REVIEW: The Hummingbird Project [2019]

What’s at the end of the line? Vincent Zaleski (Jesse Eisenberg) and his cousin Anton (Alexander Skarsgård) work for a stock trader in New York City (Salma Hayek‘s Eva Torres) and seem to be doing well. Writer/director Kim Nguyen doesn’t give any specifics as to their salaries and whatnot, but we visit one of their homes during a memorial for Vincent’s father and everyone seems comfortable enough to not need to be greedy. And yet The Hummingbird Project starts by placing greed front and center. It introduces Vincent’s shrewd business…

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REVIEW: Long Shot [2019]

Olive oil and mayonnaise. I hate to use the word “refreshing” to describe a film lambasting the twenty-first century hellhole that is American politics, but it’s what comes to mind after watching Jonathan Levine‘s Long Shot. I’m not talking refreshing as far as its humor or rom-com machinations since both are blatant retreads. No, I mean the ability of Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah‘s script to let its satire of Fox News and Donald Trump populate the background with the nuance and intelligence gags like those on “Saturday Night Live”…

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REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan [2016]

“Look at his hands” The film wasn’t even over before an older woman sitting a row away loudly exclaimed, “I’m exhausted.” I chuckled to myself at the exasperation shown for what wasn’t even a two-hour movie, but quickly realized she wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit drained myself trying to figure out what part of The Legend of Tarzan director David Yates wanted me to care about. Was it the relationship between Tarzan aka John Clayton III (Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) and their bond’s strength when…

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REVIEW: The Diary of a Teenage Girl [2015]

“And now the making of a harlot” You don’t realize what might be missing from a film until it’s staring you in the face elsewhere. I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower for its universality, authentic emotions, and resonance, but there was something absent I could only see while watching Marielle Heller‘s adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner‘s graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl. To say it is honesty would be a disservice to Perks because Stephen Chbosky‘s fictional memoir is honest as far as the subject matter and…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & 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. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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REVIEW: What Maisie Knew [2013]

“I’ve done my mid-life crisis. You should get on with yours.” Stories like What Maisie Knew are tough pills to swallow because of their authentic depiction of human selfishness. It’s easy to label the subject matter overwrought and hyperbolic due to the actions of its adults until we realize how prevalent such attitudes are in today’s society. With the safety of the titular grade-schooler’s world crumbling around her, we witness those morally and ethically responsible for her not being so while those who shouldn’t be burdened are. Amidst an ugly…

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REVIEW: Battleship [2012]

“It’s the North Koreans—I’m tellin’ ya” Screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber actually made paying Hasbro a boatload of cash for their seemingly unnecessary board game property a relevant story point in their big budget, science fiction actioner Battleship. The fact they had to conjure up a humanoid alien race with reptilian characteristics and cloaking technology to keep gigantic flying nautical vessels off radar is beside the point. The American public loves extra-terrestrial invasions, thinks Andy Roddick’s wife Brooklyn Decker is hot, and can’t help getting revved up when their armed…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Melancholia [2011]

“Two million and six beans” Director Lars von Trier has never been easily accessible. Part of his genius is the ability to go places others might not dare, shoot imagery no one else could even fathom, and push his actors into authentic performances that risk sending them into the same psychological tailspin as their characters. So you can just imagine how unique his vision of the apocalypse would be. It would portray emotionally unstable people as they near their end. It would expose the underbelly of familial strife. Portray the…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that 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. September is the start of the film festival season. Unsurprisingly, while Toronto, Venice, and New York debut the flicks we’ve been waiting all year to see, the box office…

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The Most Anticipated Films of 2011

While Jon Favreau may say that 2011 looks to have a bloodbath summer on its hands with blockbusters galore taking 3D screens from each other, I’ll say right now that those aren’t the movies most intriguing me. Next year sees a return for Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen, Holmes and Watson, the Witwickys, Ethan Hunt, and, of course, everyone’s favorite Ghostface. Superheroes are king once more with Avengers, Mutants, and a delayed and beleaguered Black Beauty coming as well as our once beloved comedian Adam Sandler not only starring in a…

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