REVIEW: The Aeronauts [2019]

Doubt is there to be listened to. When Jack Thorne decided to craft a screenplay that was able to embody the insanity of what Richard Holmes described in his book about early aeronautic pioneers, Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air, he recognized that cherry picking the best bits and smushing them together through fiction proved the simplest way to represent the era’s spirit if not each of the participants themselves. There was dramatic intrigue to meteorologist James Glaisher breaking the world record for flight altitude alongside pilot Henry…

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REVIEW: On the Basis of Sex [2018]

Hooray for Mommy. Even if we weren’t mired in the middle of the Trump Administration with a constant tidal wave of sexist and xenophobic rhetoric masquerading as national emergencies, the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg defying the patriarchy where it came to archaic laws arbitrarily creating separate rights based on gender would be timely. Because while it’s fun to joke about giving the eighty-five year old Supreme Court justice a kidney so another GOP-sanctioned candidate doesn’t get shoved through without proper vetting, a line spoken by one of her husband…

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REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story [2016]

“Rebellions are built on hope” George Lucas used to say years ago that the original Star Wars trilogy was but three chapters of an epic nine-part saga. It dealt with the Skywalker family, beginning in the middle to introduce a passing of the “Force” from father to son. Lucas would eventually make the first three chapters as a prequel series used to tell the tale of Anakin Skywalker’s descent towards the Dark Side for exposition into the stunning reveal his becoming Luke and Leia’s formidable foe in A New Hope…

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REVIEW: Inferno [2016]

“We’re a minute to midnight” America loves popcorn thrillers as much as Hollywood and that suits Dan Brown fine. Having Ron Howard and Tom Hanks take an interest in his character Robert Langdon definitely helps too, but the “bestseller” label would have been enough if lesser names attached instead. Whether or not Brown anticipated his professor’s pop culture appeal to ensure each installment was a solitary unit (the initial adaptation, The Da Vinci Code, was actually Langdon’s second entry) is something only he can answer, but it’s served him perfectly…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: A Monster Calls [2016]

“You will tell me your nightmare. That will be your truth.” When your author and illustrator both win Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the same book (it may still be the only time ever), you can bet Hollywood will come knocking. Even though the production is a joint effort between Britain (the majority of its cast) and Spain (The Orphanage director J.A. Bayona), it was Focus Features who scooped up the rights to Patrick Ness‘ A Monster Calls. The decision was a no-brainer without the accolades, its fairy tale proving…

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Top Ten Films of 2014: A deluge of sci-fi doppelgängers and one-word titles

I don’t want to label 2014 as a good, bad, or average year. I want to call it inventive, original, and delightfully dark. Whether it’s doppelgänger paradoxes leading to murderous rage, the bleak carnage of war, prison violence, or psychologically debilitating struggles to be great, my favorite films had an edge that cut to the bone by credits’ end. The best thing I can say about 2014 is that my top ten (heck, maybe my top twenty-five) could be re-organized and re-listed without making me too angry about what is…

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Picking Winners at the 87th Annual Academy Awards

Things look pretty cut and dry where the Academy is concerned in 2015. The Oscars are always a somewhat watered-down look at what really mattered in the past year of cinema and this installment is no exception. In fact, it may be all water at this point. That doesn’t mean there can’t be some intriguing surprises in the second-tier categories like Best Animated Feature (I really hope How to Train Your Dragon 2 loses to one of the other much more aesthetically and conceptually unique nominees) or Short Film Animated…

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REVIEW: The Theory of Everything [2014]

“The little one has done it” To me Stephen Hawking has always been synonymous with physics I will never understand and that ubiquitous computerized voice cracking snide jokes. Until I saw the trailer for James Marsh‘s The Theory of Everything I never even knew he was once able to walk. It was kind of a mind blowing revelation for an ignorant fellow such as myself—one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century bound to a wheelchair without motor function suddenly shown to have been a once vibrant young Cambridge…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2014: ‘Foxcatcher,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ 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. I guess studios are gearing up for a huge December push because this month has a pretty sparse line-up. Thankfully, however, it appears quality has trumped quantity because most of…

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VIFF11 REVIEW: Like Crazy [2011]

“To you who make me see things I could never see alone” How much is one summer of euphoric love worth? To Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones)—the world. Courted through a shy, sweet process of stolen looks and a mix of intellectual and sexual longing, these two college students begin a whirlwind affair without regard for the legalities of her eventual return to England once her student visa expires. Bureaucratic nonsense like that couldn’t be farther from their minds as a relationship builds, improves, and cements itself as…

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