• REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 [2017]

    “Because you’ve never seen a miracle” Survival is a selfish endeavor, but not necessarily one driven by ego. On the contrary, survival is often a selfless means to place community ahead of the individual. Look at our country’s current, abhorrent divisions along lines we should have erased decades ago or never created in the first […]

  • REVIEW: The Florida Project [2017]

    “What are you playing?” It’s hard not to think about another A24 produced film while watching Sean Baker‘s The Florida Project. The themes it presents due its impoverished central characters barely scrapping by financially on a day-to-day basis are identical to Andrea Arnold‘s American Honey and its band of twenty-somethings traveling the countryside to scam […]

  • TIFF17 REVIEW: Princesita [2018]

    “The darker the night, the brighter the stars” Miguel (Marcelo Alonso) compares God to a fire when explaining how the ones our religions’ sacred books describe aren’t quite right. Our creator is simpler than those iterations. He has the power to turn wood into ash and water into steam. He has the power to transform. […]

  • TIFF17 REVIEW: Jusqu’à la garde [Custody] [2018]

    “Which of you is the bigger liar?” It didn’t win the Oscar for best live action short in 2014, but Xavier Legrand’s Just Before Losing Everything was by far my favorite nominee. Discovering his debut feature Jusqu’à la garde [Custody] was constructed as an expansion of that story therefore made it a must-see. The short […]

  • REVIEW: De sidste mænd i Aleppo [Last Men in Aleppo] [2017]

    “If I leave, it will be to the cemetery” It’s a shame that those who need to watch Last Men in Aleppo are those who won’t. I’m talking the brainwashed masses quick to call a liberal media “fake news” while they help facilitate legitimate fake news fabricated by enemy regimes hoping to plant dissent. They […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Logan Lucky [2017]

“Did you just say cauliflower to me?” The story is as follows: Steven Soderbergh—while on hiatus from feature films (previously known as retirement)—received a script from a mutual friend of his and screenwriter Rebecca Blunt (who might not be a real person). He fell in love with its stripped down Ocean’s 11 feel devoid of […]

REVIEW: Lycan [2017]

“I don’t want to go into the woods” There’s a monster in the forest—or at least the rumors purport it. Horrific murders occurred on land not too far from a small Southern town’s local college, the stuff of urban legend that unfortunately concluded with the predator’s dead body in a grave hidden on private property […]

REVIEW: Dave Made a Maze [2017]

“It’s bigger than it looks” The premise is silly: stunted artist who’s never finished a project in his life finds inspiration through cardboard boxes and their ability to be molded into a literal labyrinth he’s already erected virtually inside his mind to ensure he will never fail (or succeed) since such a final verdict only […]

REVIEW: Detroit [2017]

“Burn it down” The title may be presumptuous enough to broadly call itself Detroit, but make no mistake that Kathryn Bigelow‘s latest film is very much about the Algiers Motel incident on the night of July 25th, 1967. Screenwriter Mark Boal allows for some prologue exposition before reaching that fateful evening—setting up the events that […]

REVIEW: Goon: Last of the Enforcers [2017]

“What a great lockout” The best part of hockey comedy Goon is its ability to never forget itself. Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg didn’t write it (based on Adam Frattasio and Douglas Smith‘s non-fiction book) like your usual sports film where winning or losing was the goal. They instead brought to life a soft-spoken, compassionate […]

REVIEW: Annabelle: Creation [2017]

“Dear diary. Today I came home.” You can’t blame audiences for being skeptical about a prequel to a prequel to James Wan‘s acclaimed The Conjuring when the first proved a huge step down in quality. There was no way Annabelle would equal the level of contemporary horror classic that Wan’s look into the paranormal via […]

REVIEW: Among Us [2017]

“It hurts to look at you” An effective horror keeps you unaware of the danger lurking in the shadows. The less you know about what’s coming the better because you don’t want to end up spending your time guessing how the problem will be solved when you should be experiencing its escalating terror. This means […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Most Beautiful Island [2017]

“I’m so tired of the possibilities” It’s easy for Americans to look at a film like Eli Roth‘s Hostel and find themselves afraid of the situation presented as one they could fall prey to if the circumstances arose. We’ve been instilled with that anxiety for decades—the notion that our freedoms at home do not transfer […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Tiere [Animals] [2017]

“Animals don’t kill themselves” Discovering that screenwriter Jörg Kalt committed suicide before bringing his script Tiere [Animals] to life adds a lot of context to how one deciphers Greg Zglinski‘s film. The director had read it the year before Kalt’s death, lauding it while on a Zurich Film Foundation committee in the hopes of helping […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: 帝一の國 [Teiichi no kuni] [Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High] [2017]

“Could any man dream for more?” We are defined by moments, decisions made by us or for us by another. For Teiichi Akaba (Masaki Suda) it was always the choice between love of the piano (his mother’s passion) and a desire to please his father (Kôtarô Yoshida‘s Josuke Akaba) by following a path towards political […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Junk Head [2017]

“And you call yourself God” After finding acclaim with stop-motion animated short Junk Head 1 in 2014, writer/director/animator Takahide Hori decided to expand its science fiction-infused world to feature length. The result is a two-hour adventure following one man’s descent through a subterranean infrastructure built by clones entitled simply Junk Head. It takes place centuries […]

REVIEW: The Dark Tower [2017]

“Turn and face me” It’s been twenty years since Wizard and Glass, the fourth published installment of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series—an epic fantasy backbone on which his entire bibliography rests. I finally made my way through it a couple years later, along with The Gunslinger, The Drawing of Three, and The Waste Lands […]

REVIEW: Annabelle [2014]

“Crazy people do crazy things, ma’am” The story of Annabelle—a possessed Raggedy Ann doll from the 1970s—is a part of Lorraine and Ed Warren’s lore as experts in the occult. It along with the Amityville house are what the couple are most known for “combating” and thus easy fodder to provide audiences an entry point […]

REVIEW: The Transfiguration [2017]

“I’ve got plans” Life’s been hard for Milo (Eric Ruffin). His father died when he was eight and his mother committed suicide not too long after. That type of horror will change anyone let alone a child. It turned him towards the macabre—mainly a fascination with movie vampires and the rules with which they exist. […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Sequence Break [2017]

“Let the void look into you” Introversion and high anxiety are real and can be triggered by the tiniest of things or the lack thereof. Oz (Chase Williamson) has struggled with both his entire life, that insecurity in social situations driving him towards the world of videogames. The joy of solitude playing them and being […]