REVIEW: Nancy [2018]

“We have to appreciate what we have now” To look at Nancy Freeman (Andrea Riseborough) is to see a defeated woman. Her single moment of hope throughout the day is the chance of opening mail to check whether her latest writing submission was accepted for publication—a hope perpetually dashed by the fact her oppressive mother (Ann Dowd‘s Betty) already ripped the envelope seams to find rejection letters inside. Relegated to temp work since her hours must always revolve around Mom’s Parkinson’s needs, her life becomes forever isolated from friendship, joy,…

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REVIEW: Mandy [2018]

“It’s all but a beautiful dream” At some point during Panos Cosmatos‘ acid trip of a phantasmagoric horror Mandy you will start to wonder if you’re the one tripping on LSD. It could be when oily ghouls on motorcycles arrive with the call of a stone horn’s whistle or perhaps when a severed jugular sprays blood all over our hero’s face as he screams in deranged delight. You’ll watch as the characters onscreen drink hallucinogens, prick others with the stinger of a giant insect, and snort cocaine—each new experience opening…

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REVIEW: The Death of Stalin [2017]

“I can’t remember who’s alive and who isn’t” The Russians may have taken umbrage with British director Armando Iannucci‘s The Death of Stalin—a tale of backstabbing governmental hilarity—but their successful quest to ban it domestically is a case of “doth protest too much.” The Soviet Union allied with Hitler’s Nazi regime before joining the winning side and Stalin was very much an enemy of my enemy type of compromise. So while some may have glossed over his many atrocities because he once posed for a photograph with Roosevelt and Churchill,…

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REVIEW: Battle of the Sexes [2017]

“Libbers not lobbers” Between the title and trailer, I assumed Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ Battle of the Sexes would focus strictly on the circus surrounding the event itself. It’s not like there isn’t enough content to make that happen between the political, social, and athletic motivations behind the media frenzy. But screenwriter Simon Beaufoy knew he had to go further back to truly understand the climate that led to former champion and current senior tour member Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) calling up Billie Jean King (Emma Stone)—arguably the best…

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REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals [2016]

“Sometimes it’s not good to change things so much” One movie stood out in 2009: fashion designer Tom Ford‘s unlikely directorial debut A Single Man. It had style to spare and amazing performances (Colin Firth‘s Oscar loss was vindicated a year later), but its emotionality was its greatest strength. Ford created this tragic whirlwind and found a glimmer of hope—a way out of the darkness to acknowledge there’s more life yet to live. That was the trait I looked forward to experiencing on a larger scale with his follow-up Nocturnal…

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REVIEW: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014]

“The truth is always interesting” It’s true what the film’s Times‘ theater critic (Lindsay Duncan) says: an artist should bleed for his craft. Physically, spiritually, metaphorically—blood must be spilt so the world knows he was here, selflessly (selfishly?) making us laugh, cry, and reflect on lives well lived and squandered. This is why those who touch upon life’s intrinsic emotions and universal feelings can demand salaries and compensation so large not even their over-stretched, ambitious, and insane imaginations can think of how to spend it all. They create what we…

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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: Oblivion [2013]

“We’ll come back when it’s over” Originally planned as a graphic novel, Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion wouldn’t have stayed solely on the page for long. It’s science fiction romance decades after the Earth is ravaged by nuclear war and alien invasion would have whet any studio’s appetite with or without the director’s work on TRON: Legacy—itself a mixed bag many consider a failure. Disney tooted his horn for awhile leading up to that highly-anticipated sequel, even going as far as outbidding multiple suitors for the rights to his and Arvid Nelson‘s…

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REVIEW: Welcome to the Punch [2013]

“Does she now? You look like Kenny Rogers.” Bolstered by a script ranking number three on the 2010 Brit List—a film industry tabulation of the best unproduced British screenplays—Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch goes a long way to putting the writer/director on our cinematic map. The guy has worked behind the scenes on projects with Danny Boyle, Woody Allen, Neil Jordan, and Matthew Vaughn, the latter appearing to be who’s style he most closely resembles. Shooting a ton of music videos and commercials alongside his debut feature Shifty, Creevy…

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REVIEW: Made in Dagenham [2010]

“Above all—if I nod, you nod” It is somewhat humorous how there has been such uproar of debate concerning the feminism at work with Zack Snyder’s newest Sucker Punch. Here is a fantastical action romp of emblazoned young women fighting for their freedom through imagination and we’re made to cut through a flimsy script to find political rhetoric when entertainment is much easier to see. If only half of the people stirring up conversation on the subject would move instead towards a gem from last year called Made in Dagenham,…

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