REVIEW: The Opera Singer [2016]

“I never thought I’d find myself here. Yet here I am.” I often think that my lack of feeling towards pets prevents me from truly appreciating supposedly emotionally heartwrenching works because my initial reaction is to laugh. I chuckle much like the filmmakers behind John Wick wanted me to as it hinged its entire revenge […]

REVIEW: Hacksaw Ridge [2016]

“Come back home to me” It took almost sixty years before Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor, was cajoled from modesty to allow for a cinematic adaptation of his harrowing journey from Virginia to Okinawa’s blood-soaked WWII battlefield. It took another fifteen before the result hit the big screen, […]

REVIEW: Sully [2016]

“A delay is better than a disaster” I found myself siding with snarky detractors when Clint Eastwood announced he was tackling a biopic about Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger because it seemed rather anticlimactic. Could you truly find a captivating feature length film in the paltry 208-seconds from engine failure to splash landing? We already know everyone […]

REVIEW: The Birth of a Nation [2016]

“I pray you sing to the Lord a new song” It’s impossible to watch Nate Parker‘s The Birth of a Nation today without making note of the controversy surrounding him. Emotions have run high and the first-time director has met a backlash of calls for boycott stemming from a 1999 rape case of which he […]

REVIEW: Queen of Katwe [2016]

“This is a place for fighters” The story of Phiona Mutesi is perfectly tailored for a Disney-produced true-life inspirational sports drama. As a nine-year old girl living in the Katwe slum of Kampala, Uganda selling maize with her siblings to help support their single mother after their father died of AIDS, who would have expected […]

TIFF16 REVIEW: Bleed for This [2016]

“Christ and elephants” There’s something about boxing movies that gets butts in seats regardless of so many being practically the same story. The formula almost always concerns some type of personal and professional redemption and Ben Younger‘s Bleed for This is no exception. Being a true telling of Vinny Pazienza’s (Miles Teller) arduous journey back […]

TIFF16 REVIEW: A United Kingdom [2016]

“I’ve never wanted anything like I want this” Who knew the power of love ultimately won independence for the democratic republic of Botswana? I sure didn’t. But this is the based on a true story film writer Guy Hibbert and director Amma Asante have delivered with A United Kingdom. It’s a tale of racial segregation, […]

TIFF16 REVIEW: Snowden [2016]

“Secrecy is security and security is victory” Remakes repackaging foreign films for American audiences are justifiable if done correctly. I’d hope our movie-going public would willingly read subtitles and experience the original artist’s vision, but we don’t live in a utopia. Dramatizing non-fiction work is equally acceptable in specific circumstances because a narrative built from […]

REVIEW: For the Love of Spock [2016]

“He did” I’m not sure what the original plan for Adam Nimoy‘s documentary For the Love Spock was considering a full-length feature about the origins of a fictional character—no matter how beloved—is hardly the stuff for which theatrical releases are made. But Leonard Nimoy‘s passing during production ultimately gave the project a new motivation. It […]

REVIEW: Florence Foster Jenkins [2016]

“There is no one quite like you” I wanted to think that Florence Foster Jenkins intrigues specifically because her story couldn’t occur today as it did then. So many contemporary celebrities willfully embrace their lack of talent now, monetizing themselves into greater successes than those with the merit to earn it. Her level of delusion—to […]

REVIEW: The Trials of Muhammad Ali [2013]

“A white man’s heaven is a black man’s hell” While the structure of Bill Siegel‘s The Trials of Muhammad Ali delivers nothing new to the language of documentary—archival footage mixed with present-day interviews working towards a specific thesis—the story at it’s back is too interesting to blindly dismiss. We all know Ali as a poet, […]