• 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, […]

  • 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 […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Dumbo [2019]

“Let’s get ready for Duuuumboooo” We’re a long way away from 1941 and the days of pure frivolity in your animated films are over. That’s why Disney evolved their glorified sing-along The Jungle Book into a weighty dramatic adventure and why their sweet little flying elephant Dumbo can no longer sustain himself as a metaphorical […]

REVIEW: The Public [2019]

“Books saved my life” It’s the same tragic story. Another unarmed Black man is killed by the police. Another White man takes an arsenal into a school, campus, or place of worship before opening fire on unarmed innocents. The media takes these headlines, packages them together with thoughts and prayers, and uses the ratings to […]

REVIEW: The Wind [2019]

“How did she get my gun?” A suicide. A stillborn baby. A woman holding the latter as she leaves the former to show her husband and the now widower father the results of the harrowing night thus far kept off-screen. We hear the wind blowing as the camera pushes in towards Lizzy Macklin’s (Caitlin Gerard) […]

REVIEW: Dumbo [1941]

“I think you’re ears are beautiful” It’s always weird watching a movie I haven’t seen since I was a little kid only to discover how different it is from my memory. I used to watch Dumbo a lot back in the day and yet I could have sworn the entirety of the film was about […]

REVIEW: Long Shot [2019]

“Olive oil and mayonnaise” I hate to use the word “refreshing” to describe a film lambasting the twenty-first century hellhole that is American politics, but it’s what comes to mind after watching Jonathan Levine‘s Long Shot. I’m not talking refreshing as far as its humor or rom-com machinations since both are blatant retreads. No, I […]

REVIEW: Hotel Mumbai [2019]

“Remember, the whole world will be watching” An Indian man who’s risked his life helping to save wealthy guests at the posh hotel where he works as head chef (Anupam Kher‘s Oberoi) is imploring a group dead-set on venturing into bullet-riddled hallways to remain in the exclusive (and therefore hard to enter) club chambers where […]

REVIEW: Shazam! [2019]

“Come home” Two boys, decades apart, are taken to a magical realm known as The Rock of Eternity to confront its last wizard guardian (Djimon Hounsou) protecting against the seven deadly sins. One (Ethan Pugiotto‘s Thad) is revealed unworthy of becoming this magician’s champion because his soul isn’t pure. Too much anger and resentment for […]

REVIEW: Strangers on a Train [1951]

“I certainly admire people who do things” The idea is a provocative one. Two strangers meet and talk about a person in their lives that would objectively be better to them dead than alive. The conversation evolves towards murder in seeming jest until one presents the possibility that they could trade targets and do the […]

REVIEW: Cradle of Champions [2018]

“Humble, hungry, and ready” There’s no better entry point into a subject as expansive and famed as the New York Daily News‘ Golden Gloves tournament than a pair of talented fighters with history. This way you’re able to turn your focus onto them as they train and work their way to the finals for a […]

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: Climax [2018]

“Anything” What would you do for the chance to work with the illustrious choreographer Selva (Sofia Boutella) and her DJ Daddy (Kiddy Smile)? According to the group of young dancers they interviewed: “Anything.” Some are coy when asking for context to the question with a smile and others are quick to pretty much say they’d […]

REVIEW: Relaxer [2019]

“I quit quitting” I remember watching PCU as a kid and thinking how awesome it would be to make my thesis paper about something as inconsequential as whether or not a movie starring Michael Caine or Gene Hackman is always on television at any given time. It’s doubtful I knew what a thesis was back […]

REVIEW: Gloria Bell [2019]

“We could all die tomorrow” I hate the argument that remakes of foreign films allow English-speakers to invest more in the story and performance because they aren’t dividing attention between dialogue and imagery, but I can’t deny some validity to the thought. There’s more to it than just what you hear, though, because a new […]

REVIEW: Ruben Brandt, Collector [2018]

“Characters from famous paintings continue to attack me” Writer/director Milorad Krstic has combined his love for painting and film into an action thriller as surreal as it is familiar. The whole uses his own unique animation style as a filter with which to recreate masterpieces of both visual mediums—each famed piece simultaneously recognizable as its […]

REVIEW: Gloria [2013]

“Are you always this happy?” While sitting next to her ex-husband (Alejandro Goic‘s Gabriel) at their adult son’s birthday party, Gloria (Paulina García) peers at old wedding photos and comments about how naïve they were. He of course tries shifting those sentiments by exclaiming they were in love, but she just smiles and repeats “naïve” […]