REVIEW: Miller’s Crossing [1990]

“I’ll think about it” The mob is a business like any other. Leadership must be strong and decisive, employees must be loyal to a fault, and every once in a while you have to cut someone you like loose in order to not anger someone you might like less but definitely need more. Despite everything we learn as kids that ends up being useless, the concept of “choosing the lesser of two evils” will forever prove as useful as breathing and yet we have trouble reconciling such dilemmas due to…

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REVIEW: Hereditary [2018]

“Why are you afraid of me?” If anyone has the ability to dive into the deepest, darkest secrets of an otherwise normal looking suburban family, it’s the writer/director of The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. It’s been seven years since Ari Aster‘s viral short film about incest and sexual abuse came out and yet his first feature is just hitting theaters. Whether due to a lack of funding or need for time to hone his script, Aster spent the period in-between by crafting more shorts to cut his teeth and…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: Carrie Pilby [2017]

“Don’t be such a child” The synopsis for Carrie Pilby can sound atrocious on paper. Most films utilizing an eighteen-year old Harvard graduate do so as periphery color because the trope lends itself to obnoxious pedantry and an unsympathetic notion of “first world problems.” Having your titular lead (played by Bel Powley) be that person is therefore a risky proposition. She’s an introvert bagging on society for willingly lowering their IQ to fit a cesspool of mediocrity despite making no attempt to engage or discover whether that assumption is true.…

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REVIEW: Louder Than Bombs [2015]

“After this I’ll slow down. I promise.” Few depict love’s pain onscreen better than Norwegian writer/director Joachim Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt. They’ve cultivated a distinct voice for character-driven dramas of friendship and romance that build and dissolve with an authentic rhythm of life’s unpredictability. Their characters ache inside and out as they deal with the struggle of human connection and their English-language debut Louder Than Bombs is no different. In it are three men traversing a world removed from the life they led with a matriarch no longer by…

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REVIEW: The 33 [2015]

“Aim to miss” As if being the international feel-good story of 2010 wasn’t enough, the Copiapó mining accident at the San José copper/gold mine in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile included the type of personal, human melodramatic intrigue ripe for cinematic interpretation. Sourced from Hector Tobar‘s non-fiction novel Deep Down Dark (commissioned with each miner’s help so one couldn’t benefit more than another), Patricia Riggen‘s The 33 could be fiction. Mario Sepúlveda (Antonio Banderas) was working his day off, Álex Vega (Mario Casas) was days from fatherhood, and Mario…

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REVIEW: Vampire Academy [2014]

“The clarity of the darkness beckons” The target demographic for Vampire Academy? Teenage girls. The only demographic that could truly, completely enjoy it? Teenage girls. With that said, however, it knows this and isn’t afraid to embrace it. Honestly, for better or worse, that’s exactly what it should strive towards because it’s why Hollywood green-lit the big-screen treatment in the first place. The fans of Richelle Mead‘s series of books upon which it’s based want the sassy divas, mystical princesses, and darkly brooding man meat to pine over. That’s why…

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REVIEW: Jindabyne [2007]

“Your granddaughter had her first murder” Guilt and how it affects the lives of those it surrounds seems to be a big factor in the writings of Raymond Carver. A few of his short stories were interweaved together a while back by Robert Altman in his masterpiece Short Cuts. One of those stories caught the attention of Australian filmmaker Ray Lawrence who’s very Aussie Lantana was an enjoyable film that came out six years ago. With this new entry, Jindabyne, Lawrence has taken this tale, about a group of fisherman…

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