REVIEW: Western [2017]

“What are you searching for here?” When a group of Germans enter rural Bulgaria on an assignment to divert water towards a new power plant, those unversed in the area and its history wouldn’t think too much about it. Those like me would assume whatever conflict at this story’s back would arise from differing languages […]

REVIEW: McQueen [2018]

“If you want to know me, just look at my work” I can understand the ubiquity of a name like Alexander McQueen because I remember knowing it when he tragically committed suicide back in 2010. Recognition only took one mention despite it being all over the news—even if I wasn’t wholly sure who he was […]

REVIEW: Crazy Rich Asians [2018]

“Family never says thank you” While I haven’t read Kevin Kwan‘s novel Crazy Rich Asians, I can definitely see why producers would have approached him with the note: “Where’s your white character?” It has all the usual romantic comedy beats from stranger in a stranger land antics, memorable supporting characters readying the “commoner” for an […]

REVIEW: Pappy’s World [2018]

“Come on. Tickle me.” A self-proclaimed “socially responsible Blaxpoitation” horror short from director Matt Wisniewski and co-writer Fred Polone, Pappy’s World arrives as though a music video for Buffalo-based art-rock project Smokin’ Black Tar with an opening guitar-led track against the silent movements of a young girl (Jaz Frazier) around Christmastime. While she eyeballs a […]

REVIEW: Arizona [2018]

“Nothing but possibility” You should know going in that Jonathan Watson‘s Arizona is a comedy. It’s billed that way. Former “30 Rock” and current “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” writer Luke Del Tredici is responsible for the script. And Danny McBride has had his face plastered on all the marketing materials. But you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking […]

REVIEW: Searching for Fortune [2018]

“I didn’t know we could do that” Whether you’re a proponent of nature over nurture or vice versa, you cannot deny the impact both have on our lives regardless of the other. Yes we all have the potential to be President of the United States on paper, but we don’t all have the tools at […]

REVIEW: BlacKkKlansman [2018]

“Did you just use your real name?” The fact that Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman is based on a true story is absolutely crazy. A black rookie cop in Colorado calls the Ku Klux Klan, wins them over with racist rhetoric, and talks his precinct chief into approving an investigation wherein a white officer would pretend to […]

REVIEW: Univitellin [2016]

“All of that for nothing” Writer/director Terence Nance describes his short film Univitellin as “an improvised prequel about the past lives of one person—about the two people they were before they karmically merged.” It’s important to know this because that’s not what you’d assume upon watching its tale of fated and tragic romance between Aminata […]

REVIEW: The Meg [2018]

“Discover and then destroy” An adaptation of Steve Alten‘s Navy deep-sea diver/paleobiologist Jonas Taylor-led series of novels has been in the works pretty much since the first installment was published back in 1997. There have been six literary sequels written since then as the property changed hands from Disney to Warner Bros. and directors from […]

REVIEW: C’est La Vie [2016]

“You don’t choose to be me” In the perfect complement to Basically, writer/director Ari Aster uses the same format of pitting his lead character against the camera for an incendiary diatribe about life, freedom, and oppression with C’est La Vie. Where the former centered upon a young, aspiring actress who proved a product of affluence […]

REVIEW: The Turtle’s Head [2014]

“She didn’t get the pun” What appeared an early misstep of juvenile comedic intent with TDF Really Works actually seems to be a glaring blind spot for writer/director Ari Aster after watching his short film The Turtle’s Head. There are few better than him today where using humor to augment the subversions of darker genres […]