• 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 […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2018

    Honorable Mention: #100: Mindset by Vacationer #99: Bruce Wayne by Fetty Wap #98: 7 by Beach House #97: Castles by Lissie #96: Shift by Henry Green #95: Kyoto by Tyga #94: White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood by of Montreal #93: Trickster Blues by RF Shannon #92: I can feel you creepinto my private life by Tune-Yards […]

  • REVIEW: Transit [2018]

    “I won’t be writing anymore school essays” It took until the end of Christian Petzold‘s Transit and my reading the press notes to realize Georg’s (Franz Rogowski) story unfolded in the present day. I felt off-balance from the start as far as what the historical context for these events were because he was a German […]

  • REVIEW: Apollo 11 [2019]

    “The Eagle has landed” A black screen with the title Apollo 11 arrives for an instant before we’re whisked away to July 1969 as those in Mission Control and astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins prepare themselves for the first manned spaceflight to land on the moon. There’s no opening interstitial providing context, […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Chopping Mall [1986]

“Absolutely nothing can go wrong” Only a 1980s horror could have a killer robot plot and intentionally gloss over artificial intelligence themes for lightning. Who wants a ton of exposition talking about hubristic irony when you can let Mother Nature provide a malfunction? Rather than show humanity as its own worst enemy flying too close […]

REVIEW: An American Werewolf in London [1981]

“Beware the moon, lads” It’s not hard to believe John Landis wrote his first draft of An American Werewolf in London at eighteen. The male gaze throughout is right in line with the comedies he would bring to life (The Kentucky Fried Movie and National Lampoon’s Animal House) to achieve the success necessary to secure […]

REVIEW: Archipelago [2011]

“I’ll wait and see what I’m told to do” There’s no better name for what Joanna Hogg has created than Archipelago. Not only has she set her film upon a series of islands on which the central family vacations, but she’s also molded the members of that horde into those very same scattered mounds of […]

REVIEW: La battaglia di Algeri [The Battle of Algiers] [1966]

“You never know” It’s almost impossible to receive an objective depiction of war considering how easy it is to skew art towards propaganda through the dissemination of a political agenda. And it’s only been getting harder as new technology keeps costs down when making movies that serve one side of things no matter the veracity […]

REVIEW: Unrelated [2008]

“Just don’t tell the olds. Yeah?” Tired and defeated, Anna (Kathryn Worth) walks her way down dark roads to the rented Italian villa of her oldest friend Verena’s (Mary Roscoe) extended family. She was supposed to arrive with husband Alex, the vague excuse of him having to stay behind last minute as good a reason […]

REVIEW: The White Crow [2019]

“I shall fight fear” While I don’t know anything about ballet, I am familiar with Soviet defection. Being a Buffalonian whose hometown hockey favorite as a kid was Alexander Mogilny means I must. It helps then that director Ralph Fiennes and screenwriter David Hare (inspired by Julie Kavanagh‘s book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life) start their […]

REVIEW: Hail Satan? [2019]

“Very quickly everything got real” There’s subjectively no greater terrorist threat to America than Evangelical Christians. At their side is Catholicism: itself an extremist branch of Christianity shouldering centuries of blood and abuse on its hands spanning genocide, murder, rape, and child abuse. It’s these Christian zealots who yell that Muslims are bringing Sharia Law […]

REVIEW: Domino [2019]

“Nothing works like vengeance” Director Brian De Palma made a wise decision distancing himself from the long-awaited release of Domino. Not only was it a troubled production he admits was ruled by unprofessional Danish producers that didn’t pay people on time (if ever), but he also didn’t write the script (that credit goes to Petter […]

REVIEW: The Biggest Little Farm [2019]

“Diversify, diversify, diversify” If I learned anything from John Chester‘s The Biggest Little Farm, it’s that you can do anything you choose to do. You can use your privilege to tell your city friends the crazy idea of wanting to buy a huge farm and make it self-sustainable, accept their ridicule, and eventually reap the […]

REVIEW: Fuga [Fugue] [2018]

“Prison would be better” Stories dealing with amnesia generally gravitate towards a heartwarming conclusion wherein a character regains his/her bearings to live happily ever after within the life they lost. This reality is due to the fact that the afflicted is often found soon after the incident that’s left them unfamiliar with their former self. […]

REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw [2019]

“All art is dangerous” The underlying idea of Dan Gilroy‘s art world horror Velvet Buzzsaw is an intriguing one because it forces us to realize how extensive the profiteering branch patterns of one single canvased tree of paint are. There’s the artist seeking notoriety, the gallery owner providing it, the consumers catching a glimpse at […]

REVIEW: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu [2019]

“I can feel it in my jellies” It’s almost shocking that nobody made a live-action Pokémon movie considering the card game’s heyday was back in the 1990s while the anime and video games still ruled kids’ televisions. That’s not to say the property ever disappeared. Nintendo couldn’t have turned “Pokémon GO” into an international smartphone […]

REVIEW: The Spanish Prisoner [1998]

“Dog my cats” Anyone who’s on social media has seen the “name” memes where your “whatever name” is formed by that of the first pet you owned and your grandmother’s maiden name—or some riff on this pattern. Everyone does it because it’s fun and they’ve been trained like sheep to participate in such activities so […]

REVIEW: Her Smell [2019]

“I see the void of eternity” The public loves a good train wreck when it comes to rockstars. That notion of burning your candle on both ends to create music that lasts forever at the expense of a life snuffed out too soon carries the sort of romanticism you must give pause to in hindsight, […]

REVIEW: High Flying Bird [2019]

“I love the Lord and all his Black people” A film like Steven Soderbergh‘s High Flying Bird is exactly what the Netflix model makes possible. You could even say the whole thing is a metaphor for the streaming service’s desire for a seat at the cinematic table. They’re a disruptor proving that what they offer […]