REVIEW: Paradise Hills [2019]

There’s always a way to get what you want. It’s Uma’s (Emma Roberts) wedding day and everyone is excited. She sings a song while her affluent guests clap and dance, the conversations surrounding her making mention of how much work she’s put into making this whole occasion possible. The idyllic scene’s ornate beauty and plastic smiles seem to be in a permanent state of universal bliss until a woman lets Uma know that her new husband (Arnaud Valois‘ Son) waits in their bedroom. Here is where the happy bride pauses…

Read More

REVIEW: The Blackcoat’s Daughter [2017]

“I look for Him in the unlikely things that happen” It maybe but a dream, yet it feels so real. Fifteen-year old Katherine (Kiernan Shipka), readying for a week’s vacation from her Jesuit boarding school, experiences one sparking a sense of foreboding. Parents will be arriving on Thursday to watch the children’s talent show before everyone—students, nuns, priests, and the headmaster himself—leaves for home. Kat has been preparing a vocal performance at the piano for this year’s engagement, but the dream has distracted her enough to grow distant and odd.…

Read More

REVIEW: We’re the Millers [2013]

“That’s my credo, ‘No Ragrets’” An R-rated comedy shouldn’t possess a PG-rated heart. This is We’re the Millers’ main problem in my mind because while the profanity-laced adventure has a ton of laughs, one can’t help shake the feeling that it’s targeted to a 13-16 age group who won’t be allowed to buy a ticket. Overt sexual innuendo and f-bombs don’t make up for a lack of anything else that would render screenwriting teams Bob Fisher and Steve Faber or Sean Anders and John Morris to need an R for…

Read More

TIFF10 RECAP: The Festival In Photos, Tweets & Reviews

Another year done at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a pretty uneventful trip into the city—besides a rogue Customs official’s 5 minute power trip before we reached the border—that saw a smooth two hour drive both to and from, a far cry from the parking lot car jams of a few short weeks earlier to hand in film picks for the advance lottery. 2010 saw its fair share of rain, the umbrella while waiting in line for Andrew Lau‘s screening of Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen [Legend…

Read More

TIFF10: Day Three Recap

Day Three at TIFF was by far our craziest of the year—seeing five films back-to-back from 11AM to 2:30AM. The late start allowed for a bit of sleeping in for preparation, as well as a semi-lengthy breakfast at Timmy Ho’s, both of which probably kept us from falling asleep during the marathon sittings. And while the last two of the night finally saw a bit of humor infused into the otherwise heavy schedule of dramas that do take something out of you, the morning opened with what could have been…

Read More

TIFF10 REVIEW: It’s Kind of a Funny Story [2010]

“I would just live like it meant something” I’ll admit, an adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s novel It’s Kind of a Funny Story wasn’t what I thought Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck would pursue after two well-received dramas in Half Nelson and Sugar. The trailers did express the dramedy aspect, though, despite media outlets incessantly calling it the next comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, so no one should go in thinking it will necessarily be a laugh riot. It’s very funny, in fact a lot funnier than I expected, but the setting…

Read More

REVIEW: Valentine’s Day [2010]

“It gives me acid reflux” Tonight’s gold star goes to the duo of Deborah Aquila and Mary Tricia Wood for their deal with the devil to compile a star-studded cast for the blatantly lackluster affair that is Valentine’s Day. I don’t know how they pulled it off—I’m sure the promise of a hefty payday for minimal work helped—but the name recognition on the poster and advertisements alone will go a long way in cementing the film’s number one status at the box office over it’s titular holiday weekend. The actual…

Read More

REVIEW: Lymelife [2009]

“She can bring you an icepack or some Yoo-hoo or something” There is nothing like a critically acclaimed indie to bring you back to reality after the opening weeks of summer and the influx of blockbusters like Star Trek, Terminator, and Transformers 2. Derick Martini’s Lymelife is just that kind of film. A story about two families and their comings and goings through each others’ lives, we watch as Rory Culkin’s Scott sees the world around him, seemingly idyllic, fall apart. He sees his father as a hero, getting richer…

Read More