REVIEW: Lost River [2015]

“Here in my deep purple dream” You cannot watch Ryan Gosling‘s directorial debut Lost River without recalling the divisive surrealism of Only God Forgives. He’s the first to admit how much of an influence Nicolas Winding Refn was, pitting the Dane’s heightened realities against the emotive authenticity of another favorite collaborator in Derek Cianfrance. Gosling places himself somewhere in the middle of their two disparate sensibilities and while I get what he’s saying, the apple falls much closer to Refn’s tree. Unsurprisingly booed out of Cannes as it earned the…

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REVIEW: Holy Motors [2012]

“Too bad. I miss forests.” Is it science fiction, fantasy, drama, comedy, all or none of the above? As spoken by a character from within, beauty exists in the eye of the beholder and so does the importance of Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors. However, rather than positing the question of what happens when there no longer is a beholder, I wonder if the film actually waxes poetic on the truth that we are quickly becoming beholden to everything. Through enhancing technology and a flattening of the world, we have the…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: The Place Beyond the Pines [2013]

“Your skill set? Very unique.” Retaining the gritty authenticity of his lyrically heartbreaking Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance‘s new insanely ambitious look into the nature versus nurture equation feels much smaller than its reality. It would be easy to say The Place Beyond the Pines gives us too much to process in too contrived a way, but I believe that would be too quick a judgment. Shifting character focus three times, the film will have you wondering if it would have worked better with an earlier ending. But then you’d miss…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2012: Monkeys on a Typewriter

“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. This month may be one of the least creative in terms of movie posters ever. Between the laziness, litany of character sheets, and over-used technique, I think I only actually…

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REVIEW: The Other Guys [2010]

“Aim for the bushes” My loathsome attitude to ‘full-blown’ Will Ferrell is common knowledge with those who have been reading my reviews the past few years. He just has a knack to go too far and regress into a large, blithering child. It used to work with small supporting roles or comic relief parts such as in Old School, but once the American public grabbed hold, the joke wore thin when needing to sustain itself for a two-hour duration. But then something happened a couple years ago with Step Brothers.…

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REVIEW: The Spirit [2008]

“I have a city as my weapon” There is a lot to like about Frank Miller’s debut as a solo director. The Spirit is shot with a similar style as his last film, Sin City, based upon his own graphic novels, and the imagery is quite stunning at times. I’m not familiar with Will Eisner’s series for which the film is based, but after viewing scenes in stark black and white, with the bright red tie and blindingly white sneaker soles, coupled with the end credits artwork, I have to…

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REVIEW: We Own the Night [2007]

“Light as a feather” Writer/Director James Gray has made three films with six or seven years in between each. His newest is the cop drama We Own the Night, a pretty basic tale of brothers on different sides of the law and a crime that brings them together. Truthfully, it is very straightforward, clichéd, and quite convenient at many turns. One must give credit to the cast for doing all they can to mask the banality of it all as they do make it interesting to follow through. One can’t…

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