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 Carney as clean-nosed roommates inexplicably looking to rob a bank. The fun was in the preparation—a rejuvenated excitement in their lives. The drama came via a long, winding road of tragedy afterwards. So of course…

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REVIEW: Million Dollar Arm [2014]

“That better have been filtered water” The seventh and final season of “Mad Men” has begun yet star Jon Hamm is only now getting his first leading man role in a feature film. So why does what should be an auspicious event considering his obvious talent seem less than noteworthy? As good at comedy as drama, no one can deny he owns chauvinistic smarm on TV or has the chops to play a business-first sports agent who exclusively dates models while scheming to earn his next buck. The problem lies…

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REVIEW: Grudge Match [2013]

“This is not the behavior of old men, man” Someone had the brilliant idea of putting Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta in the ring together at the ripe old comedic age of seventy and their Hollywood surrogates agreed to no one’s surprise. Not only that, but the actors also found added pleasure in playing these latest roles as somewhat of a parody on themselves with Robert De Niro‘s Billy “The Kid” McDonnen being all about the easy financial score (see the two-time Oscar-winner’s trajectory the past two decades) and…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone [2013]

“Pretend I’m still here and tell me all about it” I’m a big magic fan—always have been. Armed with a set of tricks needing extensive instructions before allowing my parents to feign astonishment at my implementation, I watched every David Copperfield special and even went to a weekly magic class one summer as a kid. There is something about making the impossible possible through hard work and dedication that is utterly satisfying. Who wouldn’t enjoy witnessing the look in someone’s eye when they’ve been genuinely surprised by a flawless illusion…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2013: A Snort of Fresh Air with ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘Identity Thief,’ ‘Charles Swan’ & 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. February. Just outside of the dump month that is January and yet still devoid of any true must-sees besides the arty ones no one has heard of and the umpteenth…

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Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Argo [2012]

“The United States government has just sanctioned your science fiction movie” In 1979, tensions between Iran and the United States reached a boil after Ayatollah Khomeini called for a return of his predecessor—Shah Pahlavi—in order to try him in what would be a kangaroo court whether or not deserved. Allowed passage into the US to attend the Mayo clinic and combat his cancer, the fact we were housing him infuriated a group of Islamist students and militant followers of the Imam’s Line to the point of storming the American embassy…

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REVIEW: Grosse Pointe Blank [1997]

“Well thank you for profiting from my childhood” Despite having most likely seen John Cusack in previous films, I do believe black comedy Grosse Pointe Blank was the first to put him firmly on my radar as an actor to follow. While the last few years haven’t necessarily been a great showcase of his talent, his late-90s run was quite a streak of hits that seemed to stem from this gem. Credited as a producer and co-writer, the film possesses a very keen comedic sensibility with a great sarcastic wit…

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REVIEW: The Muppets [2011]

“Laughter, the third greatest gift of all!” If you saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it’ll be no surprise that Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller were chosen as the ones to bring The Muppets back to the big screen. Almost three decades since the last true Muppet movie besides their literary adventures after Jim Henson’s untimely death, it’s also not shocking that the two decided to base their plot around this lengthy hiatus. Years removed from the original “Muppet Show” that began in 1976, this new iteration begins by introducing us to…

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REVIEW: The Change-Up [2011]

“Rotate your turret and go night night” It may be overly derisive to say, especially from a guy who watched Like Father Like Son and Vice Versa religiously during the late-80s, but The Change-Up has to end up being the laziest piece of cinema released this year. Scribed by the duo behind both Hangover flicks, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore appear to be making a conscious effort to create ‘modern updates’ of tired concepts. After the ho-hum, not as bad as it should have been Ghosts of Girlfriends Past redid…

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Sunshine Cleaning … Entrepreneurship as catharsis

Written as a guest post for my friend Leah MacVie’s blog, the original post is located here. The 2008 Sundance favorite Sunshine Cleaning, written by Megan Holley and directed by Christine Jeffs, is a phenomenal look into the emotional fragility of two young women trying to find their way in life. Rose and Norah Lorkowski are at the age where adulthood should be in full force, dependent lifestyles at home with school grades a top priority long gone. But these two haven’t had the most idyllic childhood; in fact, some…

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