REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald [2018]

“We mustn’t be what they say we are” Who is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne)? This is an important question we have to ask while watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, one we didn’t during the entirety of Harry Potter’s adventures at Hogwarts and beyond. Back then we knew who our hero was because of the mark on his head. Potter was the child of prophecy, the fated vanquisher of the wizarding world’s greatest foe Voldemort. So we invested in him and his friends from the beginning. We willingly grew…

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REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [2016]

“Worrying means you suffer twice” After seven books, eight movies, and a play, the Harry Potter universe has become an expansive property no one wants to see die. Pottermore kept the fandom alive online with exclusive stories and quizzes bringing you into Hogwarts while author J.K. Rowling‘s textbooks added flavor and raised over seventeen million pounds for charity. So it was a no-brainer when Warner Bros. asked her for more. The question simply became how to do it. How could you retain the level of excitement and wonder to acquire…

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FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Ava’s Possessions [2016]

“Did anyone call in sick for me?” When the industry is inundated with supernatural horror redundancies like it has for the past two decades, work like Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg‘s Shaun of the Dead or Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead‘s Spring are necessary to kept things from going stale. A point when audiences simply stop caring does exist. It’s apparently much farther out from the fad’s onset than you’d think America’s attention-deficiency would tolerate, but it will eventually arrive. Perhaps this extended longevity can be attributed to just such…

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REVIEW: Barely Lethal [2015]

“Like, totem pole” Much like director Kyle Newman‘s first theatrical release Fanboys, his sophomore effort Barely Lethal is built for a niche audience with minimal wiggle room to capture the excitement of casual viewers just stopping by. You don’t need to travel farther than the backlash-riddled comments section of its YouTube trailers to understand this. Snide remarks about its apparent quality, jokes about Samuel L. Jackson loving money, and easy comparisons to fare like Agent Cody Banks are the norm in today’s internet culture of anonymous hate and sarcasm for…

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REVIEW: Don Peyote [2014]

“Her cigarette never burned out” No one can say I didn’t do my due diligence, but I simply can’t wrap my head around Dan Fogler and Michael Canzoniero‘s stoner-tinted, loose modernization of Don Quixote aptly entitled Don Peyote. People often joke about certain cult films “working better” while high and I can’t help thinking this might actually be the optimal state to truly understand Warren Allman’s (Fogler) spiritual journey. I should know as I viewed it twice in the hopes that fatigue rendered me impossibly perplexed after the first screening…

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REVIEW: The History of Future Folk [2013]

“You still make a crappy assassin, though” Hipster culture appears here to stay. Big-bearded, plaid flannel-wearing, folk music playing bohemians increase their numbers every day as bands like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and Iron & Wine expand into the mainstream rock scene. The appeal probably comes from our American love of wanting to be unique by adopting trends that have become anything but. Yearning to be a part of something without wanting to admit it, we fight against uniformity until the counter-culture morphs into the newest style to loathe. Somehow…

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REVIEW: Balls of Fury [2007]

“I’m going to Disneyland!” With the appropriately titled book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! under their belts, one could easily make the case for Balls of Fury being Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon‘s cornerstone in screenwriting profiteering. A sports redemption tale set inside the seedy underbelly of elite ping-pong, the premise is laughable as a comedy skit let alone a feature length film. But this is what Garant and Lennon—comedians and creators of “The…

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REVIEW: Mars Needs Moms [2011]

“A world of trash … it is awesome!” And the hippies shall inherit the world—said world being Mars, of course. Ours has already pushed that faction of humanity to the fringes in order to wallow in their pot smoke, unwashed bodies, and ratty hair far from the rest of society. And by we I mean the generalized average of Earth. Not me. I love petula oil and Cherry Garcia. But when it comes to the new animated film Mars Needs Moms—distributed by Walt Disney but not created by them—hippies are…

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REVIEW: Take Me Home Tonight [2011]

“That was a metaphor. I totally got him.” As this week’s box office shows in contrast to my huge level of enjoyment with Take Me Home Tonight, it appears director Michael Dowse has another cult classic on his hands. Already with It’s All Gone Pete Tong and a duo of Fubar films containing a pretty vocal fan following—how else would what looks like a major low-budget flick in the latter get funding for sequel Balls to the Wall—I’d have to imagine the lackluster opening of his newest won’t get him…

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VIDEO: Atomic Tom Music Video for Take Me Home Tonight

I’ll admit, the more I see about the film Take Me Home Tonight, the more I want to see it. Atomic Tom came onto the scene with a music video/Apple promo on the NYC subway, played and shot live on iPhones, and now have covered “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League. The video includes members of the film’s cast as they pay homage to a ton of classic 80s flicks. Good times are had by all, including us, the viewers. Courtesy of Relativity Media LLC: The 80’s are…

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