REVIEW: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King [2003]

“Some things are certain” It’s crazy how perception can be shifted over the years if your mind focuses on one specific attribute of something. I thought The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the weakest of the trilogy after seeing it in theaters (and still do), but not by a lot. A big part of this was the fatigue of watching so many endings after a three-hour epic culmination of two previous films and two years of my life since finishing Fellowship of the Ring. And…

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REVIEW: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [2002]

“Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall” The second part of a trilogy is oftentimes the worst. It exists in a no man’s land without beginning or end, a bridge we must wait for and wait further to continue that cannot survive on its own. So it’s therefore a rarity when this chapter possesses the ability to tell its story in a way that allows for its own success while also augmenting the larger whole. J.R.R. Tolkien understood this when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. Even though…

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REVIEW: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [2001]

“Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you” Published in 1955, The Lord of the Rings would soon prove to be J.R.R. Tolkien‘s masterwork. It took him twelve years to complete, a project that began as a sequel to The Hobbit before morphing into its own adventure steeped in dark mythology as contained by The Silmarillion—a book he had hoped to publish alongside its account of the One Ring’s return from Gollum’s possession in the Misty Mountain and Bilbo Baggins’ pocket in the Shire. The…

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REVIEW: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore [2017]

“That’s how hard I threw it” There’s one specific thing differentiating actor Macon Blair‘s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore from the works of usual collaborator Jeremy Saulnier: comedy. Don’t tell me I’m wrong because the latter director shows his funny bone in Murder Party—I haven’t seen it. I’m not even saying Blue Ruin and Green Room aren’t without some effective humor in their own right either, just that Blair seems to have taken what he learned from those sets and infused it with his…

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REVIEW: Open Windows [2014]

“I’m just getting even” The first thing I think of when I hear the name Nacho Vigalondo is “high concept”. From his fantastic time traveling debut thriller Timecrimes to a romantic dramedy set against the backdrop of an alien invasion with Extraterrestrial, you know you’re in for a unique genre treat whenever the Spaniard goes behind the camera. His third film Open Windows continues the trend by wearing a gimmick on its sleeve that forces every frame to be viewed off of an electronic screen. Through a suspenseful cat and…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & 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. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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REVIEW: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [2012]

“Home is now behind you” It’s hard to return to Middle Earth without thinking about Randal Graves from Clerks II and his defense of Star Wars possessing as its cornerstone the fact Peter Jackson‘s film version of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy was all a bunch of people walking. He’s not wrong. What the generalization misses, however, is just how integral the gorgeous landscapes of New Zealand play in creating this fantastical world. We accept the long treks across mountains and through trees because it breathes life into…

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REVIEW: Happy Feet Two [2011]

“Sometimes you have to back up to go forward” It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I loathed Happy Feet. As a concept the film seemed quite solid—cute penguins dancing, a modern soundtrack to tap along with, the comedy stylings of Robin Williams—but the final result was an ambush of politics and sexuality I’m not quite sure belongs in a film targeted towards children. Its ugly duckling mantra of finding yourself and treading your own path no matter what does inspire, but George Miller and company couldn’t let…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2011: Too Many Characters!

“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. Hark! The holidays are upon us! While that signifies the beginning of what should be the glorious awards season flood of quality work only the lucky few of us attending…

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REVIEW: 9 [2009]

“You forget to remember to be scared” Is it wrong that Coheed & Cambria was playing in my head the entire length of my screening of Shane Acker’s 9? I guess that just goes to show how memorable the trailer is or how large my affinity for the band. I say that as an anecdote, though, not to cryptically express how I thought the film was boring—it’s far from it. I have not seen the 2005 Oscar nominated short for which Acker has expanded this from, but he has definitely…

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REVIEW: Paris, je t’aime [Paris, I Love You] [2006]

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the short film anthology Paris, je t’aime [Paris, I Love You] for a long time. Once I heard of the project it really interested me as something that could be amazing, with some enormous talent attached. To my disappointment, I read about the finished shorts and how good they were, but alas no release date stateside for the entire experience. It will eventually come to the US (limited early May, Buffalo? Maybe), however, I could wait no longer and made the purchase…

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