• 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 […]

  • 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 […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Exhibition [2014]

“Stop worrying about me” After two films centering upon characters that need to escape their insular lifestyles in order to discover what it is they truly desire, Joanna Hogg‘s Exhibition conversely traps D (Viv Albertine) and H (Liam Gillick) within their claustrophobic yet comfortable home so they must confront their past and present before deciding […]

REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum [2019]

“Rules and consequences” Like the Purge series before it, John Wick is proving to be a money-making franchise that loves to let its mythology gradually unfold in a way that familiarizes via a personal experience prior to zooming out so the systemic issues beyond one man’s home can be revealed. While we still stay with […]

REVIEW: Blood Rage [1987]

“Here’s to the new family” Shot in 1983 but released in 1987 under a different name (Nightmare at Shadow Woods) and without most of its gore, the uncensored version of Blood Rage doesn’t even have its title intact. The word Slasher takes its place during a drive-in theater prologue instead—an apt name in its own […]

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 […]