REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War [2016]

“Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all” We’ve officially approached the apex of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wherein films cannot be about one single character anymore. The Infinity Wars being just around the corner means that time has been regulated. There’s an endgame as there always has been and the pieces must be put into position now. What made The Avengers so great was that its endgame was merely to put Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Colonia [2016]

“You may never get back out” It’s amazing how many horrific acts mankind has initiated over the past century. With all the coups, wars, dictators, etc. it’s impossible to find a country devoid of at least one historically heinous blight. Chile under Augusto Pinochet certainly had its fair share, but I never heard of the prison camp/cult commune Colonia Dignidad. Run by a “godly” savior in Peter Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist), this community guarded by an electrified fence and segregated between men, women, and children became his state-run playground. He took…

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REVIEW: The Fifth Estate [2013]

“Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth” As reporters from The Guardian and The New York Times are shown sifting through hundreds of thousands of leaked documents uploaded to the Wikileaks site by Chelsea Manning (then Bradley) in 2010, the acronym EOF is clearly defined as “Escalation of Force” in a blatant swipe at the US government’s penchant for unnecessary killing in the Middle East. While the term explains what America did wrong, it’s also relevant to the speed at which Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2013: The Faces of ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘The Counselor’ & 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. Not too many movies open up in October—and only one studio horror flick at that, despite Halloween. What’s the best way to sell tickets then? Star power. Celebrity faces are…

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REVIEW: Rush [2013]

“You fat little inbred beauty” The story of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is one we can all relate too. It’s a tale of two extremes: the easygoing partier with ideas of immortality and the calculating taskmaster who knows the odds and understands the consequences. In keeping with the Formula One spirit cinematically, we could even metaphorically pit Rush‘s Hunt against Senna’s Lauda—the Hollywood pretty boy opposite the riveting documentary—to see how your tastes align with personality. I’m a Lauda, always have and always will be.…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2013: ‘Prisoners,’ ‘Rush,’ ‘Riddick’ & 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. Festival season is upon us, so forgive me if I’m more concerned with the films whose posters will be included in future posts than those releasing now. That’s not saying…

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REVIEW: Joyeux Noël [Merry Christmas] [2005]

“No, you’re just not living the same war as me” Back in 1914, war wasn’t fought through technology and computers, missiles being sent to destroy lives as though a video game victory—no, it was battled in the trenches, feet away from the enemy, watching for the glimpse of an eye to shoot. Military leaders and propaganda brainwash young men into vilifying those on opposite sides, turning them to monsters without souls, without compassion, without humanity. But that’s an over simplification; just as you have a wife, children, and family back…

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REVIEW: Inglourious Basterds [2009]

“F*ck a duck!” I like to think that the sheer fact Inglourious Basterds got made means that Quentin Tarantino isn’t all talk. Maybe, just maybe, that Whole Bloody Affair DVD compilation of the Kill Bills will come out. For now though, we should all be happy QT is back to form after his, in my opinion, misstep with Death Proof. As with his previous feature films, Basterds is above genres, mixing so much cinematic history and style to become a beast all its own. Parts WWII drama, parts comedy of…

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REVIEW: Good Bye Lenin! [2003]

“It was a really hot October” It is quite interesting that I have been privy to three movies dealing with amateur filmmaking within a very short span this year. While Be Kind Rewind and Son of Rambow utilized the form for comedic purposes, the German film from 2003, Good Bye Lenin! differs slightly, even though humor is the main result. With a pretty creative premise, a pro-East German woman falls into a coma during the eight months of the fall of the Berlin Wall and her son and daughter must…

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