• REVIEW: Lady Macbeth [2017]

    “We did it” At the back of William Oldroyd‘s Lady Macbeth (adapted for the screen by Alice Birch from Nikolai Leskov‘s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) are the ideas of oppression, power, and the fluidity of both as the oppressed often find themselves clawing their way to a position of becoming oppressor above another […]

  • REVIEW: Dunkirk [2017]

    “He may never be himself again” War is often depicted as a quantifiable number of those who survived and those who did not. Many films choose this route, picking a battle to show the firefight’s chaos and cost. We remember the Battle of Gettysburg and D-Day as turning points, insane offensives that wrought heavy casualties […]

  • INTERVIEW: Matt Tyrnauer, director of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

    Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, Matt Tyrnauer‘s Citizen Jane: Battle for the City has received rave reviews across the country as it opened in limited release April 21st, 2017. Centering on Jane Jacobs—a journalist, author, and activist—the film showcases the problems inherent to how urban planners in the mid-twentieth century worked. […]

  • REVIEW: A Quiet Passion [2017]

    “Give me something pressed from truth” I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who never heard the name Emily Dickinson, although I’m probably not alone insofar as being ignorant to her work. For someone as prolific as the Amherst, Massachusetts-born poet with approximately 1,800 poems to her name, I’m sure I’ve heard at least […]

  • REVIEW: Bacalaureat [Graduation] [2016]

    “Do what’s best for you” The amount of corruption to simply exist within the borders of Romania as displayed by Cristian Mungiu‘s Bacalaureat [Graduation] is insane. So much so that I feel bad admitting to what it reminded me of on a much more insidiously vile scale. Yes, it was nearly impossible not to see […]

film reviews

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better […]

REVIEW: Going in Style [2017]

“Everyone deserves a piece of the pie” Back before Martin Brest was placed into forced retirement post-Gigli, he had a run of comedy hits including Midnight Run and Beverly Hills Cop. The first of these studio pictures, however, was a heist flick starring eighty-year old George Burns, seventy-year old Lee Strasberg, and fifty-year old Art […]

REVIEW: 攻殻機動隊 [Kôkaku Kidôtai] [Ghost in the Shell] [1995]

“What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror” Hype is a tough concept to combat. To tout a film like攻殻機動隊 [Kôkaku Kidôtai] [Ghost in the Shell] as one of the best animes ever created is to set-up expectations that cannot help but falter under the weight. Yet here I am—having watched […]

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [1991]

“There may be something there that wasn’t there before” The fairy tale Beauty and the Beast is so perfectly suited for the Disney princess treatment that it’s shocking they didn’t do one until 1991. Crafted to provide young girls a metaphor for the arranged marriages many of them would inevitably be a part of in […]

REVIEW: Gifted [2017]

“This could work out” Stories about prodigies are too often mired in tragic mental health issues or careers with boundless accolades and successes. Some can be done very well and others are redundant to the point of avoidance. The sub-genre of child prodigies is oftentimes even worse because it generally targets young audiences and therefore […]

REVIEW: Trainspotting [1996]

“Choose rotting away at the end of it all” There’s an undeniable energy to Danny Boyle‘s Trainspotting, a rush of excitement set to a pulse-pounding rock soundtrack that almost seems the antithesis of what it’s like to fall down into a heroin-fueled dreamy stupor. Even as the characters from Irvine Welsh‘s infamous novel stick themselves […]

REVIEW: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974]

“If I have anymore fun today, I don’t think I’m gonna be able to take it” Depending on your source, the budget for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ballooned from $60,000 to as much as $300,000 by its completion. Some shady dealings allowed profit shares to be sold with intentionally misleading percentages, production ran a […]

REVIEW: Personal Shopper [2016]

“I just need to see it to the end, that’s all” At the heart of Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper is an idea of fear. This isn’t surprising considering it’s a genre ghost story, but its target is. Lead character Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart) isn’t afraid of ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural because she’s a medium […]

REVIEW: Córki dancingu [The Lure] [2015]

“Would you eat him?” Not all fairy tales must be for children as their lessons resonate with ages young and old. There’s a reason many original forms of such tales deliver more blood and horror than Disney counterparts—that sense of fear allowing adults to find dramatic value and kids a scare to remember the moral […]

REVIEW: The Blackcoat’s Daughter [2017]

“I look for Him in the unlikely things that happen” It maybe but a dream, yet it feels so real. Fifteen-year old Katherine (Kiernan Shipka), readying for a week’s vacation from her Jesuit boarding school, experiences one sparking a sense of foreboding. Parents will be arriving on Thursday to watch the children’s talent show before […]

REVIEW: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me [1992]

“And the angels wouldn’t help you cause they’ve all gone away” Without European money, American auteur David Lynch wouldn’t have many features to his name. His style isn’t necessarily conducive to our general population’s tastes, its surrealistic and highly sexualized depictions of the darkness underlying American society’s false façade of harmony a hard sell. So […]

REVIEW: Dèmoni [Demons] [1985]

“I’ll hold your hand if it’s scary” The concept behind Lamberto Bava‘s Dèmoni [Demons] is pretty great. It’s a reinvention of the rise of demons trope for an age of pop culture devotees within the 1980s era of its making. Rather than deal with cemeteries or rituals, Dardano Sacchetti‘s story (the script is credited to […]

REVIEW: Life [2017]

“Its curiosity outweighs its fear” Calling Daniel Espinosa‘s Life an Alien retread is the easy thing to do. Both are tensely claustrophobic science fiction films with a violent extraterrestrial that’s loose and in search of the crew. But it’s also a very reductive comparison considering they are nothing alike beside genre conventions. The missions are […]

REVIEW: Shoot Me Nicely [2017]

“Was it really that small?” A good cause and effect tale is hard to come by within an era of more is more popcorn fluff filled with contrivances nobody can feasibly ignore. But that’s exactly what Elias Plagianos delivers with short film Shoot Me Nicely. This is not to say there aren’t any coincidences involved […]

REVIEW: CHIPS [2017]

“Shoulda cuddled, bro” I’ve never watched an episode of “CHiPs” so I don’t care whether or not the original Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada) pulled their guns during six seasons of television as some on social media have enjoyed touting they didn’t since the trailer hit. I will, however, admit I’m […]