REVIEW: Swallow [2020]

I did something unexpected today. Hunter (Haley Bennett) has never had control over her life. She’s tried her hardest to claim some, however, by giving away her love. She gave it to a mother who treated her like an afterthought compared to her siblings, a career in art that always found itself to be just out of reach, and the man (Austin Stowell‘s Richie) she walked down a matrimonial aisle towards despite his only ever seeing her as a prize—a possession for a shelf of conquests someone in his socio-economic…

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REVIEW: The Goldfinch [2019]

I lost something that should have been immortal. Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley) lost a lot one fateful day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art when an unexplained terrorist bombing took his mother, home, stability, and, most importantly, his childhood away. One second he’s stealing a glimpse of the young girl (Aimee Laurence‘s Pippa) beside him in front of a famed Carel Fabritius painting while his mom’s hand leaves his shoulder and the next sees him rising from the ashes of the aftermath, dead bodies everywhere. And if dealing with the…

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REVIEW: Private Life [2018]

Let’s get pregnant, shall we? At forty-one and forty-seven respectively, Rachel Biegler (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard Grimes (Paul Giamatti) are against the proverbial clock when it comes to having children. With her novel about to be published, his pickle business sustaining him after his successful off-Broadway theater troupe disbanded, and a rent-controlled New York City apartment keeping them warm, the time to finally make a go of it has arrived. But things aren’t going very well. Both have their reproductive organs called into question, the adoption process is moving at…

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REVIEW: Lizzie [2018]

I never wanted anything from you. The level of intrigue surrounding Andrew and Abby Borden’s murders in 1892 is crazy because it’s only increased since. We’re talking the O.J. Simpson trial of the 19th century: a well-to-do family mutilated in their home with a hatchet, their youngest daughter Lizzie the prime suspect. She wasn’t the only one, but everyone else had an alibi (some so detailed that you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking they were too good). But when you look over the details of the case and the obvious…

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TIFF17 REVIEW: Allure [A Worthy Companion] [2017]

“You don’t deserve any of it” Capturing the complexity of abuse is tough to accomplish when mainstream audiences clamor for black and white delineations between predator and prey. Some go the horror route for metaphorical terror focusing on the pursuer while others go dramatic for the helplessness of a victim unable to break free. Writer/directors (and photographers) Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez chose to throw out convention, using their feature debut as a vehicle to explain how easy boxes don’t exist for the devastation wrought by abusive relationships built on…

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REVIEW: Army of One [2016]

“They don’t call me the psychic wizard for nothing” To hear about Gary Faulkner is to know the meaning of the phrase “stranger than fiction.” This is a Chatty Cathy of a Colorado handyman who was visited by God one afternoon while receiving dialysis and given a mission. Of everyone on planet Earth, Gary was the one personally selected by his Lord and Savior to capture Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and bring him to the United States for “justice and stuff.” Not the Marines. Not mercenaries or Al-Qaeda power…

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REVIEW: Garden State [2004]

“I’ll take a hug” Sometimes a movie comes along at the perfect time. Maybe it’s a story you can relate to, a work firing on all cylinders aesthetically, or something that pulls you into its emotionality and refuses to let go. Garden State was that film for twenty-two year old, college graduate me embracing my first job in the field I hoped to one day call my career. As a working graphic designer my palette for the arts was exponentially expanding through cinema and music in ways it never had…

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