REVIEW: Knife Skills [2017]

“What I see is a tremendous amount of desire” One of the students at Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute explains how ex-convicts wear the stigma of that label as a badge. It tells potential employers that they are willing to work harder and prove their loyalty because anyone who gives them a chance at a […]

REVIEW: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 [2017]

“We are creativity itself” It’s not easy to depict mental illness with honest clarity or art’s cathartic influence as therapy, but Frank Stiefel‘s look at Mindy Alper entitled Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 does both. It helps that Mindy is an open, self-aware subject despite crippling anxieties. She leads his camera through […]

REVIEW: Edith+Eddie [2017]

“Treat everybody right” You hear horror stories of people who foster children in order to pocket the money they receive from the state meant for that child’s wellbeing and want to hope they’re the exceptions rather than rule. It’s easy to be cynical, however, and believe the opposite in this world. The same can be […]

REVIEW: Dear Basketball [2017]

“I did everything for you” “Money” is a word used to describe Kobe Bryant the athlete because he was the guy you gave the ball to with no time on the clock. Everyone could rely on him whether coach, teammate, or fan because we knew the chances were that a good look at the hoop […]

REVIEW: My Nephew Emmett [2017]

“Take me instead” Everyone knows or should know who Emmett Till was. Many label his death as a major catalyst for what would become the Civil Rights movement—it occurring in August 1955 with the Montgomery bus boycott following in December. At only fourteen years of age this Chicago native was accused of whistling and flirting […]

REVIEW: DeKalb Elementary [2017]

“We’re all gonna die today” There’s a moment in Reed Van Dyk‘s DeKalb Elementary where the young, mentally unstable white male shooter (Bo Mitchell‘s Steven Hall) exits the school in search of a suicide-by-cop scenario. He opens fire on the police—receiving bullets in return—until the courageously calm black female receptionist (Tarra Riggs‘ Cassandra Rice) asks […]

REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Death Cure [2018]

“It’s about knowing when you’ve lost” Could you sacrifice a percentage of the population if it meant saving mankind in its entirety? What about if it merely gave you a chance at that salvation? These are the big questions we ask ourselves at the end of the world—ones that force us to face the reality […]

REVIEW: The Strange Thing About the Johnsons [2011]

“I’m sorry if this is weird” How do you show someone that what he considers innocent or “normal” is anything but? You flip it. You turn the victim into perpetrator and vice versa so that they can begin to understand the position they so involuntarily place others in as though it’s their right. But even […]

REVIEW: Birdland [2018]

“Crime is nature” Some filmmakers keep their endings ambiguous so the art lingers with the viewer in order to interpret the piece rather than merely consume it. Writer/director Peter Lynch looks to go one step further with his noir Birdland (co-written by Lee Gowan) by rendering the whole a mystery wherein beginnings and ends are […]

REVIEW: The Commuter [2018]

“One little thing” If the timeline is to be believed, the fourth meet-up between director Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson entitled The Commuter was the result of the latter rather than the former. Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi‘s story went through the hands of at least two other stewards as well as a rewrite […]

REVIEW: Ava [2017]

“They won’t spoil our summer” Knowing your sight will leave you prematurely is a tough pill to swallow. Being told at age thirteen that the process had sped up to the point where all night vision would be gone by summer’s end is nothing short of devastating. Unfortunately this is the news Ava (Noée Abita) […]