REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame [2019]

“I love you three thousand” The best thing Marvel ever did was split their Avengers 1.0 saga’s final chapter in two since it allowed Infinity War to deliver what no other entry could: stakes. Despite knowing they were always false due to the giant gauntlet in the room that literally bends time and space to […]

REVIEW: Booksmart [2019]

“‘Your ugly’ what?” Does Olivia Wilde‘s directorial debut Booksmart call to mind Superbad? You bet. Not only is it about two nerd best friends trying to punch above their weight class and party hard before graduating, but it also stars that film’s co-lead Jonah Hill‘s sister in a very similar mode. She (Beanie Feldstein‘s Molly) […]

REVIEW: I Trapped the Devil [2019]

“Something feels wrong” Tragedy struck some time ago and we honestly don’t need to know the details to understand how it’s affected the three characters we’re about to meet. Steve (Scott Poythress) is the one who’s hurting from it and has been ever since. Maybe his brother Matt (AJ Bowen) thought space was needed for […]

HOTDOCS19 REVIEW: Willie [2019]

“I’m not done” It was 2003 before a Black hockey player had the honor of being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. That player was Grant Fuhr, the Stanley Cup winning goalie of the Edmonton Oilers and multiple other teams (including a short stint with my hometown Buffalo Sabres). Because he was far from […]

REVIEW: 江湖儿女 [Jiang hu er nü] [Ash Is Purest White] [2018]

“Armed men tend to die first” The genesis of Zhangke Jia‘s Jiang hu er nü [Ash is Purest White] is intriguing. After thinking about cut scenes from two of his earlier films starring now wife Tao Zhao (Unknown Pleasures and Still Life), he found himself merging her characters into one. He saw this woman having […]

REVIEW: Rottentail [2019]

“I don’t want to change!” I’m a proponent for fun comic book adaptations that don’t adhere to the Christopher Nolan school of brooding drama that’s more or less taken over the genre, but I’d hope the goal would be smart wit rather than dumb idiocy. That doesn’t mean I necessarily begrudge the sort who seek […]

REVIEW: JT LeRoy [2019]

“I wouldn’t even exist without her” It really is a wild story. Laura Albert, in need of expressing her pain outside of her own identity, creates a fictional version of herself to write three novels as exorcism under “his” name. Who knows if she anticipated the type of acclaim they and “he” would receive, but […]

REVIEW: The Curse of La Llorona [2019]

“She’s already here” When Warner Bros. decided to capitalize on the box office and critical success of James Wan‘s The Conjuring by crafting an extended universe of creepy spirits with a feature length tale born from that film’s prologue, the results were not great. Annabelle felt rushed at best and retrofitted at worst—a generic horror […]

REVIEW: Peterloo [2018]

“Let’s see what he has to say” Films devoid of main protagonists are generally created as such because the event orbited by their ensemble of characters proves the focal point instead. So when that central moment is a massacre, you must brace for the reality that many will end up victims left for dead. The […]

REVIEW: Missing Link [2019]

“What chicken?” With Laika CEO Travis Knight branching out to live-action on Bumblebee, it was only right that Chris Butler would carry the studio’s fifth feature film after the ambitious undertaking that was Kubo and the Two Strings (which the former directed and the latter co-wrote). Missing Link also becomes Butler’s follow-up to ParaNorman—my personal […]

REVIEW: Little Woods [2019]

“Your choices are only as good as your options” There’s a great documentary about what life is like in the fracking boomtowns of North Dakota entitled The Overnighters. In it we witness an example of humanity at its simultaneous best and worst. Desperate men seeking an escape from troubles back home arrive to find a […]