REVIEW: T2 Trainspotting [2017]

“Friends is just another class of victim” Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) “chose life” twenty years ago—or what he believed was the best chance at having one at the time. This on-again/off-again heroin junkie had just stolen the sixteen thousand pounds he and three friends (Jonny Lee Miller‘s Simon, Ewen Bremner‘s Spud, and Robert Carlyle‘s Begbie) […]

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better […]

REVIEW: Trainspotting [1996]

“Choose rotting away at the end of it all” There’s an undeniable energy to Danny Boyle‘s Trainspotting, a rush of excitement set to a pulse-pounding rock soundtrack that almost seems the antithesis of what it’s like to fall down into a heroin-fueled dreamy stupor. Even as the characters from Irvine Welsh‘s infamous novel stick themselves […]

TIFF16 REVIEW: American Pastoral [2016]

“You told her to bring the war home” If my limited experience with Philip Roth adaptations is any indication, his novels deal in emotion. There are existential crises concerning identity involved, each a character study about life’s impact beyond the surface experiences propelling them forward. This isn’t something easily translated from page to screen when […]

REVIEW: Our Kind of Traitor [2016]

“What am I doing here?” We received two John le Carré adaptations this year, each delivering high production value, effective performances, and somewhat weak plotting. Susanne Bier‘s The Night Manager provides a “hero” between worlds—not a bona fide spy as in A Most Wanted Man or Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, not a regular man at […]

REVIEW: The Pillow Book [1996]

“Itch to read. Scratch to understand.” There aren’t many auteurs quite as inventively unique as Peter Greenaway and his “inspired by” adaptation of Sei Shonagon‘s The Pillow Book is a perfect example of why. Sexual explicitness and ink on flesh fetish aside, the sheer formal construction of the film puts it on a level all […]

REVIEW: Velvet Goldmine [1998]

“It’s funny how beautiful people look when they’re walking out the door” What if Citizen Kane wasn’t about Charlie’s Foster Kane but instead the interviewer tasked with speaking to those in Kane’s life, mining for the meaning of “Rosebud”? This is sort of where director Todd Haynes (co-written with James Lyons) begins his fictional account […]

REVIEW: Stay [2005]

“Your troubles will cease and fortune will smile upon you” **POTENTIAL SPOILERS** I remember my head spinning about Stay after leaving the theatre. Not because David Benioff‘s script or Marc Forster‘s direction proved nuanced enough to shield the “reality” of what’s going on for any authentic surprise, but due to its visceral impact. The Guess […]

REVIEW: August: Osage County [2013]

“I’ll be sickly sweet” I’m drawn to dysfunction—especially when it’s of the familial persuasion. It’s probably because I didn’t really get exposed to much as a kid growing up with a family most would give anything to have. When you see the looks others who know dysfunction’s definition like the back of their hands telling […]

REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer [2013]

“We never forget a smell” What do you get when you combine the English folktale Jack and the Beanstalk with the more violent Cornish fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer in an age where computer animation pretty much allows anything to be possible? Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, of course. A film that has […]

Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress: Amy Adams: The Master Sally Field: Lincoln Anne Hathaway: Les Misérables Helen Hunt: The Sessions Jacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress […]