REVIEW: Richard Jewell [2019]

I’m me. There’s a major difference between fact (Richard Jewell is currently being investigated as a potential suspect) and editorial conjecture meant to carry your byline and publication into the national spotlight (Richard Jewell epitomizes the lone bomber profile and the FBI are nearing an arrest). Some journalists can’t unfortunately spot the difference. Why? Because sensationalized speculation sells. Once the 24-hour news cycle generated for-profit entities more worried about ratings than transparently calling a spade a spade, our ability to discern truth from opinion became eroded to the point where…

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REVIEW: The Beguiled [2017]

“I didn’t want you to be misled” There’s a lot to like about Don Siegel‘s 1971 adaptation of Thomas Cullinan‘s A Painted Devil. Unfortunately, there’s just as much left wanting. It built towards a tense finale of malicious intent, the kind that’s able to turn what was a simple wartime drama into a metaphorical representation of fear and paranoia pitting man against woman in a battle of physical strength opposite will. Where it goes wrong, however, is in the decision to draw its lead character as the unequivocal bad guy.…

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REVIEW: The Beguiled [1971]

“Old enough for kisses” If you’ve ever wondered what would happen inside a Confederate girls seminary (boarding school) unwittingly thrust into the position of harboring a wounded Union soldier during the Civil War, Don Siegel‘s The Beguiled seeks to provide some dark answers. Based on Thomas Cullinan‘s novel A Painted Devil and adapted by Albert Maltz and Irene Kamp (despite the use of pseudonyms after Claude Traverse‘s uncredited rewrite), the film focuses on Corporal John McBurney’s (Clint Eastwood) precarious situation. He’s the enemy—a man two students would let die for…

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REVIEW: Sully [2016]

“A delay is better than a disaster” I found myself siding with snarky detractors when Clint Eastwood announced he was tackling a biopic about Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger because it seemed rather anticlimactic. Could you truly find a captivating feature length film in the paltry 208-seconds from engine failure to splash landing? We already know everyone survives and already hail the pilot as the hero he deserves to be known as. So where’s the drama beyond reenactment better suited for a documentary focusing on those who actually experienced the ‘Miracle on…

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REVIEW: American Sniper [2014]

“Dude, that’s evil like I’ve never seen before” It doesn’t matter if you’re Chris Kyle or any one of the countless war veterans readjusting to civilian life stateside, half the country will call you a hero and the other a killer. While the reality lies somewhere in between, it’s almost impossible to find a war film focused on a single soldier or specific group of soldiers that doesn’t skew towards jingoistic territory or lynch mob mentality respectively. It’s therefore a welcome sight to see Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper—based on Kyle’s…

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REVIEW: Jersey Boys [2014]

“Aren’t you supposed to be home by eleven?” The end credits of Clint Eastwood‘s Jersey Boys steal the show. A bombastic number lasting a couple minutes has the entire cast singing “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” with genuine excitement through a staged New Jersey street and it gives us exactly what the previous two plus hours couldn’t. Let’s be honest, “Jersey Boys” the stage musical isn’t that great when you take away The Four Seasons‘ songs and its brilliant use of a sparse set at the end of Act…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2014: ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘The Rover,’ ‘Venus in Fur’ & 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. It’s no surprise a month like June doesn’t possess the best posters for blockbuster releases. No one readying to visit a theater for summer popcorn carnage cares if the advertisement…

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REVIEW: Trouble with the Curve [2012]

“Can De Niro rap?” The Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field outdoor gate security guard in Trouble with the Curve perfectly encapsulates the film. Sitting silently with his newspaper, you see him slowly lower it as Amy Adams‘ Mickey exits to answer Justin Timberlake‘s Johnny “The Flame” Flanigan’s flirtatious baseball trivia question. Like the guard, whenever the sport is onscreen—whether game action or verbal sparring—my interest piqued and I was able to invest in the plot of an aging scout going blind as he checks out the newest cocky high school prospect…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2012: White Space Rules the Month

“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. When not distracted by the more offbeat, artistically inclined one-sheets for the amazing line-up gracing Toronto screens at TIFF this month, I was surprised to see a few good ones…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games [2012]

“Thank you for your consideration” Underdogs thrive on the ability to retain hope in a world forever shoving them into a corner without the reality of upward mobility or a true chance at overall social change. When they start to believe their numbers can actually overcome that adversity, however, the ruling class must take notice and ready for a fight they may not win. Rebellion will forever be a threat whether one has been squashed in the past or not since you can only kick the underprivileged masses down so…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2012: Gimmicks and Blurs

“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. We’ve come to March and still no posters to really write home about. The season of blockbuster tent poles and their litany of character posters begins, proving once more that…

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