REVIEW: Synecdoche, New York [2008]

“The end is built into the beginning” We all go about our lives creating a world around us. To us, we are the stars of a film; our surroundings are the set; and the people touching our lives supporting players and/or extras. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Caden Cotard watches as the plays he directs onstage succeed and garner praise while the life he lives with wife and daughter falls apart around him. As a God, crafting the activities and molding the characterizations of a cast, his own humanity is lost and…

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REVIEW: He’s Just Not That Into You [2009]

“You’re my exception” Longtime television director, and top dog of some movies I’m sure he’d like to forget about, Ken Kwapis’ new film He’s Just Not That Into You seemed to be that rare romantic comedy that offered enough plot and insight to interest both sexes. All about a group of guys and girls in their late twenties to late thirties—who are, in the most convenient way, connected to each other by someone in the group—it shows their successes and failures at love. Based on a popular novel, I’d be…

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The 2009 Oscars … ‘nuff said

The 2009 Academy Awards have closed out the 2008 award season once and for all. And in an inspired move, actually ushered in the new year of movies by ending the show with a montage of 2009 releases. It was a departure somewhat from previous years as it appeared the Academy wanted to try some new things out, making the ceremony a bit more intimate while also possibly shortening its length (well the latter didn’t end up happening). I’ll say that production-wise, this was one of my favorite incarnations ever.…

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REVIEW: The Sweet Hereafter [1997]

“Wiggle your noses and have fun” **spoilers** How much money is your child worth? Is that a question you could ever fathom yourself asking? Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter broaches the subject with devastating results, showing the many ways in which one could lose their offspring and the pain and suffering it causes. But can that pain be tempered by a monetary settlement or a name being punished with a slap on the wrist? No, of course not. Vengeance will only feed your lust for blood; it will only make…

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REVIEW: Fired Up! [2009]

“No, science is awesome” I will admit it first off, I dreaded this day—the day I was going to sit down and watch Fired Up! It’s a film about two high school football jocks that decide to go to cheer camp and attempt to make headway in an untapped market of females. Now when I said high school, I mean the characters, not the actors. How Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen can play seventeen year olds Shawn and Nick when they are 28 and 31 respectively, I don’t know.…

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REVIEW: The International [2009]

“Slaves to debt” Why do I keep questioning the work of Tom Tykwer? True, I didn’t know that The International was his film until way after the marketing onslaught, but even then I still held a little trepidation, although much less than when I first saw the trailers looking kind of mediocre. The guy most definitely has the goods and I’m glad English language producers are showing the confidence to start handing him big budget flicks. Much like a Marc Forster, known for small scale story-heavy movies getting a shot…

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REVIEW: Friday the 13th [2009]

“You should have been watching him” The scariest part of the new remake Friday the 13th … that’s right, getting into your car and realizing that the eternity was only 90 minutes. All jokes aside, what I learned from the newest installment in one of horror’s never-ending franchises is that you do not mess with Jason Voorhees’s weed. The guy has a nice little crop growing over there at Camp Crystal Lake, and he protects it with his machete and burlap bag covered grotesque mug. Honestly, the first few deaths…

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REVIEW: Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story [1988]

“What’s wrong? Do The Carpenters have something to hide?” There is something to be said about great music and the depths of hell it comes from. So many classic songs and albums were created under the influence of some drug, whether illegal or prescribed, or by a disorder of some kind, both mentally and physically. This is true of The Carpenters and their demise at the hand of lead singer Karen falling prey to an overdose of medication used to keep her anorexia going without the need of over-the-counter laxatives.…

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REVIEW: Appaloosa [2008]

“Everything eats meat likes a dead buffalo” It kind of flew under the radar, but Ed Harris’ film Appaloosa is a pretty solid western. As only his second foray behind the camera, after the good art biography Pollock, Harris has upped the stakes a bit in terms of scope and execution. Sure an old time western set around New Mexico territory isn’t all that posh and expensive, but it is impressive nonetheless. Between the costumes and the authenticity needed to make it real, something that HBO showed was possible with…

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REVIEW: Push [2009]

“It’s a shiny, shimmery bead” So, I’ll just come out and say it … I enjoyed Lucky Number Slevin. It was stylish, Ben Kingsley was a good kind of hammy, and Josh Hartnett’s penchant for wooden acting worked with the character. You know another thing I really enjoy? That little television show called “Heroes”. Trust me, it’s a goodie. Why do I say all this? Well because director Paul McGuigan has taken his action-infused storytelling to the new film Push, basically using a similar premise as the before mentioned NBC…

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