• REVIEW: Luce [2019]

    “I can’t be perfect” So much of who we are and what we become relies on perception. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, language, culture, education, and socio-economic standing all play a role because we’re perceived by those like us and those not. We therefore exist in a tenuous bubble of expectations wherein normalcy is a razor-thin […]

  • REVIEW: The Farewell [2019]

    “It’s a good lie” Billi (Awkwafina) heads to her parents’ home to clean laundry after discovering she’s now two months behind on her rent only to hear her father (Tzi Ma‘s Haiyan) is “asleep” … at 6pm. Her mother (Diana Lin‘s Jian) dismisses the time as a byproduct of them being very busy, but she […]

  • 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 […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Ready or Not [2019]

“You picked the one bad card” All Grace (Samara Weaving) has ever wanted since bouncing around foster homes during her adolescence was a permanent family to call her own. With Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) that dream has become a reality. He wasn’t interested in a big wedding since he’d been estranged from those back […]

REVIEW: Endless Dreams and Water Between [2009]

“We’re all seekers” Aria wants to reconnect with her far-flung friends Lyn, Mar, and Raya via correspondence as a way to dissect, share, and experience the art, geography, and philosophical ruminations their lives spark at any given moment. She labels this unofficial club the September Institute and begins her initial letter by talking about the […]

REVIEW: Tone-Deaf [2019]

“Maybe you should get out of the city for a bit” The kids just aren’t the same anymore and it’s slowly making Harvey (Robert Patrick) go insane. His son (Ronnie Gene Blevins‘ David) thinks it’s dementia and wants to put him in an assisted living institute, but that’s merely another example of America’s youth forgetting […]

REVIEW: The Comedy [2012]

“I need you” If a privileged white asshole acts racist and misogynist as a rule because of the emotional pain created by the slow death of a rich father he may not even really like, should we feel empathy for his plight? I think this is the question Rick Alverson is asking with his film […]

REVIEW: Luce [2019]

“I can’t be perfect” So much of who we are and what we become relies on perception. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, language, culture, education, and socio-economic standing all play a role because we’re perceived by those like us and those not. We therefore exist in a tenuous bubble of expectations wherein normalcy is a razor-thin […]

REVIEW: Dogman [2018]

“You’ve got to solve your own problem” Would anyone miss Simone (Edoardo Pesce) if he disappeared? No. He’s a heavy that possesses no positive impact on the impoverished Italian community in which he resides. Addicted to cocaine and wielding a temper that always keeps fresh cuts and bruises on his face despite everyone knowing you […]

REVIEW: Maiden [2019]

“The ocean is always trying to kill you” There’s no better example of the patriarchy poisoning the word “feminism” than a woman explaining that she rejects the word before than saying she fights for a world where women can accomplish everything a man can instead … in other words: feminism. Despite what men want you […]

REVIEW: Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas [Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles] [2019]

“I think I’ve been lost since I got here” Before surrealist legend Luis Buñuel found himself directing multiple films a year during the 1950s on the way to creating French classics like Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in the 60s and 70s respectively, he became a persona non grata when […]

REVIEW: Un couteau dans le coeur [Knife+Heart] [2018]

“She’s playing with real life” Anne Parèze (Vanessa Paradis) has ruined her love. What she’s done to push Loïs (Kate Moran) away is unknown, but her desperation ensures we know she was dumped and not the dumper. Whatever happened hasn’t soured their relationship completely, however. Loïs still cares enough about Anne as a person and […]

REVIEW: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw [2019]

“How long have you worked here?” After eight movies and an increasing cast of characters latching on without letting go, the Fast & Furious franchise found itself overcrowded. While not a problem on a supporting level, an ego trip logjam at the top almost always gets broken up. Luckily for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, […]

REVIEW: Les îles [Islands] [2018]

“Tell me you want me” Winner of the Queer Palm at Cannes 2017 for short film, Yann Gonzalez‘s Les îles [Islands] delivers eroticism in many forms. From one scene of intimacy to the next, he lets his camera follow characters into the throes of sex before pulling out to show how one’s pleasures are another’s […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: 8 [2019]

“I am the wanderer and you are mine forever” It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Does a demon named Utuli roam the earth in search of souls to consume, feeding on the weakness of those who’ve endured lost to serve as its host? Or does it create turmoil and tragedy precisely to enlist those willing […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: Sator [2019]

“He will make you pure” Writer/director (and pretty much every other behind the scenes position a feature-length film demands) Jordan Graham‘s grandmother used to hear voices and write the words being spoken down as though they were messages she needed to both understand and follow. She called the orator Sator, “his” name scrawled upon the […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: 白蛇:緣起 [Baishe: Yuanqi] [White Snake] [2019]

“Do you ever have to do what you don’t want to do?” Filmmakers Amp Wong, Ji Zhao (directors), and Damao (screenwriter) have taken the Chinese fable Legend of the White Snake and reformatted it into a prequel/remake with sequel possibilities (if a mid-credits sequence is any indication). The concept of reincarnation keeps the characters the […]

REVIEW: The Farewell [2019]

“It’s a good lie” Billi (Awkwafina) heads to her parents’ home to clean laundry after discovering she’s now two months behind on her rent only to hear her father (Tzi Ma‘s Haiyan) is “asleep” … at 6pm. Her mother (Diana Lin‘s Jian) dismisses the time as a byproduct of them being very busy, but she […]