REVIEW: Jaws [1975]

You’re gonna need a bigger boat. Actor Richard Dreyfus called Jaws a “nexus point” during his question and answer period before a recent screening of the cinematic classic and I can’t think of a better descriptor. His words were relevant as far as his career, but also the medium as a whole. Here was a work of art that overcame a troubled production to become the first true blockbuster—a term that ultimately changed the face of the industry itself—and provided a sterling example of what it meant to utilize the…

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INTERVIEW: Aaron Moorhead, director/cinematographer & Justin Benson director/writer of Spring

Sometimes the festival experience has a way of making you overrate films. The excitement of seeing things early with like-minded individuals, listening to filmmakers talk before and after their screenings, and the general festival aura are hard to separate from the work itself. So I won’t lie and say I didn’t re-watch Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson‘s Spring—my favorite of TIFF 2014—with a little trepidation in case the memory proved grander than reality. 109-minutes later, however, I realized I might have actually underrated it. This supernatural, sci-fi, horror, romantic drama…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & 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. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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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…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2012: Blockbusters Arrive, Creativity Stays Home

“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. Summer is here and the marketing materials look as vapid as the films. Not to say there isn’t a couple gems coming to multiplexes with blockbuster budgets; there simply aren’t…

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REVIEW: Piranha 3D [2010]

“We are off to shoot some wild porn with these wild, wild goddesses” You have to respect Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja—although question how a guy who made his name with Haute tension could have his career fall to comedic horrors—and writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg for giving credit where credit was due, specially thanking the original Piranha’s helmer, Joe Dante. Right from the start, they knew this endeavor was one of homage and heavy exploitation; they’re mission to get as much blood, boobs, and chewed up flesh onscreen…

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NYAFF11 REVIEW: Machete Maidens Unleashed! [2010]

“Human life was cheap, film was cheap—it was a great place to make a picture” As the most telling quote of Machete Maidens Unleashed! exclaims, “The stories are 10 times better than the actual films”. The anecdotes and memories of those involved in the Filipino exploitation genre of cinema are an amazing account of a period never to be repeated. Screening at the New York Asian Film Festival, Mark Hartley’s documentary opens our eyes to what went on in order to make some of the infamous cult schlock from the…

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REVIEW: Little Fockers [2010]

“Stay calm, Mr. Jinx. I’m going to defibrillate myself.” Par for the course. Is that diplomatic enough? It’s a statement that could go both ways depending on what came first, but for those who know me, and my comedy sensibilities, it is not good here. Meet the Parents was harmless enough and semi-worthwhile to see Ben Stiller squirm, Robert De Niro use his brooding persona for humor, (although give me Analyze This any day), and Owen Wilson’s other-worldly transcendence. Meet the Fockers then took a marginal film, added two kooks…

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