REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog [2020]

Gotta go fast. While a Nintendo kid growing up with Mario forever winning the mascot war against Sega in my mind, relatives did have a Genesis and played Sonic often enough for me to have watched the little blue guy somersault around loop de loops before losing his golden rings after hitting enemies or spikes. I honestly never sought it out beyond that because the game always seemed to play too fast when compared with the straightforward Mushroom Kingdom and Mega Man platforms. I guess that was the point. Speed…

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REVIEW: The D Train [2015]

“Like lawn chairs” Calling The D Train a comedy is probably the most accurate description to bestow upon it, but the label doesn’t quite do it justice. I’m still wrestling about whether that’s because it’s more than a simple comedy or because it utilizes the genre so it can get away with a strain of insensitive humor. Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel‘s sophomore feature script (they wrote Yes Man) ultimately feels alternatingly exploitative and heartfelt. Each time they take a pitch-black turn to some heavy corners that force Dan Landsman…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2014: ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ ‘Whiplash,’ and More

“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. Say goodbye to summer. Tent pole season is over and the critical darlings have begun to pop up on the Fandango queue. October is still a weird month, however, since…

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Welcome to Me [2015]

“And only five carbohydrants” There’s a great reference in Welcome to Me about Cindy Sherman that many may gloss over. Director Shira Piven and screenwriter Eliot Laurence made mention to Network and The Truman Show during their Q&A after my TIFF screening, but I don’t think such comparisons hold a candle to Sherman’s photography challenging audiences with staged depictions of women in society and the media. In them the artist made herself up to be the subject rather than a model or community figure aligned with her concept. The film’s…

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REVIEW: X-Men: The Last Stand [2006]

“Same as the Professor: visiting an old friend.” I’m sad to inform you that X-Men: The Last Stand did not age well. Not that anyone called it great when it was released—it was little more than serviceable then—but boy does it falter when viewed in close proximity with the two stellar entries coming before it. I’d like to blame Bryan Singer for jumping ship to DC so he could helm Superman Returns or even Matthew Vaughn and his family issues preventing him from taking the reins. Heck, I’d love to…

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REVIEW: X-Men [2000]

“What do they call you? Wheels?” It’s hard to believe-fourteen years gone-that X-Men was the comic book property used to usher in our current “golden age” of superhero movies. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering it’s probably the most relatable due to its being devoid of flying aliens, radioactive spiders, and Gods. No, short of Batman transforming the memory his parents’ murder into the life of a vigilante, mutants are the most “human” creation Marvel or DC has created (at least to someone with barely a cursory knowledge of…

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REVIEW: Lee Daniel’s The Butler [2013]

“To serving our country” I’d like to say it’s surprising how an Oscar nominated director like Lee Daniels can find trouble financing a film with the type of sprawling depiction of the civil rights movement The Butler (sorry Warner Bros., I’m ignoring your lawsuit) possesses, but one doesn’t have to look past the fact everything he’s done besides Precious was panned to understand why. The unfortunate death of original producer Laura Ziskin didn’t help matters either, but an innocuous tale that does history justice while not ruffling many feathers should…

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REVIEW: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues [2013]

“You knocked him back to the fifth grade” When you couple my dislike of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy with my obvious indifference to the announcement of its long-awaited sequel, watching Harrison Ford on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in August proved a hilariously spot-on validation of my sheer inability to understand what everyone sees in Adam McKay and Will Ferrell‘s comedy classic. Brought on to shoot a yet-unknown cameo despite never having seen the original, Ford said, “I got down there; I had no idea who those guys were. And…

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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 September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that 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. September is the start of the film festival season. Unsurprisingly, while Toronto, Venice, and New York debut the flicks we’ve been waiting all year to see, the box office…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, the campiness, and the transvestites are present—and what work based on a John Waters film wouldn’t—but everything is displayed out of context. Soundbytes and visuals are shown without explanation and believed to just be a…

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