• 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 Last Witness [2018]

“I thought this was supposed to be about us” Soviet secret police began a series of mass executions circa 1940 of Polish citizens they knew would reject foreign occupation upon WWII’s completion. Some of the resulting graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest three years later with more found elsewhere totaling 22,000 bodies. Because of […]

REVIEW: Scarlet Street [1945]

“So you won’t forget me” There’s a great horror concept within Fritz Lang‘s Scarlet Street. Unfortunately it’s pushed aside for a film noir that never quite gains traction. The problem as I see it stems from the fact that screenwriter Dudley Nichols tries to frame aging pushover Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) as a sympathetic […]

REVIEW: Book Club [2018]

“Sex must not be taken off the table” Besides the numerous raunchy one-liners spoken by the central quartet of aging stars for easy laughs, there’s one short passage from Fifty Shades of Grey that’s actually read onscreen. It comes courtesy of Candice Bergen‘s Sharon and deals with the inexplicable decision to arouse Anastasia Steele with […]

REVIEW: Deadpool 2 [2018]

“We can’t really live until we die a little” The biggest critical gripe coming out of the first Deadpool film was that its attempt to subvert the superhero genre was squandered by being a superhero film. What does that mean? It literally is a superhero film. The character is an X-Men alum who exists to […]

REVIEW: RBG [2018]

“There’s a china doll in the bullpen” If you asked me which branch of government’s members I know least, the answer would be easy: judicial. The reason is even easier: I don’t vote for them. It’s an interesting truth because they’re the ones given lifetime appointments and therefore the ones who will potentially impact our […]

REVIEW: Filmworker [2018]

“I want to work for that man” When studios gave Leon Vitali a hard time about requests made on behalf of Stanley Kubrick, the director would tell him to stand firm and be exacting. Vitali relays a story within Tony Zierra‘s documentary Filmworker of Kubrick faxing these places his demands with Leon’s signature so they […]

REVIEW: La Ciénaga [2001]

“Get me some ice” The debut feature from Argentinian writer/director Lucrecia Martel is entitled La Ciénaga or The Swamp in English. That’s a name no American circa 2018 can read without conjuring allusions to the Donald Trump campaign motto “Drain the Swamp”. And it’s not a superficial thought either once you start to meet the […]

REVIEW: Curvature [2018]

“Trust yourself and nobody else” It’s been a week of grief and mourning for Helen (Lyndsy Fonseca) after finding her husband Wells (Noah Bean) dead by suicide at their secluded cabin. She’s dealing with his absence like anyone would by closing off spaces they shared together in hopes of avoiding too many easy triggers for […]

REVIEW: Laskovoe bezrazlichie mira [The Gentle Indifference of the World][2018]

“Only love is real” Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply portray the type of eternal love that Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet. Watching two star-crossed lovers attempt to fight the injustices of this world to be together only to sacrifice themselves can still ring hollow because it’s hinged upon the naiveté of children not […]

REVIEW: Le Redoutable [Godard Mon Amour] [2017]

“I was lucky enough to admire my lover” We’re introduced to Emile (Marc Fraize) halfway through Michel Hazanavicius‘ Le Redoubtable [Godard Mon Amour]. He’s a local Frenchman with a car and the means to procure enough gas to drive an argumentative Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), his wife Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), and their friends (Micha […]

REVIEW: Tully [2018]

“You’re empty” After loving their first collaboration (Juno) and disliking their second (Young Adult), I didn’t know what to expect with director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody‘s third pairing behind the camera. The best I could do was enter the theater unprejudiced and hopeful for the best since I do like most of their […]

REVIEW: Isle of Dogs [2018]

“You’ve heard the rumor, right?” I feel like the twee sensibilities of writer/director Wes Anderson might be catching up to him. Moonrise Kingdom was a sort of rejuvenation proving both exactly like his oeuvre and wholly unique as its child’s perspective lent a fresh voice to his usual brand of artificial melodrama. But rather than […]

REVIEW: Revenge [2018]

“Elizabeth and the kids ok?” The front half of Coralie Fargeat‘s debut feature Revenge provides audiences the sort of sensory overload that hits like a sledgehammer. You might not think this will be the case considering things start off with a serenely static shot of desert expanse while a helicopter approaches from the center of […]

REVIEW: Measure of a Man [2018]

“This time I had something to prove” The coming of age dramedy is a crowded genre with many seminal works established in the 70s and 80s. It’s tough to therefore see any entries without comparing them to what came first. Some can still find their niche and win audiences over before earning a place besides […]

REVIEW: And Then I Go [2018]

“Ours is a group of two” The Columbine massacre happened in 1999. It’s crazy to think it’s been over twenty years because we seem to have a new school shooting every month now. And as they grew in prevalence, the conversation surrounding them shifted from tragedy to politicization. Gus Van Sant‘s Elephant arrived in 2003 […]