REVIEW: Porto [2017]

“You never know if what you’ve lost is better than what you’ve gained” An American ex-pat reminisces about lost love, his walk through the Portuguese town of Porto leading to the café window of an old late-night conversation conducted with absolute honesty, vulnerability, and empathy. His hair is grayed, the time between widescreen past and […]

REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond [2016]

“The poetry of fate” After an auspicious reboot that erased every movie in the series before it (save the travels of Leonard Nimoy‘s Spock) while ensuring each one still remained in canon, J.J. Abrams stumbled a bit by recycling one of those films’ most acclaim stories for the follow-up. I’ll be the first to admit […]

REVIEW: Green Room [2016]

“The energy doesn’t last” It’s official: Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin was no fluke. That pulse-pounding thriller wowed audiences a couple years ago with good reason and his follow-up Green Room only advances that success further. It’s as though he looked upon the climax of his 2014 gem and wondered what it’d be like to mold […]

REVIEW: Experimenter [2015]

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” As Peter Sarsgaard‘s Stanley Milgram posthumously states at the conclusion of Michael Almereyda‘s Experimenter, his work compiled in Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View continues to come up in conversation whenever a new atrocity occurs in the news. Milgram’s impetus, as explained in […]

REVIEW: Only Lovers Left Alive [2014]

“A diamond emitting the music of a giant gong” In the age of Twilight its good to know an auteur like Jim Jarmusch can render contemporary vampires as the romantic ideals of immortality, wisdom, and survival any thought-provoking interpretation should. Gone is the CW brood from “The Vampire Diaries”, ostentatious displays of supernatural power courtesy […]

REVIEW: Odd Thomas [2014]

“I may see dead people, but by God I do something about it” It’s August 14th in Pico Mundo, CA and the world is about to end. Well, not the world per se, but the community young Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) resides. Sort of. He sees ghosts of dead people with unfinished business, a gift […]

REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness [2013]

“Bones, get that thing off my face” Director J.J. Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek four years ago was a refreshing, original take on a world possessed by countless offshoots because screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman used its science fiction genre to both retain and destroy existing mythology. A red matter black hole sending the […]

VIFF11 REVIEW: Like Crazy [2011]

“To you who make me see things I could never see alone” How much is one summer of euphoric love worth? To Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones)—the world. Courted through a shy, sweet process of stolen looks and a mix of intellectual and sexual longing, these two college students begin a whirlwind affair […]

REVIEW: The Beaver [2011]

“Look at you—stone-drunk and flattened by a television” We hear it all the time and we know it’s a lie: Everything will be okay. No it won’t; it’s impossible and anyone who thinks different is deluded. There will always be missteps, depression, tragedy, guilt, remorse—they are unavoidable. But those instances of darkness should never become […]

REVIEW: The Smurfs [2011]

“Is my thinking interrupting your vile hacking?” I think Grouchy says it best during goodbyes with his human counterparts in The Smurfs. “I hated it so much … less than expected.” He then caps it off with, “but I did hate it”, sentiments I assumed I’d share before sitting down at my screening and was […]

REVIEW: Terminator Salvation [2009]

“So that’s what death tastes like” I have never seen a McG film before. I avoided the Charlie’s Angels movies and thought We Are Marshall looked pretty mediocre—besides being a based on true events sports flick; not my genre of choice. But here we have him helming the newest entry to one of the best […]