REVIEW: Only the Brave [2017]

“Decide what you live for and what you can live without” Interagency Hotshot Crews are twenty person teams of Type 1 firefighters that exceed all experience, training, and fitness requirements of that designation. Originated in the 1940s to combat wildfires on a national level, these groups move all over the country to suppress flames and save cities in need. They’re to firefighters what Navy SEALs are to the military. You call them to get the big jobs done and as such are formed for that specific purpose on a federal…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: Goldstone [2016]

“This land ain’t no place for a young girl” Another missing girl has Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) on the move while the world continues to turn a blind eye. This time it isn’t an aboriginal, though, the aftermath of his work in Mystery Road culminating in a shootout with everyone dead but he a distant memory. The case that has him traveling to Goldstone concerns a young Chinese girl, her place in the desert a curiosity Jay cannot ignore. Haunted by demons that go much farther back than anything…

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REVIEW: Unbroken [2014]

“If you can take it you can make it” Universal Pictures has possessed the rights to Louie Zamperini’s life story since 1957 with good cause considering its scope spanning a troubled childhood, Olympic glory, and POW torture at the hands of the Japanese during WWII. Only when Laura Hillenbrand‘s mouthful of a book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption came out in 2010 was traction finally found assumedly in large part due to her previous adaptation at the hands of Hollywood, Seabiscuit, earning seven Oscar…

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REVIEW: Chronicle [2012]

“What does seriously mean?” It’s not an easy feat to take prevalent Hollywood tropes and make them fresh, unique, and exciting, but director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis—son of John—somehow found a way in their feature length debut Chronicle. Utilizing the in-fashion idea of regular kids discovering superpowers—see “Heroes”, “Misfits”, Push, or even X-Men: First Class—and placing it inside the found footage genre, these young filmmakers are able to keep things both comically relevant and darkly tragic at the same time. When watching the trailer, you may assume this…

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TIFF10 RECAP: The Festival In Photos, Tweets & Reviews

Another year done at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a pretty uneventful trip into the city—besides a rogue Customs official’s 5 minute power trip before we reached the border—that saw a smooth two hour drive both to and from, a far cry from the parking lot car jams of a few short weeks earlier to hand in film picks for the advance lottery. 2010 saw its fair share of rain, the umbrella while waiting in line for Andrew Lau‘s screening of Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen [Legend…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: Wasted on the Young [2010]

“Popular opinion is what you’re best at” Australian cinema has really surged lately with the likes of The Square and Animal Kingdom being released stateside this year. Newcomer Ben C. Lucas now throws his hat into the ring with the suspense drama Wasted on the Young. Described in the Toronto International Film Festival program book as a cross between Gus Van Sant’s Elephant and TV’s “Gossip Girl”, I find it hard to disagree. A high school setting in an elite private school populated by attractive, rich, spoiled children recalls all…

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