• REVIEW: Night Comes On [2018]

    “I don’t think you’re like him” When the parole board asks seventeen-year old Angel Lamere (Dominique Fishback) why she hasn’t seen her younger sister (Tatum Marilyn Hall‘s Abby) in two years despite only being incarcerated for one, her reply was an honest yet simplistic, “I wasn’t a good influence.” The fact that she is where […]

  • REVIEW: Sorry to Bother You [2018]

    “More like apples and the Holocaust” If you’re still unsure about whether capitalism brought the United States to its current position with extreme political divisiveness and the fallacy of what’s left of the “American Dream,” rapper-turned-writer/director Boots Riley is here to break it down via a debut as satirically sound as it is insanely, absurdly […]

  • 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 […]

  • INTERVIEW: Xavier Legrand, writer/director of Custody

    It’s always a treat to see a director whose work you’ve enjoyed in short form make the leap to features—especially when the latter debuts at a venue as auspicious as the Toronto International Film Festival. This is exactly what happened with Xavier Legrand last year. Less than half a decade after earning his first Oscar […]

  • 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: […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Siberia [2018]

“So sorry for the bird” The question is asked with a wry grin, but Katya (Ana Ularu) isn’t wrong to joke that the mysterious, handsome American who walked into her small Siberian town’s café is a spy. Any other film besides Matthew Ross‘ Siberia would have made Lucas Hill (Keanu Reeves) exactly that—especially now with […]

REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp [2018]

“Like Baba Yaga …” While a lot of fans were instantly and irrationally mad upon learning Avengers: Infinity War wouldn’t include Hawkeye or Ant-Man, I rejoiced knowing that Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s release date fell between both it and its as yet untitled Avengers follow-up. This meant that Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) latest adventure to […]

REVIEW: Undir trénu [Under the Tree] [2017]

“See how they react” If humans weren’t always the pettiest creatures on Earth, we’ve definitely earned the title this past century. Just think about how often you find yourself asking the question, “Let’s see what they’ll do about this?” I don’t mean hypothetically either. I’m talking about truly contemplating your next smugly biting (until an […]

REVIEW: The First Purge [2018]

“Pray Not Purge” There’s a brief loss of picture halfway through The First Purge‘s end credits that reveals a full-blown commercial for the upcoming ten-part television “event” based on its own franchise. It’s a bad look, especially for those already wondering if James DeMonaco cashed-in after writing and directing the first three installments of his […]

REVIEW: Who’s Watching Oliver [2018]

“I may not be pretty, but I have what you need” To think about a romantic serial killer thriller is to conjure thoughts of Natural Born Killers and its duo of equally despicable characters. It’s easy to believe two psychopaths can fall in love because they share a predilection for violence no one else would. […]

REVIEW: Sicario: Day of the Soldado [2018]

“Not ‘they’” There’s a reason for Emily Blunt‘s character Kate in Sicario. She’s the last vestige of law and order on the frontlines of a war that relinquished both long ago. Her FBI Agent believed in what she was doing and felt she could make a difference in the field to combat the drugs, bodies, […]

REVIEW: Hearts Beat Loud [2018]

“Whoopie pies and Spotify” It’s often at extreme times of upheaval that we find ourselves taking stock of our life, ambitions, and loves. While working hard to be successful enough to support our families, we have a tendency of leaving our dreams by the wayside and/or compartmentalizing our identities to serve the unavoidable pressures of […]

REVIEW: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom [2018]

“They’re alive. Like me.” Anyone who read/watched Jurassic Park in the 1990s should have known the product of John Hammond’s hubris: a marriage between mankind’s extinction and evolution into something more. This is what the themes of control and the lack thereof portend. To play God is to risk losing everything we have built in […]

REVIEW: Jurassic Park III [2001]

“No force on Earth or Heaven could get me on that island” It’s almost ironic to discover David Koepp—screenwriter of the franchise’s previous two installments—was the one to think up the “simpler” story concept that Peter Buchman (with revisions by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor) ultimately built upon for Jurassic Park III. The man responsible […]

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 […]