• 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, […]

  • INTERVIEW: Keith Behrman, writer/director of Giant Little Ones

    One of my favorite things about going to the Toronto International Film Festival is finding the time to see the smaller movies that aren’t on everyone’s must-see lists. While the gamble sometimes turns out to be a dud, the risk is easily justified when you’re able to discover a work as genuinely memorable as Keith […]

  • The 91st Oscars recap through tweets …

    What a wild ride this Oscars season has been. After so much recent talk about inclusivity and a changing of the guard, it was bound to happen that we’d receive an awkward period of flux. There’s the young crowd cheering a Marvel Cinematic Universe chapter to the franchise’s first Best Picture nominee and the older […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: The Kid [2019]

“You gotta learn to trust inna fella” With so many different iterations of the same exact story flooding the cinematic market every year via reboots and sequels, it’s nice when someone decides to look at a common narrative through a new lens. This is what director Vincent D’Onofrio and screenwriter Andrew Lanham hope to accomplish […]

REVIEW: Die Unsichtbaren [The Invisibles] [2019]

“After a little while you noticed that they were scared” We’re so used to stories of Holocaust survivors talking about what they endured inside the concentration camps that we forget around seven thousand Jewish men and women stayed hidden during World War II. While only about fifteen hundred ultimately walked away to live their lives […]

REVIEW: Starfish [2019]

“Maybe I’m dead” The logline deals in grief—the loss of a best friend. It describes Aubrey (Virginia Gardner), a woman lost in thought, pain, and sorrow after the death of Grace (Christina Masterson). She wasn’t there for her in her time of need and that regret is eating away her resolve and perhaps even her […]

REVIEW: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part [2019]

“Listen to the music” A film like The LEGO Movie is a once-in-a-decade type achievement (so to see its filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also write/produce another once-in-a-decade feat with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only shows how inventive and original the two are). It daring to use its subject matter’s tactility and utility rather […]

REVIEW: A Bread Factory, Parts One & Two [2018]

“She left him an empty kitchen” My first internship in college was at a local arts museum—unpaid, experiential, and portfolio building. The establishment pretty much had a single full-time position and as artistic director she did pretty much everything from organizing exhibits, hiring community program teachers, stretching a miniscule state-funded and donation-driven budget, and whatever […]

REVIEW: Werk ohne Autor [Never Look Away] [2018]

“Everything that’s true is beautiful” The thing that people who didn’t attend art school or don’t have a foundation in art history never understand is the reasoning behind postmodern art. They find it funny to reductively joke about how their three-year old child could net them a million dollars by scribbling on a canvas because […]

REVIEW: 2050 [2019]

“You are a dirty manipulation of natural elements” There’s something endearing about a company manufacturing impossibly realistic “e-mates” (robotic companions programmed to be subordinate to your every whim whether task-driven, intellectual, or sexual) having a lo-fi TV-spot with 90s internet graphics and over-the-top infomercial testimonials from people stopped on the street. They’ve spent so much […]

REVIEW: Arctic [2019]

“You’re not alone” All we have to guess the duration of time Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) has been stranded alone in an icy wasteland nearby his crashed plane is the beard on his face. Even then we don’t know how long it was when he escaped the fuselage to pretend to have a starting point for […]

REVIEW: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [2019]

“There’s no better gift than love” It’s not often a studio as big as Dreamworks goes on record to say the third installment of a critically acclaimed series and box office success will be its last. Why paint yourself into a corner like that when the possibility for more is right at your fingertips? Dare […]

REVIEW: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie [1976]

“Got the world by the balls” It’s a wild beginning with Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) paying off a guy (Al Ruban‘s Marty) we assume let him borrow money to create his now successful club. Fast-forward to him introducing his seedy establishment’s main act in Mr. Sophistication (Meade Roberts) and the naked girls the audience has […]

BERLINALE19 REVIEW: Kameni govornici [The Stone Speakers] [2019]

“We need both spiritual and physical healing” Writer/director Igor Drljaca takes us on a contemplative tour through four towns in Bosnia-Herzegovinia with his documentary Kameni Govornici [The Stone Speakers]. We never hear him speak nor watch any of his subjects respond. All we hear are their disembodied words atop static portraits of them standing against […]

REVIEW: Alita: Battle Angel [2019]

“No one’s greater than the game” This is a film twenty years in the making despite James Cameron being attached from the start. The story goes that Guillermo del Toro introduced the King of Hollywood to Yukito Kishiro‘s manga Gunnm and he fell in love with the book enough to give it permanent placement on […]

BERLINALE19 REVIEW: Ringside [2019]

“You can hit people and you can’t get in trouble” Boxing became the way two fathers in Chicago could keep their sons off the streets. Kenneth Sims Sr. was a brawler back in the day before turning his passion into a career as a coach. Destyne Butler Sr. was a pugilist aficionado who succumbed to […]

REVIEW: My Bloody Valentine [1981]

“It can’t be happening again” Only Canada would let a holiday slasher film like My Bloody Valentine—known for having its most disturbing bits of gore chopped away for the ratings board—end with a folk ballad that gives its murderous psychopath Harry Warden an almost nostalgic lilt. With John McDermott‘s voice lending it credence, we’re pretty […]

BERLINALE19 REVIEW: MS Slavic 7 [2019]

“You’ll have to use this pencil” Director Sofia Bohdanowicz found a series of letters written between 1957 and 1964 by her great-grandmother Zofia Bohdanowiczowa (a poet) to the Nobel Prize nominated author Józef Wittlin at Harvard’s Houghton Library. Both literary figures were forced to leave Poland during World War II with the former heading to […]