REVIEW: Stan & Ollie [2018]

Do we really need that trunk? As someone completely unversed in the Laurel and Hardy oeuvre, I’m not sure there could have been a better introduction to the comedic duo than through their last year together. With Jon S. Baird and screenwriter Jeff Pope‘s Stan & Ollie (inspired by A.J. Marriot’s book Laurel and Hardy: The British Tours enough to warrant a mention in the credits if not a credit itself) comes a tale that’s more than simply about their success. No, this film is a glimpse behind the curtain…

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REVIEW: Wonder Woman [2017]

“They don’t deserve you” October 1941. That’s the month William Moulton Marston‘s Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8. Yes, it’s taken seventy plus years to put her in movie theaters alongside contemporaries and equals Superman (created in 1938, onscreen in 1948 via serial) and Batman (created in 1939, onscreen in 1943 via serial). Finally women the world over who’ve been inspired by the superhero, (you know, how many believe only a red-blooded, action-crazed male ever could), can see her in today’s popular media while young girls are allowed…

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REVIEW: Libertador [The Liberator] [2014]

“I am the people” I think I may have snorted a bit when the short list for foreign film Academy Award nominations came out with Libertador [The Liberator] as one of its paltry ten. They wouldn’t have placed the movie with those melodramatic character posters shrouded in a dark brooding atmosphere above critical darlings like Mommy and Two Days, One Night, would they? It just goes to show how you truly cannot judge a book by its cover because even I, the hater of sprawling epics hitting checkpoint after checkpoint…

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REVIEW: Hitchcock [2012]

“All men are potential murderers” Based on a book called Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, it’s easy to assume Sacha Gervasi‘s Hitchcock will do just that and little else. And while fans of the horror classic clamoring for this exact insight will fill the seats opening weekend, more needs to happen to ensure broader success. So it’s no surprise that John J. McLaughlin‘s script delves deeper into the iconic auteur’s psyche at a time when the world believed him to be over-the-hill and ready for…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2012: Marketing Goes Artsy With ‘Killing Them Softly,’ Lincoln,’ ‘Skyfall’ & 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. I have to credit the Alamo Drafthouse and Mondotees for slowly turning the industry around to the appeal of limited edition prints and excessive series. You’re spending an insane amount…

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REVIEW: Clash of the Titans [2010]

“They declared war. War on the Gods.” Going from Luc Besson‘s go-to director to becoming a Hollywood action regular, you can’t blame Louis Leterrier for wanting to tackle the big budget remake of Clash of the Titans. With a predecessor remembered more for its Ray Harryhausen creatures than any lasting artistic quality—I still can’t believe its shoddy effects came after Empire Strikes Back—its subject matter actually seemed ripe for a revisioning. So many genre ‘classics’ have garnered a want for new boatloads of cash, why not a film badly in…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: A Monster in Paris [2011]

“Our own monster. It has your eyes and my hairy legs.” After a decade in the Hollywood system directing the likes of The Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale, Bibo Bergeron decided to return home to his native France and embark on a passion project. Titled A Monster in Paris and seeing its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, this children’s tale has more in common with a Sylvain Chomet than his Dreamworks past. Not as stylized as The Triplets of Belleville, Bergeron still infuses a flavor…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: The Conspirator [2010]

“Why did I fight for the Union if my rights aren’t assured?” The aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination hasn’t really been the subject of many films that I know of. Of course there is the whole Steven Spielberg Lincoln project that has been pushed back every year since its announcement, a starting date nowhere near close at hand, but while watching a depiction of his life should be interesting, the subject of his death is more so. Here was the first murder of a President, an event no one…

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REVIEW: Edge of Darkness [2010]

“What does it feel like?” It all begins with the surfacing of three dead bodies left in a river. A foreboding vision for the mystery thriller that is Edge of Darkness, these unknown people set the stage for the governmental corporate cover-up already started, now at Mel Gibson’s Thomas Craven’s doorstep. The trailers put out by Warner Bros. portray what looks like an action-packed revenger, pitting Gibson’s bereaved father against the people behind the murder of his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic). Don’t be misled, however, because the film is in…

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REVIEW: Robin Hood [2010]

“We are men of the hood, merry at your expense” I’ll start this out with the truth: Robin Hood is not Robin Hood—and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll catch on very early once you realize the name Robin Longstride for Russell Crowe’s lead character isn’t an artistic change because it rolls easier off the tongue. No, the Loxley moniker does also exist; only it’s attached to King Richard’s right hand man, neck deep in the Crusades’ final hoorah. Throw in the fact The Lionheart himself dies within the first…

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