REVIEW: Blinded By the Light [2019]

They’re not brilliant, but they’re mine. It was 1973 when Bruce Springsteen‘s debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. hit record stores—fourteen years before Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) first heard his name. By then this teenage Pakistani in Luton, England was listening to current synth tracks with best friend Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman) when his parents weren’t forcing their native country’s music upon him. Here he was a stranger in a familiar land dealing with a traditionalist family that worked as a collective, a racist National Front, and a dream of…

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REVIEW: Cinderella [2015]

“Have courage and be kind” For anyone who cannot stand singing, Disney’s latest iteration of the timeless Cinderella is catered to you. I know Chris Weitz and the other screenwriters on the project before him poured through the fairy tale’s vast lineage for every detail they could cull together into what they surely believe to be the definitive version, but what I saw onscreen is the same thing I saw as a child in cartoon form. Just without the sing-songy “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boos”. There are a couple spoken ones for…

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REVIEW: Agent Carter [2013]

“Learn to count” If Item 47 supplying us an expanded look at alien tech from The Avengers was the first step in making Marvel’s One-Shots a legitimate canonical extension, Agent Carter cements them as requisite viewing. There was no guarantee the short would lead to an eight-episode pick-up on ABC—heck, there wasn’t even a guarantee “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” would earn a second season—when it was created, but we all know now that it has. Not only is the titular character (played by Hayley Atwell) a bad ass excelling beyond simply…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Jimi: All Is by My Side [All Is by My Side] [2014]

“The rest is just painted with a little science fiction” On paper a biopic of Jimi Hendrix without the rights to his music seems like a complete waste of time. Even with John Ridley‘s All Is by My Side detailing the guitarist’s two years prior to the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the thought of not using an iconic track for the credits is a daunting one to overcome. Thankfully, with a bit of ingenious sound design and multiple sensory collages of images and music, we’re able to experience the…

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REVIEW: Captain America: The First Avenger [2011]

“Star-spangled man with a plan” Not having been someone who read comics as a kid, I am definitely in the dark on the inner-workings of the Marvel universe. Everyone has a cursory knowledge of DC’s greats and I’m not quite sure why that is. Batman and Superman are household names, their powers and origin tales part of pop culture lexicon, so why is it I knew nothing about Stan Lee’s equivalent to man’s favorite Kryptonian? Why do we intrinsically know an alien savior, but not the red-blooded American donning our…

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REVIEW: The Duchess [2008]

“Freedom in moderation” Keira Knightley’s period drama for the year 2008 is a well-crafted one, but lacking in anything new and exciting. The Duchess is your run-of-the-mill tale of unrequited love amidst the artifice of a marriage of utility. It all begins with a gathering of teenagers, playing their games in the yard while the adults talk inside, planning the futures for their children behind closed doors. When Georgiana’s mother tells her how she will be the next Duchess of Devonshire, you are almost shocked at her reaction. So happy…

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TIFF07 REVIEW: Cassandra’s Dream [2007]

“Being rescued is one of my wicked dreams” I went into the Toronto Film Fest screening of Woody Allen’s latest movie Cassandra’s Dream completely void of knowing anything about it. With no other preconception besides the fact that I really enjoyed Match Point, I sat down to see what was in store this time around. Would it be a comedy or a drama? Since his last entry, Scoop, was a comic one, which I have not yet seen, I was ready to be enthralled with a mystery of dramatic proportions.…

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