REVIEW: Metro Manila [2013]

“Sometimes the only thing left to hold onto is the blade of a knife” The impetus for Sean Ellis‘ Metro Manila could have simply been an intriguing anecdote to tell people upon returning to England from a trip visiting a friend in the Philippines and for most it would have. Unable to shake the disquieting scene witnessed, however, the writer/director begun crafting a story that gave two nameless armored truck drivers engaged in an argument a history. Enlisting the help of Frank E. Flowers, he used the incident between them…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: The Brøken [2008]

“We’ll have a chat about those fragments” It takes some guts and talent to take your Oscar nominated short film and convert it to a full length feature, let alone allow that feature length debut be as good as it is. I know that my love for Sean Ellis’ Cashback may be a bit much—the story isn’t the deepest, the script not the most profound—but the visuals are stunning and the construction inventive. Thus I was in great anticipation for his sophomore effort, the horror film The Brøken. Expectations were…

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Top 25 Films of 2007

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 114 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Away From Her directed by Sarah Polley . #24: Cassandra’s Dream directed by Woody Allen . #23: The Cake Eaters directed by Mary Stuart Masterson #22: Grindhouse directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez #21: Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn . . #20: Reign Over Me directed by Mike Binder . . #19: El Orfanato [The Orphanage] directed by J.A. Bayona…

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Top Ten Films of 2007: The Year of the Adaptation

It was a year of many genres. We had some musicals, a few dramas, comedies galore, a little sci-fi, and a couple bio-pics sprinkled in to satiate the kiddies and Oscar voters. If anything, I guess one trend seemed to rise above, that being the adaptation, whether from plays (Sweeney Todd), novels (Zodiac), or comics (Stardust). I always try to read first, but the shear amount this year prevented me from doing so, therefore I can’t quite say if they were all successes or not. In the end, after seeing…

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REVIEW: Cashback [2007]

“The two meanings of crush” Upon seeing the much talked about 2004 short Cashback a couple years ago, I was utterly blown away. I checked out Sean Ellis quickly after to see what was next on his slate. To my surprise, it was a feature length version of his brilliant short. I didn’t know what to think, how could he hope to enhance what worked so well in 25 minutes? How could he risk ruining the beauty and magic of what he had? Once I saw that the feature release…

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