REVIEW: Rebelle [War Witch] [2012]

“I don’t know if god will give me the strength to love you” It was a news headline focused on child soldiers in Africa embroiled in war and transformed into deity-like figures that inspired writer/director Kim Nguyen to create his Oscar nominated film Rebelle [War Witch]. Learning about prepubescent twins Johnny and Luther Htoo led to more research on the phenomenon and the idea to craft a tale speaking towards the resilience necessary for so many unwitting victims of civil unrest to survive. Atrocities are committed to them, by them,…

Read More

REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer [2013]

“We never forget a smell” What do you get when you combine the English folktale Jack and the Beanstalk with the more violent Cornish fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer in an age where computer animation pretty much allows anything to be possible? Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, of course. A film that has traveled through many hands—Darren Lemke wrote the original script, David Dobkin has a credit, D.J. Caruso was once attached to direct, and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie reworked the tone and plot to where it is today—I…

Read More

The 85th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • and the #Oscars begin … #[email protected] • SUCCESS!! Tommy Lee Jones smiles! #[email protected] • poor Don Cheadle #Oscars13 Welcome to the 85th annual Academy Awards from the newly renamed Dolby Theatre. Bankruptcy is a drag, ain’t it Kodak? Hopes were high after host Seth MacFarlane‘s surprisingly hilarious Ted made me wonder if the dude wasn’t the real deal after all. A poor man’s Ricky Gervais, the Academy was probably wise in going for the watered-down Americanized version of unbridled snark because one would think the “Family Guy” creator…

Read More

Top Ten Films of 2012: Ensembles upon ensembles

Many have been saying 2012 was a great year for movies. I’m not sure I fully agree. There were a ton of solid 7/10s and 8/10s, yes, but how does that compare with previous years when the amount of 10/10s were also drastically reduced? It took until September for me to give a film four stars and the two I did laud with such a distinction that month were the only ones. Rather than a showcase of masterpiece cinema, 2012 was instead a year of the performance. And I mean…

Read More

REVIEW: Sexy Baby [2012]

“What’s snowballing?” Welcome to the digital age of a sexual generation raised on the ever-expanding internet where objectification has become self-inflicted before outside influences can gain the upper hand. By posting photos, videos, and comments on Facebook; sexting friends; dressing provocatively; and projecting an image of desire whether one is actually game to hook-up with whomever is close by or not, America’s children are no longer in the dark. Some accidentally stumble upon porn—images or movies—by the age of 9 depending on parental restrictions and by 12 have cultivated their…

Read More

REVIEW: Snitch [2013]

“You just have to trust me” Watching the trailer for Ric Roman Waugh‘s Snitch had me believing the film would be a high-octane actioner in the vein of Dwayne Johnson‘s other one-word titled thriller Faster. Between the depiction of The Rock’s John Matthews going undercover with the DEA to bring down a narcotics kingpin and the writer/director’s past as a stuntman/stunt coordinator, it seemed a pretty easy leap to make. Interestingly enough, however, this isn’t the case and I’m torn whether that realization is a positive or negative. Generally action…

Read More

REVIEW: Inescapable [2012]

“I need to see her eyes” Acclaimed Arab-Canadian filmmaker Ruba Nadda follows her festival winning romantic drama Cairo Time with the mystery thriller Inescapable. It’s new territory for the writer/director in that its love story has already occurred, been thwarted, and had its central pairing move on. Whereas one could see Nadda weaving the tapestry of Adib Abdel Kareem’s (Alexander Siddig) early years in Damascus with his love Fatima (Marisa Tomei) amidst the war-torn city’s police occupation’s paranoia, this chapter in her lead’s life is a different beast altogether. A…

Read More

REVIEW: Mondays at Racine [2012]

“There’s a beauty that can come out” Mondays at Racine is a very worthwhile story touching upon the myriad points on life’s spectrum by branching off from its simple subject towards the much more personal and powerful realities facing cancer patients across the world. Oscar-winning—her documentary short Freeheld—director Cynthia Wade probably began her journey into Rachel Delmolfetto and her sister Cynthia Sansone‘s lives without any clue as to what she would discover next. The film may retain a title speaking towards the compassionate service these siblings give to a community…

Read More

REVIEW: Redemption [2012]

“If you don’t do it full-time you ain’t gonna get what you need” As the economy struggles and paying jobs become few and far between, people need to do whatever is necessary to survive. For many New York City residents, canning is the one thing out there that will ensure they have at least a few dollars by the end of the day. Some of these cart pushers are homeless, some immigrants, and some even war veterans without the ability to find work after factories and/or restaurants employing them have…

Read More

REVIEW: Kings Point [2012]

“Staying here is just about all you can do” It was always the stereotypical retirement locale—Florida beckoning with open arms. Great weather, a new community of age-appropriate friends, and a simpler life away from the harsh cold of northern winters awaited everyone who migrated down. Some had to move due to doctor’s orders, others wanted to let their children have their own lives. To move south was to be reborn as a newly single soul on the prowl or as a couple transitioning into their so-called “golden years”. But like…

Read More

REVIEW: Welcome to the Punch [2013]

“Does she now? You look like Kenny Rogers.” Bolstered by a script ranking number three on the 2010 Brit List—a film industry tabulation of the best unproduced British screenplays—Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch goes a long way to putting the writer/director on our cinematic map. The guy has worked behind the scenes on projects with Danny Boyle, Woody Allen, Neil Jordan, and Matthew Vaughn, the latter appearing to be who’s style he most closely resembles. Shooting a ton of music videos and commercials alongside his debut feature Shifty, Creevy…

Read More