• 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: 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” […]

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, […]

REVIEW: Ksiaze i dybuk [The Prince and the Dybbuk] [2018]

“He never spoke about his past” The title says it all: Ksiaze i dybuk [The Prince and the Dybbuk]. Rather than describe two separate entities, however, Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski‘s documentary portrays director Michal Waszynski as both and neither. Their investigations lead them to multiple countries as close friends and basic strangers attempt to […]

REVIEW: The Wedding Guest [2019]

“That’ll be a lot more work” There’s actually a lot to like about Michael Winterbottom‘s The Wedding Guest from its performances to its locale and onwards towards its characters always proving to be more than our preconceptions initially allow. We’re talking about a serious criminal in Jay (Dev Patel) who has the ability and mindset […]

REVIEW: Van Wilder [2002]

“Write that down” Twenty-four years after Tim Matheson‘s Eric “Otter” Stratton fast-talked his way towards saving a fraternity in National Lampoon’s Animal House, the torch was passed onto former “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” star Ryan Reynolds. The timing isn’t surprising since American Pie and its sequel earned box office success while […]

REVIEW: Finding Steve McQueen [2019]

“It’s like an alphabet soup enema” The Dinsio Brothers and their accomplices stole around nine million dollars from four hundred-plus safety deposit boxes inside the United California Bank of Laguna Niguel. To read Amil Dinsio’s website is to learn of his self-proclaimed “master” exploits and how the FBI sought to frame him for the job […]