REVIEW: A Simple Favor [2018]

Oopsy. You don’t wonder which woman has secrets after meeting Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). Instead you wonder which has more. They’re built to be hiding something in their past whether dark or not. The former: a goody two-shoes, little Miss Perfect type who always has the energy to show up every parent at her kid’s school despite a tragic accident that took the life of her husband and brother. The latter: a hard-drinking enigma who refuses to let people take her photo with a heart…

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REVIEW: Café Society [2016]

“Dreams are … dreams” Ever since Woody Allen left New York City for England in 2005 to create some really spectacular films outside his usual comedic efforts of neurotic meet-cutes, I may have intentionally tried to avoid anything he made with a character he would have played himself a decade prior. I personally don’t count Midnight in Paris simply because Owen Wilson owns that lead role in a way Allen couldn’t equal. So when Café Society was announced with Jesse Eisenberg at the fore, I did cringe a bit. I…

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REVIEW: The Shallows [2016]

“The island of the pregnant woman” Not all shark movies should be compared to Jaws—not even The Shallows. If you were to make any type of correlation cinema-wise it should be Cast Away meets Gravity or All Is Lost. The idea here is to put a character in isolation during a survival moment where hope can be lost in an instant. Will he/she prevail? Will he/she give him/herself the opportunity to live? Most of us would give up as soon as that shark’s vice-grip tightened around our thigh. Kicking and…

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REVIEW: The Age of Adaline [2015]

“Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go” A high concept fantasy property such as The Age of Adaline could easily fall into trouble if it decided to put its focus on the mystery rather than the characters. J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz script deals with a woman who at twenty-nine was victim to an unexplained accident that left her unable to age. She wasn’t immortal or imperious to pain and injury; she simply would remain looking and being twenty-nine until something finally stopped her…

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Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

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REVIEW: Savages [2012]

“Money’s not enough. You’ve got to give your heart.” Who’s crueler: a vicious Mexican cartel decapitating men to send a message or a couple Laguna boys willing to do whatever it takes to protect the emotionally damaged girlfriend they share? Being a trick question, the answer is yes. Plain and simply, humanity has forever been plagued by the capacity for evil since the dawn of time, whether a monkey discovering the blunt force trauma capability of a stick or Eve biting that gosh darned apple in Paradise. We yearn for…

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REVIEW: Green Lantern [2011]

“This is the worst eleventh birthday party I’ve ever been to” And here I thought green was the color of envy. Leave it to the DC Universe to set the record straight on how wrong that is in what could be the most implausibly convoluted mythology of any comic book entity ever—especially for a superhero who lives in the same world as Batman and Superman, two guys heavily steeped in reality, with some artistic flourishes of course. Green Lantern is hindered from an easy transition to the big screen at…

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REVIEW: The Town [2010]

“It’ll be just like one of my sunny days” There is just something about Ben Affleck and Boston. Raised in Cambridge, it seems that success and the hometown accent combine as though they are directly related. Good Will Hunting earned him an Oscar for Best Screenplay, his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone was—in my opinion—one of the best films of 2007, and now his sophomore effort The Town shows it wasn’t a fluke. I’m not saying he should quit his day job in front of the lens or anything; you…

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