REVIEW: A Million Little Pieces [2019]

Get it right the first time, James. During the ensuing fallout once James Frey‘s memoir A Million Little Pieces was exposed as a fabrication well beyond his statement admitting to having altered “small details” of his past, it was discovered that the author had tried getting it published as fiction to no avail. Random House, the place that ultimately printed it and watched its ascent to the number one bestseller slot thanks to a coveted spot on Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club list, was supposedly one of the establishments that rejected…

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REVIEW: Our Brand is Crisis [2015]

“There’s only one wrong: losing” It’s probably because I know little about politics and care even less that I find most film’s dealing with the subject matter enjoyable. George Clooney‘s The Ides of March is one—the actor taking on the director’s chair, a co-screenwriting credit, and co-lead in front of the lens. Highly political himself with the media, it’s no surprise he’d gravitate towards a play based on an actual campaign (“Farragut North”) or a documentary doing much the same. The latter is Rachel Boynton‘s film centered on the 2002…

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REVIEW: Entourage [2015]

“I don’t worry. I win.” I was a big fan of “Entourage”—loved the first four seasons and remained entertained until the end. The fact Doug Ellin received backing for eight seasons is a success story in itself because you can only recycle the same story beats so often before the audience loses interest. Who cares if the movie Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) makes off-screen gets bigger or his role in its creation expands, ultimately he and his crew will laugh off the hate, find new girls, and move to the…

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REVIEW: St. Vincent [2014]

“It is what it is” The Toronto International Film Festival appears to be embracing the quasi-family friendly odd couple comedy with R-rated color after last year’s Bad Words and this year’s St. Vincent, written and directed by Theodore Melfi and currently receiving theatrical release a month after its debut. Whereas the former went all-in with f-words and curry-holes, however, the latter is intent on retaining a strong sense of sentimentality. This isn’t necessarily bad—it simply forces the film into a sort of limbo existence. Because despite its PG-13 rating, the…

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REVIEW: Bad Santa [2003]

“Fraggle-stick car?” I tried to put a decade behind it and me, but not even that could turn my opinion on Bad Santa around. It’s just a mean-spirited, way-too-random account of a stereotypical alcoholic populated with other characters as ruthless as him or worse. The only role with a modicum of humanity is a borderline retarded kid who asks a ton of questions through a naïvely childish view on a perpetually cruel world. There’s a problem when the film’s biggest laugh comes courtesy of this boy running down the stairs…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Parkland [2013]

“It’s my story too” We all know the story of President John F Kennedy’s assassination. It’s an event that has been ingrained into our culture, spawned a myriad of conspiracy theories, and remains a hotly contested moment in time that changed the fabric of an entire nation. But what about the people this tragedy affected on a personal level beyond victim and perpetrator? What about the trauma surgeons and nurses who watched as the president’s heartbeat flat-lined? What about the giddy business owner excitedly filming the motorcade on his lunch…

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REVIEW: The Baytown Outlaws [2013]

“You ladies have anymore questions?” Who wants a little Southern fired cooking? I know ATF Agent Reese (Paul Wesley) from Chicago doesn’t. He can’t even find an anti-perspirant strong enough to save his button-down shirt from drowning. No, the heat and the culture is an acquired taste best instilled during youth so it can become infused into one’s blood like the Oogie brothers. For Brick (Clayne Crawford), McQueen (Travis Fimmel), and Lincoln (Daniel Cudmore), Alabama is a candy store and they are the kids. Redneck vigilantes with a penchant for…

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REVIEW: Puss in Boots [2011]

“We don’t have any baby muffins” Before Shrek left his swamp to spawn a four-feature franchise I sadly had no real interest in continuing past the original, a Latino kitty cat roamed the lands of Far Far Away. Without a home once San Ricardo turned its back after the public bank was robbed with him left holding the moneybags, Puss in Boots must survive on the fringes of society to woo the ladies and endlessly thieve. Needing a big score for an influx of cash, Puss returns to his adopted…

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REVIEW: Bad Teacher [2011]

“Peanut Butter everywhere …” I wasn’t the biggest fan when it was called Bad Santa and took place in a department store, so, suffice it to say, Bad Teacher’s foul-mouthed comedy never quite hit home. Scribed by writers from “The Office” and, what is sadly much lower on my anticipation list now, Ghostbusters III, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have one thing going for them—laughs. If it weren’t for a healthy amount of laugh-out-loud instances, the void of any engaging conflict coupled with the broadest performances I’ve seen in quite…

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REVIEW: Faster [2010]

“We make our heaven and hell while we’re alive” Writers Tony and Joe Gayton must have really enjoyed Kill Bill and 70s era revenge flicks because they’ve created their beast Faster in the same vein. Tony played with similar themes in the very underrated The Salton Sea and appears to have teamed with his brother to go a bit campier for some high-octane adrenaline rushes, leaving dialogue and script behind. It’s also a branching out exercise for director George Tillman Jr., previously dealing with biographies and tamer fare, joining in…

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REVIEW: The Informers [2008]

“How do you know what’s good and what’s bad?” Author Bret Easton Ellis completely resonates with me. Actually, I’m not sure I can make that statement since I’ve never read a book by him, despite having most on my shelf. Where his characters have affected me is in the films adapted from his work. Every single person he infuses into his sprawling tales of excess and youth culture is devoid of morals, selfish beyond measure, and living life as though the next day will be his last. Between American Psycho…

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