• REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

    “She’ll be okay” It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and […]

  • REVIEW: Napszállta [Sunset] [2018]

    “It’s starting all over again” I felt as though I was running circles throughout László Nemes‘ sophomore effort Napszállta [Sunset]. It doesn’t help that we’re often inches from Írisz Leiter’s (Juli Jakab) face—if not looking through her very eyes—as she winds her way through an unfamiliar and just out of focus Budapest, Hungary. I speak […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2018

    Honorable Mention: #100: Mindset by Vacationer #99: Bruce Wayne by Fetty Wap #98: 7 by Beach House #97: Castles by Lissie #96: Shift by Henry Green #95: Kyoto by Tyga #94: White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood by of Montreal #93: Trickster Blues by RF Shannon #92: I can feel you creepinto my private life by Tune-Yards […]

  • REVIEW: Transit [2018]

    “I won’t be writing anymore school essays” It took until the end of Christian Petzold‘s Transit and my reading the press notes to realize Georg’s (Franz Rogowski) story unfolded in the present day. I felt off-balance from the start as far as what the historical context for these events were because he was a German […]

  • REVIEW: Apollo 11 [2019]

    “The Eagle has landed” A black screen with the title Apollo 11 arrives for an instant before we’re whisked away to July 1969 as those in Mission Control and astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins prepare themselves for the first manned spaceflight to land on the moon. There’s no opening interstitial providing context, […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché [2019]

“How come she got lost in the shuffle?” An opening montage of images and maps briskly moving backwards from present-day to the late nineteenth century while moving from Hollywood to France foreshadows exactly what Pamela B. Green has delivered with Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché. This is a history lesson, investigative journal, […]

REVIEW: The Nun [2018]

“Mary points the way” There’s a scene in Corin Hardy‘s The Nun where a young postulant receives her vows inside an unholy abbey while the ashes of a dead sister smoke in the background and an unlikely alley loads a shotgun in the fore. It’s the type of moment that should conjure laughs via its […]

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

“She’ll be okay” It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and […]

REVIEW: Partysaurus Rex [2012]

“You were way scarier than the last sea monster” As the wet blanket of the group, Rex (Wallace Shawn) rarely gets to do anything more than fret and accidentally cause problems due to uncontrollable anxieties. So why not let him have some fun, albeit against his better judgment? Knowing this outcome would only be possible […]

REVIEW: Child’s Play [2019]

“Are we having fun now?” It’s not everyday a remake gets produced of a currently running franchise, but that’s exactly what’s happened with Child’s Play. While original screenwriter Don Mancini continues to advance the escapades of his version’s murderous doll possessed by a serial killer’s soul (most recently in 2017’s Cult of Chucky with a […]

REVIEW: สุดเสน่หา [Sud sanaeha] [Blissfully Yours] [2002]

“I feel like hitting someone” After witnessing the arrest of two young Burmese women while shooting his previous film in Bangkok, Apichatpong Weerasethakul decided to create a new work depicting the political injustice caused by growing tensions between Thailand’s government and illegal immigrants. Because those familiar with his oeuvre know he’s built his career upon […]

REVIEW: Ophelia [2019]

“Why do the hens peck at you?” A lover distraught and driven to madness after her father’s murder at the hand of the man she loves, himself destined to die by order of his uncle: Denmark’s unjust and power-hungry king. This is Ophelia’s fate within William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a woman used to mourn and incite […]

REVIEW: Hagazussa [2018]

“We don’t have to be afraid here” What creates a witch? An evil that takes hold of willing vessels yearning to do his/her demonic master’s bidding or a populace’s mass fear that turns mankind’s own evil against those who are different than them and therefore a threat to the status quo? If you’re a believer […]

REVIEW: Aladdin [2019]

“Get your own jam” The Disney animated film that demands most skepticism when considering a live-action remake is Aladdin. No character besides the late Robin Williams‘ Genie has transcended its source to become larger than the Mickey brand itself and no actor could ever dream of filling his shoes with an impression guaranteeing unflattering comparisons. […]

REVIEW: My Josephine [2003]

“Something that never touches the ground shouldn’t be dirty” It’s only fitting that Barry Jenkins‘ student film My Josephine would stand as a precursor for the unrequited love bubbling beneath the surface of unspoken hardship he’d later explore in Moonlight. Inspired by a laundromat he passed post-9/11 with a sign reading “American flags clean free” […]

REVIEW: Keep It For Yourself [1991]

“I am in your hands” Writer/director Claire Denis was commissioned to create a short film for an omnibus in 1991 meant to showcase the new Nissan Figaro. Besides including the car in the narrative, she had carte blanche as far as how, why, or what else. The result is Keep It for Yourself, a virtually […]

REVIEW: Framing John DeLorean [2019]

“He is open to interpretation” I was three when Back to the Future immortalized John DeLorean‘s namesake automobile the DMC-12 (known plainly as the DeLorean since no other model was produced). Doc Brown’s time machine was therefore unsurprisingly the extent of what my mind could associate with the former visionary of General Motors who continuously […]

REVIEW: New Money [2019]

“You gotta look nice for bankers” The prize at the center of Jason B. Kohl‘s New Money is fifty thousand dollars. While the characters like to label it an inheritance, their descriptions prove otherwise. It’s more a promise made by a father (Chelcie Ross‘ Boyd Tisdale) to his troubled daughter (Louisa Krause‘s Debbie). If she […]

REVIEW: Dark Phoenix [2019]

“What did you do to her?” Hollywood franchise filmmaking really is a frustrating system insofar as allowing good source material room to breathe. That’s not to say it doesn’t sometimes work too, though. Look at Twentieth Century Fox’s cinematic X-Men saga for instance. After hitting a comic book high with X2, the desire for more […]

REVIEW: Wild Rose [2019]

“What do you need to say?” These movies usually start with the music and attempt to find happiness afterwards. That’s the order you need for the fantasy of artistic superstardom to work—that talent is enough to earn everything you’ve ever wanted and therefore the foundation for what’s still to come. That’s not the real world, […]