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…

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REVIEW: Our Kind of Traitor [2016]

“What am I doing here?” We received two John le Carré adaptations this year, each delivering high production value, effective performances, and somewhat weak plotting. Susanne Bier‘s The Night Manager provides a “hero” between worlds—not a bona fide spy as in A Most Wanted Man or Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, not a regular man at his rope’s end willing to do whatever’s necessary a la The Constant Gardener. Surface appearances presume to be the latter except for the fact he has military training and a penchant for killing despite a…

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REVIEW: Your Highness [2011]

“I want you to be gay with me and father” I knew Your Highness was going to be bad, but I never anticipated just how much. I thought that no matter how horrible the trailers were, Danny McBride and James Franco re-teaming would make things tolerable. They helped support Seth Rogen’s stoner action flick, Pineapple Express, Franco’s complete absurdity and McBride’s acquired taste enhancing the writer’s formula we have come to love. While Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg have discovered mainstream appeal, though, McBride and co-scribe Ben Best are still…

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REVIEW: The Escapist [2008]

“Too old to die young” While The Escapist may not have an all-star A-list cast, it has a pretty recognizable international one. When I saw the names attached to this thing, I couldn’t believe that it had trouble finding distribution. Luckily IFC Films stepped up to the plate and will add it to their VOD schedule to get some exposure for its DVD release. Much like Unknown from a few years back, Rupert Wyatt’s film is a hidden gem of intrigue and suspense. A disjointed narrative tells the story of…

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REVIEW: An Unfinished Life [2005]

“You start to think you don’t deserve better” I always wondered why An Unfinished Life didn’t get the chance it should have upon its release. Between the reknowned director, in Lasse Hallström, to the top-heavy, star cast, nothing was really said about it. I remember seeing the trailer online and thinking it seemed intriguing enough, and then next I knew it was out on DVD. If it hit theatres here in Buffalo, I was not aware. Finally, though, I was able to catch up on the story and see if…

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