REVIEW: Joy [2015]

“No, I don’t need a prince” There’s a reason you don’t hear “Mangano” throughout David O. Russell‘s supposed biography of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano and it’s because Joy isn’t real. Whether original scribe Annie Mumolo intended this aesthetic—she reportedly fought tooth and nail to retain her credit—or Russell retooled its tone, what could have been an empowering rags-to-riches drama proves a hyper-stylized comic fairy tale instead. So when Joy’s (Jennifer Lawrence) attending a professional business meeting introducing herself to people she hopes will take a chance on her ideas,…

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REVIEW: American Hustle [2013]

“Don’t put metal in the science box” Director David O. Russell has said I Heart Huckabees was a transitional film for him wherein he took a break, took stock, and came back with the drive and enthusiasm for making movies that got him into the business in the first place. And even though the film is my favorite of his—an underrated gem of an existential comedy—I see his point and am grateful he found this second wind because he’s been rewarded with much-deserved critical acclaim, financial backing, and a level…

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REVIEW: 2 Guns [2013]

“I did wink at him because he’s my bitch now” What do you get when you throw forty-three million dollars at an unsuspecting bank-robbing duo comprised of a DEA agent and a Naval Intelligence Officer, both believing the other is a criminal they can use as a fall guy on their respective missions? A pretty fun time, that’s what. With a poster depicting Denzel Washington’s Bobby and Mark Wahlberg’s Stig back-to-back with guns drawn and money raining down, it’s easy to write the whole thing off as a lame duck…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2011: Numbers and Faces

“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. December is here and the posters are many. With studio releases being pumped through NY and LA during the holidays for award consideration, the number of films coming out this…

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REVIEW: The Other Guys [2010]

“Aim for the bushes” My loathsome attitude to ‘full-blown’ Will Ferrell is common knowledge with those who have been reading my reviews the past few years. He just has a knack to go too far and regress into a large, blithering child. It used to work with small supporting roles or comic relief parts such as in Old School, but once the American public grabbed hold, the joke wore thin when needing to sustain itself for a two-hour duration. But then something happened a couple years ago with Step Brothers.…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: The Happening [2008]

“Cheese and crackers” Ah, M. Night Shyamalan. The man who was overrated until I saw the masterpiece that was The Village, followed up by the beautiful fairy-tale Lady in the Water, vaulting him into my must-see echelon, no matter what preconceptions I have based on trailers or word-of-mouth. Well, my blind faith has somewhat let me down in this instance. No, it wasn’t the left wing agenda that is subtly prevalent throughout, nor the blatant “news brief” used to shove said agenda down our throats at the end. What happened…

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REVIEW: The Yards [2000]

“Your mother needs you now” After watching the latest entry from director James Gray, We Own the Night, my interest in seeing his previous work waned immensely. Not that I hated the film, it just wasn’t quite to the quality that I had heard his earlier stuff was. Maybe some of that had to do with Mark Wahlberg as a clean cop, for some reason I can’t believe him in roles like that, and it is a shame. However, after viewing The Yards, my opinion has completely turned around. I…

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REVIEW: I Heart Huckabees [2004]

“How am I not myself?” My favorite film of 2004, I Heart Huckabees, is one that cannot be easily classified. From the heady philosophy, to the comic genius, to the absurd surrealism, director David O. Russell has gone astray from the mainstream and crafted something that must be autobiographical as well as a passion project. Sure, as of late, there is all the talk about Lily Tomlin and he butting heads (the internet videos are fantastic, but my favorite is Paul Rudd and Michael Showalter doing their own version) and…

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REVIEW: Shooter [2007]

“I’m gonna see it through” Director Antoine Fuqua has a style and filmography that I have enjoyed in the past. With Training Day and King Arthur, he delivered some action packed movies that had both story and popcorn pyrotechnics. I will say that after seeing the trailer for his new film Shooter, I was a bit underwhelmed, but until I went to one of his works and was not entertained, I would at least give it a shot. I’m glad I did as Shooter ended up being a well told,…

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REVIEW: Stranger Than Fiction [2006]

“Harold Crick and his wristwatch” Marc Forster is one of those directors that over that past years have been on my film radar. After a strong debut, (I know he had a couple previous, but lets go with it), with Monster’s Ball and a great follow-up of Finding Neverland, he really wowed me last year with the visual flair and emotion of Stay. This year sees the release of Stranger Than Fiction written by Zach Helm, whom people are hailing as one of the best new screenwriters, interesting since this…

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