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…

Read More

REVIEW: Jurassic World [2015]

“This will give parents nightmares” As all good sequels must learn, the key to success is delivering on the promise set forth by the original while also providing something fresh and improved. Just ask James Cameron, a master at the task, who injected action-packed life into both Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day without negating or watering down the mythology still relevant beneath those newfound popcorn blockbuster sensibilities. Neither The Lost World nor Jurassic Park III did it. They decided to both reinvent the wheel and forget what the appeal…

Read More

TIFF13 REVIEW: Qissa: The Ghost is a Lonely Traveller [2014]

“How many times must I live this tale again?” Whoa. I honestly have no words to help gain my footing because this film exists on a level beyond my comprehension. I don’t know if that is good or bad—probably alternatingly both—but the result is definitely something uniquely its own. A tale of rebirth, honor, fidelity to family, and the loss of identity, Anup Singh‘s Qissa tackles an insane subject matter so realistically tragic that its head-scratching shift to fantastical and spiritual allegory can’t help but take you aback. Right when…

Read More

Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

Read More

REVIEW: Life of Pi [2012]

“Nice try, ‘Pissing’” **Contains spoilers** I’d love to say Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi is a masterpiece showing me the existence of God like how its titular character’s uncle explains it might to a writer seeking the subject for his new book, but I can’t. The reason, however, says more about myself than the film. Yann Martel‘s novel has been gorgeously brought to life by one of the greatest directors working today and its visual splendor cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, what makes or breaks its success isn’t its beauty, performances,…

Read More

REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man [2012]

“Up your what, Dad?” Ten years after Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man joined Bryan Singer‘s X-Men in proving the superhero genre could be taken seriously in the annals of cinematic history, the reset button has been pressed for a fresh new look. Between Marvel taking the initiative to pool their collective, solely-owned properties into one giant universe of quasi sequels with 2008’s Iron Man and DC Comics lucking into Christopher Nolan‘s vision of Batman as more than a surreally cartoonish romp in the darkness, what was one of the most legitimate comic…

Read More

REVIEW: Slumdog Millionaire [2008]

“Dreams of so many, on the floor” How can one man be that good at picking projects to direct? Danny Boyle has yet to write one himself—granted, though, he has worked with the same people multiple times—but he can adapt his vision and style to anything. From musical to drug induced frenzy to children’s fantasy to science fiction to horror. No one does it like him, except for maybe Marc Forster, who I like to think of as the American Boyle. With this new film, Slumdog Millionaire, the Brit treats…

Read More

Top Ten Films of 2007: The Year of the Adaptation

It was a year of many genres. We had some musicals, a few dramas, comedies galore, a little sci-fi, and a couple bio-pics sprinkled in to satiate the kiddies and Oscar voters. If anything, I guess one trend seemed to rise above, that being the adaptation, whether from plays (Sweeney Todd), novels (Zodiac), or comics (Stardust). I always try to read first, but the shear amount this year prevented me from doing so, therefore I can’t quite say if they were all successes or not. In the end, after seeing…

Read More

REVIEW: The Darjeeling Limited [2007]

“We haven’t located us yet” The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is not my favorite Wes Anderson movie by any means. I had such high hopes for it after viewing his previous three films as a crescendo of precision and quality. Zissou ended up being more pretension and aimless drivel then something worth writing home about. Now, I didn’t hate the film, there is a lot to applaud him for, however, it slightly tarnished his do-no-wrong clout with me. In the years between then and now, though, we were given…

Read More

REVIEW: A Mighty Heart [2007]

“Don’t hold it in” The story of Daniel Pearl is a tragic one. I remember following it all on the news until the fateful day of his horrific beheading. Just imagining what his family and friends could have been thinking during the whole ordeal is tough to fathom, but when his wife is there with him in Pakistan, pregnant with his first child, your heart must go out to them. Pearl’s widow, Mariane, used her journalistic skills to write a novel on what transpired from his kidnapping to eventual murder.…

Read More

REVIEW: The Namesake [2007]

“Out from Gogol’s overcoat” Everyone has regrets during the course of their life. Mira Nair’s new film, The Namesake, seeks to expound on that idea by showing how a family can live through, overcome, and circumvent them. Based on a well-received novel—I may pick it up to check out in the future—the story revolves around a Bengali family whose mother and father have immigrated to America to give their children an opportunity for a life with limitless possibilities. One’s heritage and culture can sometimes seem daunting to uphold, especially when…

Read More