• REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [2017]

    “It’s hard to know what to do” It’s no coincidence that the dumbest character in Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri says the most revealing line of dialogue throughout the entire film: “Anger begets more anger.” I guess it’s because Penelope (Samara Weaving) isn’t dumb as much as she’s naïvely innocent and young. She’s […]

  • 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 […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Okja [2017]

“Very healthy!” I’m far from a vegetarian or a pet/animal lover, but I get the reasons why people would be both. And no matter how much I enjoy eating red meat, even I would have to draw the line when confronted with a “Meet your meat” type scenario. What purpose is drawn from such a […]

REVIEW: The Man Who Invented Christmas [2017]

“Why throw everything away for a minor holiday?” As Les Standiford‘s book would tell it, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) found himself in somewhat of a creative rut after a lengthy and expensive tour of America post-Oliver Twist. He had published three flops since buying a new London home in need of wholesale remodeling and began […]

REVIEW: Roman J. Israel, Esq. [2017]

“Hope don’t get the job done” There’s something about introverted characters (possibly on the Autism spectrum) with poor social cues battling their own internal morality that writer/director Dan Gilroy loves. Nightcrawler saw a hard-working sociopath sever ties with virtue before gleefully embracing the spoils of his decision. Gilroy provided a descent into the nightmarish hell-scape […]

REVIEW: Porto [2017]

“You never know if what you’ve lost is better than what you’ve gained” An American ex-pat reminisces about lost love, his walk through the Portuguese town of Porto leading to the café window of an old late-night conversation conducted with absolute honesty, vulnerability, and empathy. His hair is grayed, the time between widescreen past and […]

REVIEW: Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story [2017]

“I’m a good shot so be careful” The tell-all “autobiography” Ecstasy and Me: My Life As A Woman was exactly what Hedy Lamarr‘s agent wanted to make quick money. But it wasn’t her life. Whether her ghostwriter’s words were true or not, the story dealt with everything she hoped wouldn’t define her legacy. Sadly she […]

REVIEW: Remember Me [2017]

“The last thing you and I need is for bodies to start piling up” I’d assume the majority of people treat/treated their grandparents as somewhat of an escape. They were family who you loved and cared for that had a home you could stay at whenever you wanted. So you showed face once in a […]

REVIEW: The Room [2003]

“Did you know chocolate is the symbol of love?” I didn’t think it could be this bad. How’s it possible? How could the hype not prove hyperbolic? How could there not be one redeeming aspect in the entirety of Tommy Wiseau‘s vision? But then you watch and discover it’s true. The Room is quite possibly […]

REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [2017]

“It’s hard to know what to do” It’s no coincidence that the dumbest character in Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri says the most revealing line of dialogue throughout the entire film: “Anger begets more anger.” I guess it’s because Penelope (Samara Weaving) isn’t dumb as much as she’s naïvely innocent and young. She’s […]

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 […]