REVIEW: Romance [2013]

“Aim low and you won’t be disappointed” With the impending cinematic adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s Lullaby about to swing into pre-production once its Kickstarter campaign finishes, it became time to look into its director Andy Mingo. His filmography includes one independent feature film and a few shorts—the obvious standout on paper being Romance, based upon a story by Palahniuk originating in Playboy magazine. Luckily for me backers were given access to a screener to see where Chuck and Andy’s artistic relationship began as well as anticipate what we can expect…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Der Nachtmahr [2016]

“What do you want from me?” In great Lost Highway-era David Lynch fashion, visual artist turned filmmaker Akiz‘s Der Nachtmahr switches from linear reality to seamlessly disorienting crosscuts between life and dream. It occurs when soon-to-be eighteen year old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) passes out drunk while peeing in the woods outside a secret rave full of heavy electronica and piercing white strobe light (a disclaimer cautions epileptics while cajoling everyone else to increase the volume). We don’t realize she’s fainted—and honestly this dizzy spell might be the nightmare instead of…

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REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such a discovery could mean. One is married; one has a girlfriend. The latter injects himself into the former’s world through curiosity, the first into the second’s purely for unfounded revenge and sexual desire. They exist…

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REVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [2011]

“It’s how we’re taught about strangers” If Stieg Larsson had lived long enough to see his The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo become an international sensation worthy of two cinematic adaptations in less than two years, I wonder which he would have approved of more. It’s easy to disregard David Fincher‘s remake as nothing more than an Americanized version of a top-notch mystery thriller already wowing audiences across the globe and much harder to praise it alongside its predecessor. While I’ll admit to finding the telepathic translation device turning everything…

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REVIEW: Buffalo Bushido [2010]

“Feed the dog and do your homework” A prodigal son has returned to Buffalo, not only to shoot and film, but also to set down roots once more. No it isn’t Vincent Gallo. For all the controversy that native filmmaker receives—who, let’s be honest, really grew into an artist post-high school in NYC— it was refreshing to see a full house for a Western New York premiere screening at the Market Arcade. Friends, family, film fans, and fans of their city all came out to see, as writer/director/star Peter McGennis…

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REVIEW: Law Abiding Citizen [2009]

“You can’t fight fate” Another one is crossed off Hollywood’s famed ‘black list’—unproduced scripts so good they just have to be made. I had read an article about Kurt Wimmer’s Law Abiding Citizen and how Gerard Butler took it upon himself to help step save it from production hell, watching as Jamie Foxx signed on to co-star and F. Gary Gray to direct. Supposedly it took two years to finally go in front of cameras, so I wonder how long before that it was actually conceived and written. There are…

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REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [2008]

“It was nice to have met you” It’s an unlikely source, but an effective one—David Fincher giving us a heartbreaking tale of love discovered, lost, found, and forever enduring. The man responsible for bringing to screen the ultra-sick mind of a serial killer in Seven, the warped sensibilities of Chuck Palahniuk with Fight Club, and the dark streets of a city in fear with Zodiac has crafted a beautifully lyrical film of love and its always-difficult journey. Based on a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, screenwriter Eric Roth has…

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REVIEW: Choke [2008]

“Think Gilligan meets Groundhogs Day–in hell” It took almost a decade for a second movie to come out from the literary source that is Chuck Palahniuk. David Fincher owned Fight Club, making it a cinematic wonder, enhancing the novel and becoming a wonderful companion to it. Rumors swirled afterwards about all his other stories being optioned for film translation, but after 9-11 halted Survivor’s chances and Invisible Monsters’ progress ended, it didn’t seem good. But here comes 2008, with an unlikely savior in Clark Gregg, and all of a sudden…

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REVIEW: Zodiac [2007]

“I am not Avery” Two David Fincher films in two years? Is that even possible? With The Curious Case of Benjamin Button finishing filming this year for a 2008 release, we get the director’s sixth film, Zodiac. While we do get some vintage Fincher style throughout the proceedings, this is very different from his other movies. As much a real life story film as one can be, Zodiac goes through the years chronicling the hunt for the serial killer that got away. There isn’t the graphic gore quality we’ve become…

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Top 20 Films of 1999

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 71 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Any Given Sunday directed by Oliver Stone #19: The Iron Giant directed by Brad Bird #18: Election directed by Alexander Payne #17: Being John Malkovich directed by Spike Jonze. #16: Stigmata directed byRupert Wainwright #15: Toy Story 2 directed by John Lasseter. #14: Three Kings directed byDavid O. Russell #13: eXistenZ directed byDavid Cronenberg #12: The Boondock Saints directed by Troy…

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