Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or not. I hadn’t even seen a good chunk of these until the calendar flipped to 2014, the sheer amount of winners was too vast. And after only awarding three films a 10/10 rating last year,…

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REVIEW: Before Midnight [2013]

“To passing through” With another nine years gone, true loves Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) return to the big screen to update us on romance and relationship struggles for their current, more cynically pragmatic time. Gone is the ability to shirk responsibilities on a whim and roam European with a cute twenty-something guy or girl. Gone is the normalcy of a career-building trajectory as a thirty-something to create a life hopefully in possession of the vitality necessary to endure. The now includes second-guessing, introspective regret, and an all-too…

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REVIEW: Before Sunset [2004]

“Memory is a wonderful thing if you don’t have to deal with the past” The end of Before Sunrise contains a great sequence of moving snapshots epitomizing the film’s intrinsic romanticism. Every corner of Vienna that Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) visited is reshown in their absence—seemingly ordinary locales now unforgettably resonate pieces of personal history. We see how their unique spot in the park hasn’t only gained an empty wine bottle and glasses but also the priceless memory of a young couple’s love. Whether or not these…

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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: Copie conforme [Certified Copy] [2010]

“I’m afraid there’s nothing very simple about being simple” Any lovers of Jesse and Celine need to see Copie conforme [Certified Copy]. Think of Abbas Kiarostami‘s film as an alternate Before Sunset if its two lovers from different countries stayed together, got married, and had a child instead of losing touch like they did after the end of Before Sunrise. Philosophical discussions occur, opinions about the validity of art are shared, and the authenticity of love comes into question. The title also comes into play early and often with the…

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REVIEW: Tape [2001]

“Verbal persuasion” I don’t think anyone does small, dialogue-heavy indie film like Richard Linklater. He is the master of them and that only makes me madder when he remakes movies like Bad News Bears. Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are beautiful films shot simply and effectively, showing that cinema can rely on words and actors without the need for cranes or effects. Tape is one that works very well with those as a darker companion. Adapted by Stephen Belber from his own play, Linklater gives us a claustrophobic account of…

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Top 25 Films of 2004

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 130 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood. #24: The Dreamers directed byBernardo Bertolucci #23: The Brown Bunny directed by Vincent Gallo. #22: Hotel Rwanda directed by Terry George #21: Friday Night Lights directed by Peter Berg #20: Down to the Bone directed by Debra Granik #19: Sideways directed by Alexander Payne #18: Mysterious Skin directed by Gregg Araki #17: The Incredibles…

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