• REVIEW: The Nightingale [2019]

    “You’re my life” After giving grief and survivor’s guilt physical form by way of a violent monster known as The Babadook, writer/director Jennifer Kent turns her sights on trauma and the ways our bodies, minds, and souls react to unimaginable and unprovoked pain endured at the hands of mankind’s superiority complexes born from delusions of […]

  • REVIEW: Luce [2019]

    “I can’t be perfect” So much of who we are and what we become relies on perception. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, language, culture, education, and socio-economic standing all play a role because we’re perceived by those like us and those not. We therefore exist in a tenuous bubble of expectations wherein normalcy is a razor-thin […]

  • REVIEW: The Farewell [2019]

    “It’s a good lie” Billi (Awkwafina) heads to her parents’ home to clean laundry after discovering she’s now two months behind on her rent only to hear her father (Tzi Ma‘s Haiyan) is “asleep” … at 6pm. Her mother (Diana Lin‘s Jian) dismisses the time as a byproduct of them being very busy, but she […]

  • REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

    “She’ll be okay” It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and […]

  • REVIEW: Napszállta [Sunset] [2018]

    “It’s starting all over again” I felt as though I was running circles throughout László Nemes‘ sophomore effort Napszállta [Sunset]. It doesn’t help that we’re often inches from Írisz Leiter’s (Juli Jakab) face—if not looking through her very eyes—as she winds her way through an unfamiliar and just out of focus Budapest, Hungary. I speak […]

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film reviews

TIFF19 REVIEW: My English Cousin [2019]

“I am cooked to perfection” It’s been seventeen years since Fahed Mameri left Algeria to achieve a better life in England. Since then he has settled in Grimsby (a place with high unemployment and little infrastructure to sustain a healthy living), married an Englishwoman, and found two jobs with which to earn barely enough money […]

REVIEW: Anima [2019]

“Please let me know when you’ve had enough” When you’re Thom Yorke and well into a career with one of the most recognizable rock bands in the world (they self-release records on a “pay what you want” scale after all), you can think outside the box where advertising is concerned. So don’t be mistaken where […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: III [2019]

“No one said enough is enough” I’ve never been one to pay attention to lyrics. All I need is a good tune, complementary voice, and the joy their marriage instills. So I didn’t think twice when The Lumineers‘ latest single “Gloria” hit the radio. Its folk rock melody was as upbeat and fun as any […]

REVIEW: The Nightingale [2019]

“You’re my life” After giving grief and survivor’s guilt physical form by way of a violent monster known as The Babadook, writer/director Jennifer Kent turns her sights on trauma and the ways our bodies, minds, and souls react to unimaginable and unprovoked pain endured at the hands of mankind’s superiority complexes born from delusions of […]

REVIEW: Blinded By the Light [2019]

“They’re not brilliant, but they’re mine” It was 1973 when Bruce Springsteen‘s debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. hit record stores—fourteen years before Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) first heard his name. By then this teenage Pakistani in Luton, England was listening to current synth tracks with best friend Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman) when his parents […]

REVIEW: Ready or Not [2019]

“You picked the one bad card” All Grace (Samara Weaving) has ever wanted since bouncing around foster homes during her adolescence was a permanent family to call her own. With Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) that dream has become a reality. He wasn’t interested in a big wedding since he’d been estranged from those back […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Love Me Tender [2019]

“Don’t talk about her” Seconda (Barbara Giordano) is the second born child of Augusto (Maurizio Tabani) and Dominique (Anna Galante) and she cannot leave the house. Her agoraphobia might be at its most potent now at thirty-two years old, this latest stint of seclusion hitting the nine-month mark despite her parents imploring her to go […]

REVIEW: Endless Dreams and Water Between [2009]

“We’re all seekers” Aria wants to reconnect with her far-flung friends Lyn, Mar, and Raya via correspondence as a way to dissect, share, and experience the art, geography, and philosophical ruminations their lives spark at any given moment. She labels this unofficial club the September Institute and begins her initial letter by talking about the […]

REVIEW: Tone-Deaf [2019]

“Maybe you should get out of the city for a bit” The kids just aren’t the same anymore and it’s slowly making Harvey (Robert Patrick) go insane. His son (Ronnie Gene Blevins‘ David) thinks it’s dementia and wants to put him in an assisted living institute, but that’s merely another example of America’s youth forgetting […]

REVIEW: The Comedy [2012]

“I need you” If a privileged white asshole acts racist and misogynist as a rule because of the emotional pain created by the slow death of a rich father he may not even really like, should we feel empathy for his plight? I think this is the question Rick Alverson is asking with his film […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Boże Ciało [Corpus Christi] [2019]

“Silence can also be a prayer” Faith is inherently about putting your complete trust in something or someone without knowing whether the object deserves such blind allegiance. We have faith in God because believing there’s purpose to atrocities is easier than accepting a nihilistic outlook on life just like the presence of miracles proves good […]

REVIEW: Luce [2019]

“I can’t be perfect” So much of who we are and what we become relies on perception. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, language, culture, education, and socio-economic standing all play a role because we’re perceived by those like us and those not. We therefore exist in a tenuous bubble of expectations wherein normalcy is a razor-thin […]

REVIEW: Dogman [2018]

“You’ve got to solve your own problem” Would anyone miss Simone (Edoardo Pesce) if he disappeared? No. He’s a heavy that possesses no positive impact on the impoverished Italian community in which he resides. Addicted to cocaine and wielding a temper that always keeps fresh cuts and bruises on his face despite everyone knowing you […]

REVIEW: Maiden [2019]

“The ocean is always trying to kill you” There’s no better example of the patriarchy poisoning the word “feminism” than a woman explaining that she rejects the word before than saying she fights for a world where women can accomplish everything a man can instead … in other words: feminism. Despite what men want you […]

REVIEW: Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas [Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles] [2019]

“I think I’ve been lost since I got here” Before surrealist legend Luis Buñuel found himself directing multiple films a year during the 1950s on the way to creating French classics like Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in the 60s and 70s respectively, he became a persona non grata when […]