REVIEW: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword [2017]

“We all look away” The magic has once again been returned to the lore of Excalibur in a way that brings it closer to World of Warcraft mysticism than Sword in the Stone trickery—for better or worse depending on your interests. I for one actually liked Antoine Fuqua‘s King Arthur from 2004, its decision to do away with the spells not wholly destructive to the very fabric of the myth like removing the Gods was to the debacle that is Troy (rather than an expertly placed hit, its ankle shot…

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer [2013]

“We never forget a smell” What do you get when you combine the English folktale Jack and the Beanstalk with the more violent Cornish fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer in an age where computer animation pretty much allows anything to be possible? Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, of course. A film that has traveled through many hands—Darren Lemke wrote the original script, David Dobkin has a credit, D.J. Caruso was once attached to direct, and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie reworked the tone and plot to where it is today—I…

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REVIEW: The Change-Up [2011]

“Rotate your turret and go night night” It may be overly derisive to say, especially from a guy who watched Like Father Like Son and Vice Versa religiously during the late-80s, but The Change-Up has to end up being the laziest piece of cinema released this year. Scribed by the duo behind both Hangover flicks, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore appear to be making a conscious effort to create ‘modern updates’ of tired concepts. After the ho-hum, not as bad as it should have been Ghosts of Girlfriends Past redid…

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REVIEW: Clay Pigeons [1998]

Before striking gold by teaming with Vince Vaughn in last year’s Wedding Crashers, director David Dobkin tabbed him for his debut Clay Pigeons. The movie had some buzz behind it upon its release in 1998, however I never got around to checking it out. A few months ago, while listening to my podcast of choice, the movie review show Cinecast (recently renamed as Filmspotting), Pigeons was brought back into my consciousness. It is a well-made effort—dark subject matter mixed with pitch black humor. This is vintage Vaughn who really lights…

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