REVIEW: Game Night [2018]

It worked for Hitler. I never watched a trailer for Game Night because the posters looked lame and it came out at a time when I couldn’t watch it in a theater. So when the almost universal praise landed to hail it a dark comedy must-see of 2018 … I still didn’t watch the trailer. This wasn’t some premeditated act, though. I simply knew I’d eventually catch it and therefore didn’t need to be oversold or conversely given any undue reason to question the acclaim. As a result I was…

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REVIEW: The Family Fang [2016]

“Let this be your trumpet call: life is sweet so taste it while you still can” No one knows Nicole Kidman‘s strength as an actor quite like Nicole Kidman. It’s no secret that the choices she’s made post-Oscar win for The Hours have been somewhat questionable, but there was at least one fantastic gem in the mix. The film was Rabbit Hole, an adaptation by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own play in which she served as producer and lead. Not only was the work great, Kidman herself has rarely been…

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REVIEW: Zootopia [2016]

“Where anyone can be anything” In the tradition of Happy Feet (climate change) and Monsters University (fraternity life), Disney’s Zootopia has transposed adult themes onto PG-rated family fare again. Whereas those previous two were misguided—the former shoving a political agenda down kids’ throats without warning and the latter proving a weird stamp of approval on questionable activities we hope our children will show moderation towards—this one’s worthy cause of harmony and inclusivity is age-appropriate and universal. It takes a hard left into #BlackLivesMatter jurisdiction with blatantly satirical comments confusing youngsters…

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REVIEW: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [2004]

“So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?” I’m usually the guy who watches the trailer for a stupid raunchy comedy and instantaneously declares it unworthy of my time. For some reason, however, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit every mark necessary to have me believing it could actually be entertaining. I was unfamiliar with much of the cast save the three main leads—it introduced me to both Justin Long and Alan Tudyk—but something about the sheer absurdity of a major league, cable…

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Wiig, Gyllenhaal, and Monster Love at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Friends and family think me crazy for driving up the QEW so I can sit in darkened theaters for around thirty of a total eighty-hours in Toronto, but I wouldn’t spend my early September days any other way. This is what the Toronto International Film Festival does—it makes you look sanity in the face, say no thanks, and go the exact opposite way towards a world-renowned cinematic spectacle those same people are jealous about once I tell them I saw Kristen Wiig tell a joke. It was a funny one too…

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REVIEW: This is Where I Leave You [2014]

“Secrets are cancer to a family” Get ready because I’m going to throw some hyperbole your way. Here it is: This Is Where I Leave You is Franny and Zooey meets The Big Chill. Now hold on a second and let me explain. Jonathan Tropper is not J.D. Salinger and Shawn Levy isn’t Lawrence Kasdan. I know this because I’m not completely delusional. However, the comparison is still sound if you’re willing to take it with a grain of salt. The former work popped into my head straight away through…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & 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. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Bad Words [2014]

“I threw a tantrum just to get attention” Perhaps Jason Bateman is tired of playing the likeable voice of reason amongst more idiotic counterparts that his iconic turn as Michael Bluth on “Arrested Development” has typecast him into performing ever since the show’s debut launched his comeback into public consciousness. I’m not sure anyone can deny the fact that he’s played some variation on this character whether it’s Horrible Bosses, The Change-Up, or Identity Thief. The consummate straight man with unparalleled comedic timing, Bateman has finally found a role that…

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REVIEW: The Arrested Development Documentary Project [2013]

“I like that guy, Mitch” Something had to suffer once the critically acclaimed and criminally under-watched television comedy “Arrested Development” was announced to be in production with new episodes courtesy of Netflix. That victim is Jeff Smith’s The Arrested Development Documentary Project. Completed in 2012 from interview footage filmed before the show’s phoenix-like rebirth (a trailer was released on the movie’s website back in 2009), what was to be a posthumous love letter is now merely a glorified DVD extra of actors and writers talking about their connection to and…

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Posterized Propaganda April 2013: Sleight of Hand With ‘Trance’, ‘42,’ ‘Upstream Color’ & 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. There aren’t many films coming out in April that scream “You have to see me on the big screen!” The ones that do, however, are high on my list of…

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REVIEW: Identity Thief [2013]

“Foxhole! The safe word is Foxhole!” The words “from the director of Horrible Bosses” instilled little hope for me sitting down to Seth Gordon‘s newest work Identity Thief. Screenwriter Craig Mazan‘s name—he of too many asinine spoofs—only made matters worse. No, this road comedy’s saving grace would have to be co-star Melissa McCarthy and the level of hysterics she has unfailingly brought since breaking out in Bridesmaids. The fact her role of Diana was rewritten specifically for her after original intentions called for a man shows how high her star…

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