]

“I just wanted the corner office” If you’ve ever worked an office job wherein every single one of your bosses has been promoted above his/her aptitude, you know what futility feels like. You slave away at your cubicle to reach beyond your pay grade only to have someone that knows nothing about what you do—or […]

REVIEW: My Friend Dahmer [2017]

“Smiles up” When someone kills seventeen people over a thirteen-year span with words like necrophilia and cannibalism circling each murder, sympathy for the predator—not his prey—is neither the first nor hundred and first emotion that should come to anyone’s mind. I’m not certain there could be room for anything but disgust whether you’re a stranger, […]

REVIEW: Long Time Running [2017]

“You don’t tell Gord he can’t do something” I’m not sure who it was that said it, but someone put into context what Gord Downie‘s terminal cancer diagnosis meant to Canada shortly after it was announced. Beyond this tragedy on a personal level for his friends, family, and The Tragically Hip bandmates, the idea that […]

REVIEW: Suck It Up [2017]

“… And she fell down” Grief is a strange, personal, and often entirely unexpected reponse to tragedy. It will differ depending on who you are, the point in life you’re at, the cause, and myriad details spanning scenario, age, love, hate, or surprise. To cope with a grandparent’s death for example is something we all […]