TIFF19 REVIEW: Proxima [2019]

My mother said it’s not a job for girls. A last minute addition to a Mars mission precursor via the International Space Station, Sarah (Eva Green) is simultaneously excited and anxious. While space travel was her childhood dream, the sheer logistics of this journey dictate a year away from her young daughter Stella ( Zélie Boulant). Her ex (Lars Eidinger‘s astrophysicist Thomas) must confront this reality to pick up the slack as a full-time parent, but she does too considering the milestones, struggles, and joy she’ll miss. And her team…

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REVIEW: Dumbo [2019]

Let’s get ready for Duuuumboooo! We’re a long way away from 1941 and the days of pure frivolity in your animated films are over. That’s why Disney evolved their glorified sing-along The Jungle Book into a weighty dramatic adventure and why their sweet little flying elephant Dumbo can no longer sustain himself as a metaphorical hero teaching kids lessons about believing in themselves. There needs to be raised stakes and a bona fide antagonistic force to combat to hold our attention now. So screenwriter Ehren Kruger repurposes the original film’s…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2014: ‘The Zero Theorem,’ ‘The Boxtrolls’, ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ and 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. It’s festival season time—a time when I scour the internet for posters of films I’ll be seeing at TIFF only to come up empty-handed for a lot. That’s okay, though,…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2014: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Sin City,’ ‘Starred Up,’ and 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. 2014 soldiers on and the poster selection just gets worse. Luckily the films themselves haven’t been as uninspired. Or maybe they have. After all, this summer is down almost 19%…

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REVIEW: 300: Rise of an Empire [2014]

“Fear his freedom!” This is what a copy of a copy looks like. It pretends to be equal to the original—and in some aspects proves to be exactly the same—yet arrives seven years after everything its groundbreaking ancestor provided was expanded and evolved upon. I loved 300 and gave it a perfect score despite some issues because it was so fresh and exhilarating. It showed how the capabilities of cinema could be pushed even further than Frank Miller‘s other adaptation Sin City, breathing life into a dark and gruesome graphic…

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REVIEW: Dark Shadows [2012]

“You’ll have to imagine us on a better day” At present, the Tim Burton discussion can be answered in two ways. One: I’ve become too old and jaded to ‘get’ the farcical nature of the auteur’s darkly comic worlds anymore. The satiric tongue-in-cheek tonality he so brilliantly cultivated in grotesque-lite universes either doesn’t have the same effect on me that it did in my youth or just isn’t as good. In that vein comes number Two: Burton has lost a step and now languishes in a perpetual self-parody desperately trying…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2012: The Dreadful and the Dread Inducing

“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. And we’re back after ignoring a month where the most interesting poster was Liam Neeson‘s face washed out in white. I’m not saying February is any better—because it’s not—but at…

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REVIEW: Franklyn [2009]

“Without faith, it’s difficult to be controlled” Blind faith in God can lead to two outcomes; it’s either a way to accept an event and seek the good that can come from tragedy or a springboard to absolute atheism once you realize an event like that which has transpired can’t occur in a world where God exists. For the believers, life will go on and the big picture plan will eventually be revealed; for the non-believers, life will be a journey through mindless souls that have given themselves over to…

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TIFF09 RECAP: Connecting to Your World … and mine

Every year at the Toronto International Film Festival seems to get better and better. Is that due to the increase in films from six to eleven to fifteen? It very well might be. And I’ll just say now, watching fifteen films in less than four days may not be the healthiest thing in the world. Between the vendor sausage/chicken dogs/nitrates on a bun being easily accessible and a standard meal when going from one film to the next with barely enough time to catch your breath and the sheer fact…

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TIFF09 REVIEW: Cracks [2009]

“The most important thing in life is desire” It is time to welcome a new member into the Scott family of filmmakers. Ridley’s daughter Jordan Scott has arrived with Cracks, a story about a British boarding school and the activities that occur within, based on a novel by Sheila Kohler. Scott spoke of how growing up in a similar type setting is what led her to want to bring the tale to the big screen; the traditional atmosphere where the establishment itself becomes every student’s world. The girls in the…

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REVIEW: The Golden Compass [2007]

“Just a small little cut” I have thought that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy would make some very interesting films ever since I read them almost a decade ago. The fantasy and utter intrigue that they instilled in me never left my consciousness. When I heard that American Pie director Chris Weitz would be helming it, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve seen many movies in my time to know that past work means often little when it comes to future endeavors, but I admit to enjoying…

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