REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express [1974]

“With the help of a hat box” If the way in which Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) manipulates his suspects into perfectly incriminating themselves upon inquisition—often unbeknownst to us until the final reveal—infers that he has a photographic memory, we the audience need a bit more exposition as it concerns yet unseen connections than perhaps the […]

REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 [2017]

“Because you’ve never seen a miracle” Survival is a selfish endeavor, but not necessarily one driven by ego. On the contrary, survival is often a selfless means to place community ahead of the individual. Look at our country’s current, abhorrent divisions along lines we should have erased decades ago or never created in the first […]

REVIEW: Never Here [2017]

“You’ve done a bad thing” Miranda Fall (Mireille Enos) is a cataloger. Her art leads her on journeys following new subjects in order to understand who each is by what each does and possesses. She voyeuristically captures their lives in photographs and objects, exhibiting her findings as though a celebration despite some of her targets […]

REVIEW: In a Lonely Place [1950]

“There’s no sacrifice too great for a chance at immortality” Just because you might be innocent of one crime doesn’t mean you’re a saint who’d never commit another. We’ve seen this type of complex premise as recently as “The Night of”, a miniseries about racial prejudice and police neglect wherein the accused (and audience) is […]

REVIEW: The Foreigner [2017]

“Trust or fear” I like a good action thriller without a clear target because it allows the story to develop where cat and mouse chases usually reside. Martin Campbell‘s The Foreigner is a good example as it shows what happens when a sharp plot is made paramount. We know who the bad guys are—a group […]

REVIEW: Blade Runner [1982]

“All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain” An over-populated Earth circa 2019 uses synthetic androids known as replicants for the hard labor of colonization. Their lifespans are barely four years long, their circuitry prone to fits of amoral aggression. Each subsequent version becomes stronger and smarter, the risk of mutiny […]

BIFF17 REVIEW: Prodigy [2017]

“Love is the guise under which selfishness operates” Guilt is a powerful thing. It can make you act in ways that go against your own survival and yet still ensure those actions are selfishly motivated. You aren’t necessarily acting to help another or have their best interests in mind. You’re goal is to make-up for […]

REVIEW: Videodrome [1983]

“Better on TV than on the streets” To watch David Cronenberg‘s Videodrome today is to acknowledge his clairvoyance as far as technology’s capacity to control via (mis)information. He filmed this body horror classic about subliminal messaging in mass consumption in 1983: years before the political firestorm in 1992 revolving around ubiquitous violence in videogames via […]

TIFF17 REVIEW: Motorrad [2017]

“How did you get past the wall?” You won’t find a better locale for a film than Serra da Canastra in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Its rocky landscapes and serene hills are gorgeous, their quiet solemnity a perfect contrast to the loud gas-guzzling motorcycles director Vicente Amorim has roaming their dirt paths in Motorrad. The only […]

TIFF17 REVIEW: Downrange [2017]

“How’d your passengers turn out? Any weirdos?” A car slams on its breaks at the pop of a flat. Inside is Todd (Rod Hernandez) and Sara (Alexa Yeames), a young couple toting around a bunch of strangers who pitched in gas money to reach everyone’s shared destination. Putting on the spare this SUV is thankfully […]

REVIEW: mother! [2017]

“His words are yours” Paramount has taken pains to ensure you know as little about Darren Aronofsky‘s mother! as possible. I know this because they’ve made it very difficult to find any images with which to populate this review. Their press site has no entry. The Toronto International Film Festival site contains no stills. And […]