• REVIEW: Leave No Trace [2018]

    “We can still think our own thoughts” It’s easy to depict PTSD-suffering war veterans as unstable, dangerous, and beyond help from inevitable tragedy. This depiction has sadly become the Hollywood norm to conjure volatile dramatics devoid of the empathy those struggling to combat their demons deserve. If anyone could supply the necessary humanity to portray […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2017

    Honorable Mention: #100: Talking by Elderbrook #99: Carnival III:The Fall and Rise of a Refugee by Wyclef Jean #98: Somewhere in Between by VÉRITÉ #97: The World We Built by The Wild Reeds #96: Lines by Charlie Cunningham #95: Ti Amo by Phoenix #94: Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio #93: Last Place by Grandaddy #92: […]

  • REVIEW: Hereditary [2018]

    “Why are you afraid of me?” If anyone has the ability to dive into the deepest, darkest secrets of an otherwise normal looking suburban family, it’s the writer/director of The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. It’s been seven years since Ari Aster‘s viral short film about incest and sexual abuse came out and yet his […]

  • REVIEW: American Animals [2018]

    “Like what?” The more you hear about privileged white kids shooting-up schools because they’re under such “debilitating” pressure alienating them from the “cool” kids, turn “alt-right” with a projection of hatred that stems from a hatred in themselves courtesy of a false notion that they’re somehow “special,” and find themselves acting out of boredom in […]

  • REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]

    “You said never improvise” Nine movies into the cinematic world of George Lucas‘ Star Wars—three of which extend past his control over the franchise—and we remain tethered to the Skywalkers. It makes sense. In order for Disney to commoditize the property, they must first reconnect with old fans and familiarize the new. So they stuck […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: The Lost World: Jurassic Park [1997]

“So you went from capitalist to naturalist in just four years. That’s something.” It’s one thing for a movie to spawn a sequel for no other reason than money—especially at the Hollywood level where the capitalistic gains of producers usurp the artistic worth of its creators. But it’s another to ask the artist who spawned […]

REVIEW: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? [2018]

“Look for the helpers” I remember watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” as a kid, but couldn’t have told you anything about it besides the fact that Fred Rogers would trade his jacket for a cardigan and eventually let us travel to his Neighborhood of Make-Believe. To me it was the aesthetic that grabbed hold—the trolley trip […]

REVIEW: Irma Vep [1996]

“Have you sex with girls?” If you’re going to poke fun at the film industry, you might as well go for broke. Take Olivier Assayas‘ Irma Vep for example. Hot off the success of his acclaimed Cold Water, he was recruited for a project about foreigners in Paris with Claire Denis and Atom Egoyan. When […]

REVIEW: The Killing [1956]

“Just a bad joke without a punch line” After test screenings left audiences confused and frustrated, writer/director Stanley Kubrick and producing partner James B. Harris decided to return to the edit bay and turn The Killing‘s overlapping, repetitious structure into a more linear A-to-B narrative. You can’t blame the former for wanting to do everything […]

REVIEW: Never Steady, Never Still [2018]

“I’m full of memories. I’m full of hope. I’m full of regrets.” With a riveting central performance by Shirley Henderson as a woman dealing with advanced Parkinson’s, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Kathleen Hepburn‘s Never Steady, Never Still (adapted from her short of the same name) was simply about the tragedy of the disease. […]

REVIEW: Incredibles 2 [2018]

“Help me make supers legal again!” Fourteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel—especially from a studio that embraced the concept of creatively expanding properties with them early on in its tenure. Letting a decade-plus pass guarantees your initial audience has grown out of the target demographic and therefore presumes their interest […]

REVIEW: Bao [2018]

Watching the first half of Domee Shi‘s Bao with a quizzical expression is par for the course. How could you not react that way with this story of a Chinese-Canadian woman who begins to treat a hand-made dumpling like it is her child? It’s one thing to gasp and laugh when the tiny piece of […]

REVIEW: The Rider [2018]

“Don’t give up on your dreams” Whether you’ve ever rode a horse or not, you know what happens when they’re injured. It could be that you saw the black and white decision to put one down in a movie. Or maybe you heard about a bad break during one of the televised derbies people get […]

REVIEW: Tag [2018]

“Our friend is a psychopath and this is scary” The most memorable moment throughout Jeff Tomsic‘s Tag is the introduction of one of the five grown men engaged in a thirty-year game of trading who’s “it.” The player is “Chilli” (Jake Johnson) and he’s loudly smoking a bong while talking to his father, an aging […]

REVIEW: Mission: Impossible II [2000]

“Who wants to be decent?” It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen the movie to read a 2016 interview and learn how screenwriter Robert Towne came aboard John Woo‘s Mission: Impossible II after the big action sequences were already set in stone. His job was to therefore connect those choreographed behemoths into a cohesive enough story […]

REVIEW: Mission: Impossible [1996]

“Hasta lasagna. Don’t get any on ya.” Despite completing its successful seven-season run in 1973, it would take another twenty-three years before Bruce Geller‘s original television series received its inevitable cinematic adaptation. For a former Emmy winner starring the likes of Peter Graves, Martin Landau, and Leonard Nimoy with an action thriller premise just past […]

REVIEW: Hereditary [2018]

“Why are you afraid of me?” If anyone has the ability to dive into the deepest, darkest secrets of an otherwise normal looking suburban family, it’s the writer/director of The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. It’s been seven years since Ari Aster‘s viral short film about incest and sexual abuse came out and yet his […]

REVIEW: The Incredibles [2004]

“I have a weapon only I can defeat” When I saw The Incredibles in theaters upon release, the easy comparison was Fantastic Four—its own cinematic adaptation still a year away in 2005. You have the physical brute of Bob Parr’s Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) like Thing, the stretchy elasticity of Helen’s Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) […]

REVIEW: Ocean’s 8 [2018]

“Hims are noticed. Hers are ignored.” The best way to reboot a franchise is via a sequel. It’s smart because of the connection whether it be setting or characters since familiarity allows us as viewers to settle in without having to relearn what the property intrinsically contains. Look at Creed—or to a lesser extent Star […]

REVIEW: L’eau froide [Cold Water] [1994]

“Extravagant maneuvers” Originally envisioned as a 52-minute chapter of a television anthology series with strict thematic and contextual rules, Olivier Assayas‘ L’eau froide [Cold Water] eventually found itself as the much sought-after 90-minute Cannes debut that cemented the auteur’s style, acclaim, and promise without ever reaching American shores due to lapsed music rights. He would […]