• TIFF18 REVIEW: First Man [2018]

    “It’s kinda neat” The non-controversy surrounding Damien Chazelle‘s First Man shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows how political parties have appropriated art into their agendas since the dawn of time. Of course they’d glom onto the decision to ignore the lunar flag planting as some “un-American” thing rather than read the script, watch the movie, or […]

  • TIFF18 REVIEW: If Beale Street Could Talk [2018]

    “Flesh of each other’s flesh” Fonny Hunt (Stephan James) puts out his arms for a hug upon seeing an old friend in Daniel (Brian Tyree Henry) after too much time and too many men their age have passed. Smiles and laughter enter the scene before they are soon replaced by beers and reminiscing. And then […]

  • TIFF18 REVIEW: Aniara [2018]

    “The utter nonsense of living” So much of our desire to exist is based in control. We have the ability to move our homes, restart careers, and work towards a future of our choosing. No matter how difficult things become, there’s always a hope for better or an avenue towards change. It’s only when we’re […]

  • 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 […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: The Incredibles [2004]

“I have a weapon only I can defeat” When I saw The Incredibles in theaters upon release, the easy comparison was Fantastic Four—its own cinematic adaptation still a year away in 2005. You have the physical brute of Bob Parr’s Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) like Thing, the stretchy elasticity of Helen’s Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) […]

REVIEW: Ocean’s 8 [2018]

“Hims are noticed. Hers are ignored.” The best way to reboot a franchise is via a sequel. It’s smart because of the connection whether it be setting or characters since familiarity allows us as viewers to settle in without having to relearn what the property intrinsically contains. Look at Creed—or to a lesser extent Star […]

REVIEW: L’eau froide [Cold Water] [1994]

“Extravagant maneuvers” Originally envisioned as a 52-minute chapter of a television anthology series with strict thematic and contextual rules, Olivier Assayas‘ L’eau froide [Cold Water] eventually found itself as the much sought-after 90-minute Cannes debut that cemented the auteur’s style, acclaim, and promise without ever reaching American shores due to lapsed music rights. He would […]

REVIEW: American Animals [2018]

“Like what?” The more you hear about privileged white kids shooting-up schools because they’re under such “debilitating” pressure alienating them from the “cool” kids, turn “alt-right” with a projection of hatred that stems from a hatred in themselves courtesy of a false notion that they’re somehow “special,” and find themselves acting out of boredom in […]

REVIEW: The Year of Spectacular Men [2018]

“My path is a squiggle” The time has come to see the “manic pixie dream girl” trope from the other side. We’ve viewed countless depictions of attractively quirky women serving as plot points pushing their male lead counterparts over whatever hump they find themselves struggling to conquer, each a one-dimensional prop used before being discarded […]

REVIEW: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami [2017]

“I have to do some emotional blackmail” There’s a moment early on in Sophie Fiennes‘ documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami wherein the titular artist films a new music video-style performance of her 1977 hit disco-era cover of Édith Piaf‘s “La Vie en Rose.” She goes to the studio blind to what the imagery will […]

REVIEW: Upgrade [2018]

“Permission granted” Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) was having a good day. An old school mechanic living in a high-tech world, his latest commission is roaring like a lion and ready to be handed off to its owner. Knowing his wife (Melanie Vallejo‘s Asha) would be interested to meet his benefactor being that she runs a […]

REVIEW: Beast [2018]

“I just wanted to go dancing” Everything is and isn’t as it seems with Michael Pearce‘s genre-fluid romantic thriller Beast. What starts with the template of rich girl falling for local bad boy against mom’s wishes turns to a case of serial murder with assumptions made every second that confirm what we believe is real […]

REVIEW: First Reformed [2018]

“A life without despair is a life without hope” We live in a time of extremism—where our reaction dial is turned up to eleven regardless of our true interest in a cause or its true importance. Somewhere along the line civil and constructive discourse was replaced by screaming fits of unjustified rage, nuanced topics debated […]

REVIEW: Carrie [1976]

“Sin never dies” As a Maine resident trying his hand at literary horror, it shouldn’t be surprising that Stephen King would gravitate towards a New England topic such as witchcraft so early in his career. Carrie was his fourth novel (first to be published) and showed the potential for the skewed gaze on common tropes […]

REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]

“You said never improvise” Nine movies into the cinematic world of George Lucas‘ Star Wars—three of which extend past his control over the franchise—and we remain tethered to the Skywalkers. It makes sense. In order for Disney to commoditize the property, they must first reconnect with old fans and familiarize the new. So they stuck […]

REVIEW: Un beau soleil intérieur [Let the Sunshine In] [2017]

“Being a backstreet lover is just unbearable” Is love all consuming? Or disposable? If you discover it’s one above the other, how do you know you’re right? The answer is simple: love is whatever you need it to be for yourself. Don’t compromise your happiness or comfort. Don’t allow your beau to walk over your […]

REVIEW: Goodland [2018]

“Eventually the sun sets” There’s nothing like some yokel conversation to introduce a film’s environment while also foreshadowing the ensuing plot. It’s easy to dismiss the aging gas station owner and his even older customer’s back and forth about a wolf seen a few miles away because neither is listening to the other. The former […]

REVIEW: Jaws [1975]

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Actor Richard Dreyfus called Jaws a “nexus point” during his question and answer period before a recent screening of the cinematic classic and I can’t think of a better descriptor. His words were relevant as far as his career, but also the medium as a whole. Here was a […]

REVIEW: Clerks [1994]

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” Whether you enjoy Kevin Smith‘s Clerks or not, you can’t deny it’s place in cinematic history as a doorway towards a new landscape of micro-budgeted, dialogue-heavy features. Jason Mewes, while introducing a convention screening of the film twenty-four years later, said: “After watching it in the Quick […]