REVIEW: The Glass Castle [2017]

“You learn from living. Everything else is a damn lie.” It’s easy to dismiss films like Destin Daniel Cretton‘s The Glass Castle for losing their bite upon reaching a conclusion nobody can deny is melodramatically sentimental. You’ve watched Jeannette Walls’ (Brie Larson) decades-long journey of psychological pain and suffering wrought during her upbringing and ever-present […]

REVIEW: The Killers [1946]

“Stop listening to those golden harps, Swede” “The Killers” is a dialogue-driven short story by Ernest Hemingway that describes the melancholic criminal comeuppance of a man long-removed from the deeds that signed his death warrant. It reads like a fast-paced and stripped-down script whose intrigue is built out of that which we’ll never know. Context […]

REVIEW: Billy Liar [1963]

“Today’s a day of big decisions” When you live in a small town where everyone knows your name, flights of fancy can prove your only escape. Not everyone imagines a whole country to forget him/herself in when times get tough, but Billy Fisher (Tom Courtenay) is a one-of-a-kind guy. You can’t even blame him since […]

REVIEW: It [1990]

“It just isn’t empirically possible” Considering I was around ten-years old when first seeing Tommy Lee Wallace‘s “It”—I’m pretty sure it was post-1990 since I was only eight then—my memory held its adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel in high regard. I probably watched bits and pieces over the next could decades, always believing it to […]

REVIEW: Logan Lucky [2017]

“Did you just say cauliflower to me?” The story is as follows: Steven Soderbergh—while on hiatus from feature films (previously known as retirement)—received a script from a mutual friend of his and screenwriter Rebecca Blunt (who might not be a real person). He fell in love with its stripped down Ocean’s 11 feel devoid of […]

REVIEW: Lycan [2017]

“I don’t want to go into the woods” There’s a monster in the forest—or at least the rumors purport it. Horrific murders occurred on land not too far from a small Southern town’s local college, the stuff of urban legend that unfortunately concluded with the predator’s dead body in a grave hidden on private property […]

REVIEW: Dave Made a Maze [2017]

“It’s bigger than it looks” The premise is silly: stunted artist who’s never finished a project in his life finds inspiration through cardboard boxes and their ability to be molded into a literal labyrinth he’s already erected virtually inside his mind to ensure he will never fail (or succeed) since such a final verdict only […]

REVIEW: Detroit [2017]

“Burn it down” The title may be presumptuous enough to broadly call itself Detroit, but make no mistake that Kathryn Bigelow‘s latest film is very much about the Algiers Motel incident on the night of July 25th, 1967. Screenwriter Mark Boal allows for some prologue exposition before reaching that fateful evening—setting up the events that […]

REVIEW: Annabelle: Creation [2017]

“Dear diary. Today I came home.” You can’t blame audiences for being skeptical about a prequel to a prequel to James Wan‘s acclaimed The Conjuring when the first proved a huge step down in quality. There was no way Annabelle would equal the level of contemporary horror classic that Wan’s look into the paranormal via […]

REVIEW: Among Us [2017]

“It hurts to look at you” An effective horror keeps you unaware of the danger lurking in the shadows. The less you know about what’s coming the better because you don’t want to end up spending your time guessing how the problem will be solved when you should be experiencing its escalating terror. This means […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Tiere [Animals] [2017]

“Animals don’t kill themselves” Discovering that screenwriter Jörg Kalt committed suicide before bringing his script Tiere [Animals] to life adds a lot of context to how one deciphers Greg Zglinski‘s film. The director had read it the year before Kalt’s death, lauding it while on a Zurich Film Foundation committee in the hopes of helping […]