REVIEW: Elizabeth Harvest [2018]

It just happened Brightly lit as though a fantasy beyond Elizabeth’s (Abbey Lee) wildest dreams, we meet her and new husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds) as they drive towards the rest of their lives. She basks in the luck she believes she possesses to find a man of his intelligence and wealth even if she’s quizzical to his having chosen to marry someone as “simple” as she by comparison. But regardless of these nagging insecurities, Elizabeth does seem legitimately happy. The age difference between them is a non-starter and the smiles…

Read More

REVIEW: Justice League [2017]

“I don’t have to recognize it. I just have to save it.” There are a lot of haters out there—those who pile on Zack Snyder, the DC Extended Universe, and both. I’m not one of them. But that doesn’t mean I’ve loved what they’ve delivered. We’ve received one good film (Wonder Woman), one ambitiously enjoyable mess (Batman v Superman), an okay origin tale (Man of Steel), and a mildly enjoyable mess (Suicide Squad). Despite this union’s many flaws, however, it’s consistently brought something wholly unique tonally in comparison to Marvel.…

Read More

REVIEW: Silence [2016]

“An army of two” A labor of love twenty-five years in the making, Silence is tailor-made for Martin Scorsese‘s sensibilities as a person and director. Not only does it comment on faith and therefore his personal struggles being someone who contemplated going down the road towards priesthood, it also provides similar subject matter and plot progression to his most famous religion-based drama The Last Temptation of Christ. This epic journey is ostensibly the last temptation of Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield), a Jesuit priest striving to cultivate Catholicism in Japan at…

Read More

TIFF16 REVIEW: Bleed for This [2016]

“Christ and elephants” There’s something about boxing movies that gets butts in seats regardless of so many being practically the same story. The formula almost always concerns some type of personal and professional redemption and Ben Younger‘s Bleed for This is no exception. Being a true telling of Vinny Pazienza’s (Miles Teller) arduous journey back into the ring after a near-fatal car crash severed his neck, however, means it possesses some substance beyond the old “washed up” bid for revenge against the press or a former coach/manager who’s now inexplicably…

Read More

REVIEW: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover [1989]

“The naughty bits and the dirty bits are so close together” The above quote pretty much sums up Peter Greenaway‘s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. High society and criminal filth: seemingly disparate sectors of civilization that wouldn’t truly wish to consort together yet constantly overlap through history to almost merge into one. The surface context of the words concerns a conversation about the close proximity between genitals and anuses during dinner as only the boorishly crude gangster Albert Spita (Michael Gambon) could describe, but it also…

Read More

REVIEW: Frozen [2013]

“Conceal it. Don’t feel it.” Over half a century in the making, Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has finally made it to the big screen. It was 1943 when Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn decided to co-create a live-action/animation hybridized biography of the Danish author—an idea that stalled due to their inability to bring the aforementioned fairy tale and The Little Mermaid to life. While Disney of course figured out the latter in 1989, the former continuously proved troublesome as it failed to come together in…

Read More

REVIEW: Closed Circuit [2013]

“The judicial process in this country is and will remain fair and transparent” Director John Crowley is a man with good luck picking screenplays. His feature film debut Intermission is a fun Irish romp while drama Boy A is in my opinion criminally underrated and ignored. So, seeing him sign onto a project written by the man behind Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises—Steven Knight—was an exciting discovery, especially after finding the thriller’s trailer to be intriguing enough without spoiling too much of its conspiratorial plot. And everything does work…

Read More

REVIEW: John Carter [2012]

“Vir-gin-ya, Vir-gin-ya, Vir-gin-ya!” When you’re working from a novel written almost a century ago about a planet we still have yet to truly discover, it would be easy to find yourself going off track onto a cheesy, archaic path of exposition. John Carter is not without its moments of superfluity and at over two hours in length does at times find itself sprawling out into an epic beyond the needs of the story being told. However, writer/director Andrew Stanton and company still manage to intrigue with their desert wasteland of…

Read More

REVIEW: The Woman in Black [2012]

“It’s just chasing shadows” Is it bad that the first thing to pop in my head after loving the gothic atmosphere of James Watkins‘ The Woman in Black was how boring Susan Hill‘s source novel must be? I can’t stop thinking Anne Rice-type bloat with flowery, dark vocabulary lulling you to sleep before the next big scare occurs. In fact, this is pretty much how I felt watching the movie, even startling awake with a huge jolt by a scream only to see the remaining hand print of condensation on…

Read More

REVIEW: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [2011]

“Smiley leaves with me” When I first heard about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I didn’t think it had a chance of living up to my expectations. It possessed an all-star cast, was director Tomas Alfredson‘s English-language follow-up to the brilliant Let the Right One In, and was adapted from an espionage thriller by John le Carré—the novelist of another personal favorite, The Constant Gardener. An unforgettable marketing campaign piqued my interest with stunning character posters composed of number and letter strands color-coded to create each face and the never-ending praise…

Read More

REVIEW: The Debt [2011]

“I’m not brave; I’m terrified.” Whether malicious or compassionate, actions have consequences. It could be your own guilt, justice being served, or the fear and paranoia of what may be coming your way—in the end, the past will rise to haunt you. This is a fact that John Madden’s The Debt uses in many different ways, cross-cutting between 1966 and 1997 with the wipe of the screen. We see the past and present of three Mossad agents and the mission they were ordered to complete, culminating in the glory of…

Read More