REVIEW: Ex Machina [2015]

“The history of man? That’s the history of Gods.” Artificial intelligence isn’t new. It’s in video games, toys, software platforms—most computer systems we interact with daily possess it in some capacity. The idea that one day someone will code a manufactured consciousness capable of becoming sentient, however, is still in the realm of science fiction. Already a well-worn trope, its implementation has seen resurgence of late. Not only is a new installment of Skynet’s war-torn future coming with Terminator Genisys, but “Person of Interest” has been ruling the cyber-thriller forum…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2013: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Her,’ ‘American Hustle’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Is the industry overcompensating a bit with almost every film in December having character sheets? And I’m not even talking about Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs (open December 20)—the one that…

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REVIEW: The Battery [2013]

“Like rain on a tin roof” It’s hard to give any new film about zombies the benefit of the doubt. What started as a politically charged venue to comment on society has pretty much been warped into an entertainment franchise providing viewers copious amounts of guilt-free blood and gore in the name of survival. Every once in a while something fresh arrives—a comedic romp like Shaun of the Dead, the small screen writing clinic of “The Walking Dead”, enhanced mythology for more authentic thrills a la 28 Days Later, or…

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REVIEW: Stake Land [2011]

“And God smote the world asunder” While Hollywood continues to give us vampire flicks that are wrapped up tidily by their conclusion, independent cinema still lives to save us from contrivance and idyllic happy ends. Jim Mickle’s Stake Land is one such venture, combining the styles of 28 Days Later with The Road, his post-apocalyptic world populated by creatures of the night looking for blood. They can’t talk, think, or work together, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Whereas most entries to the genre let a simple prick…

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REVIEW: Night of the Living Dead [1968]

“Yeah they’re dead. They’re all messed up” Seminal zombie flick Night of the Living Dead can now be crossed off my list of films to see. Here is a tale of the undead that is still copied and paid respect to today some forty years later. Even writer/director George Romero continues to add installments to the saga with his most recent entries gracing theaters as recently as last year. It’s interesting to note that this film—the most notorious of the sub-genre—never uses the “Z” word. Much like 28 Days Later,…

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REVIEW: Near Dark [1987]

“Normal folks, they don’t spit out bullets when you shoot ’em” Before cult classic Point Break and sci-fi winner Strange Days, Kathryn Bigelow had an 80’s vampire gem called Near Dark. Having heard a lot of good word of mouth on this one, and my love for Days, I needed to check it out. Vampire films have a tendency to become redundant, always following rules and never being creative. Seeing 30 Days of Night add a little something to the genre, it was interesting to see what Bigelow and co-writer…

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REVIEW: 28 Weeks Later [2007]

“Code Red” This was definitely a film that I didn’t see any necessity for. 28 Days Later was a fantastic genre film whose main success was not really being the film people expected it to be. What worked there was that we were able to wake up into the world just as our main character did. We experience the disorientation and the horror right along with him, as well as the humanity still within him having missed the original outbreak—unlike the disheartened and beaten comrades he meets along the way.…

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REVIEW: 28 Days Later [2002]

“That was longer than a heartbeat” In anticipation for the sequel 28 Weeks Later, I decided to revisit the superb zombie entry 28 Days Later from director Danny Boyle. I remember back to when I first started hearing the buzz about this film and how surprised I was that it came from the guy who brought us Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary. However, because this was the guy who made those films, I decided to give it a try despite not being the biggest fan of zombie flicks or…

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REVIEW: Shaun of the Dead [2004]

“Don’t forget to kill Philip” Anticipating the release of Hot Fuzz has made me want to see the Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright career works. Having heard how great the UK series “Spaced” was, I bought an import from Britain and just recently finished it. The show was great, pop culture abounds, hilarity from start to finish, and much like “The Office,” they knew when to stop and not let the show take a fall with filler and repetition…cough…US “The Office”…cough. What better segway from those two seasons then to go right…

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REVIEW: A Life Less Ordinary [1997]

“I thought we agreed there’d be no cliches” I had always heard good things about this film, but never had the chance to check it out despite being a fan of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. A Life Less Ordinary has a lot of aspects that Boyle later used in his child fairy-tale Millions from inventive camera tricks to a melding of fantasy sequences with reality. The main thing taken from this viewing however is the tragedy that Ewan McGregor and Boyle may never work together again. Ewan…

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Top 25 Films of 2002

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 87 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Spider directed by David Cronenberg #24: Scotland, P.A. directed by Billy Morrissette #23: Death to Smoochy directed by Danny DeVito #22: Catch Me If You Can directed by Steven Spielberg #21: The Good Thief directed by Neil Jordan #20: The Bourne Identity directed by Doug Liman #19: Narc directed by Joe Carnahan. #18: Equilibrium directed by Kurt Wimmer. #17: Confessions ofa…

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