REVIEW: Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood [2019]

Give me sexy, evil Hamlet. It was around midnight between August 8th and 9th, 1969 that Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel arrived at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles on a mission from their cult leader Charles Manson. They were told to go to that house (a former renter named Terry Melcher once rebuked Manson) and kill everyone inside as gruesomely as possible. By morning five people were dead including a pregnant Sharon Tate (whose husband, director Roman Polanski, was in Europe working on a new film) with…

Read More

REVIEW: Ocean’s 8 [2018]

Hims are noticed. Hers are ignored. The best way to reboot a franchise is via a sequel. It’s smart because of the connection whether it be setting or characters since familiarity allows us as viewers to settle in without having to relearn what the property intrinsically contains. Look at Creed—or to a lesser extent Star Wars: The Force Awakens—for the perfect example of how something like this works. Both are practically carbon copies of the original installments within their respective franchises and trade on nostalgia to place a new generation…

Read More

REVIEW: Brimstone [2017]

“Retribution is coming” At a time when many supposedly God-fearing Christians in America blindly fear the idea of a Muslim insurgence implementing Sharia law (itself often warped by supposed Allah-fearing men to retain patriarchal control much like their Republican counterparts dictating what a woman can and can’t do with her body), it’s crucial to remember the Bible isn’t necessarily so different as far as fanatical readings go. When the word of God can be bent to the whims of man, anything is possible. Perverts can marry daughters to render covetous…

Read More

TIFF16 REVIEW: American Pastoral [2016]

“You told her to bring the war home” If my limited experience with Philip Roth adaptations is any indication, his novels deal in emotion. There are existential crises concerning identity involved, each a character study about life’s impact beyond the surface experiences propelling them forward. This isn’t something easily translated from page to screen when so much consists of internalized motivation. You must really look into the text, ignoring plot to find the core reactionary cause for everything occurring. If a daughter’s disappearance indelibly changes every second of her parents’…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda August 2014: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Sin City,’ ‘Starred Up,’ and 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. 2014 soldiers on and the poster selection just gets worse. Luckily the films themselves haven’t been as uninspired. Or maybe they have. After all, this summer is down almost 19%…

Read More

REVIEW: Very Good Girls [2014]

“You didn’t want to stay and see what your special prize would be?” Writer/director Naomi Foner wants to tell us about the messiness of life through two eighteen-year old girls during their final summer before college. You’d assume they’d be the ideal candidates to do so too once they simultaneously make a pact to lose their virginity and meet the guy of both their dreams, but Very Good Girls refuses to let the ramifications of that stand on their own. Instead Foner adds parental infidelity, untimely death, sexual harassment, and…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda May 2014: ‘Godzilla’, ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′, ‘Maleficent’ & 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. Is it officially Summer yet? Blockbuster poster campaigns for Spidey, Magneto, Godzilla, and Seth MacFarlane would lean towards yes. Buy your popcorn and candy now because we’ve got computer generated…

Read More

REVIEW: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 [2012]

“Should I start calling you Dad?” **contains spoilers as far as its major difference from the book** I’m going to applaud The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 for two reasons. One, it signals what we can hope and pray will be the last adventure inside Stephenie Meyer‘s angst-ridden, melodramatic world of supernaturals—until the planned off-shoots/reboots being bandied about, of course. Two, it rather unsurprisingly proves to be the best of the series after three bloated, over-wrought filler films ruined the tiny bit of promise the original Twilight provided. But…

Read More

REVIEW: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse [2010]

“I’d rather you be really dead than one of them” I’m not saying Twilight was a masterpiece, but it did hold promise—promise that its successors have done little to uphold. An overly melodramatic adolescent romance, the first film knew what it was and had enough exposition and story to hold things together through the schmaltzy eye-rolling of a smitten teen finding trouble and supernatural heroes to save her. Rather than build on that premise, the sequel became an overblown epilogue to try and introduce a love triangle we already know…

Read More

REVIEW: Somewhere [2010]

“Hey Johnny. You’re having a party.” Ever since her debut film—a favorite of mine—The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola has spiraled into a mode of minimalist storytelling. Receiving raves from critics and a Best Screenplay Oscar for her sophomore effort Lost in Translation, I began to wonder what I was missing. It was a good film, but a transcendent piece of cinema introducing us to a new master of the medium? I didn’t even think it was her best film, let alone all that. Perhaps it is in the simplicity where…

Read More

REVIEW: The Runaways [2010]

“I want to hear you fun girls growl” Welcome to the coming out party for the new, adult Dakota Fanning. The movie may be called The Runaways, after the band for which it depicts, but this is most definitely the Cherie Currie story. When I first heard about the film beginning production, as well as all the hype surrounding Kristen Stewart’s casting as Joan Jett, I really couldn’t have cared less about the project. I chalked it up to being just another ‘making of the band’ tome of sex, drugs,…

Read More