REVIEW: Loving [2016]

“You need to get you some civil rights” It took one viewing of Nancy Buirski‘s documentary The Loving Story to recruit Jeff Nichols into writing and directing a biopic of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving’s (Ruth Negga) journey from newlyweds to Supreme Court precedent. But don’t think Loving is a courtroom drama. I’d estimate about ten minutes of its two-hour runtime take place inside a courthouse—fifteen if you count conversations outside its doors. Nichols instead decides to focus on the couple itself by creating a romantic example of a…

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REVIEW: Midnight Special [2016]

“Where do you belong?” Is young Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) the savior of the human race, born to unsuspecting parents inside a cult known as The Ranch in order to bring them salvation? Is he somehow an expert hacker infiltrating the NSA’s foolproof satellite transmissions courtesy of an uncanny technokinetic power no one can explain? Or is he simply a boy, a son, hunted by forces that do not understand him—forces that would scoop him up and use him for their own selfish gains as either a God or a…

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Top 25 Films of 2013

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 220+ releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Mud directed by Jeff Nichols #24: Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo del Toro #23: The Conjuring directed by James Wan #22: Satellite of Love directed by Will James Moore #21: Una noche [One Night] directed by Lucy Mulloy #20: The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann #19: The Spectacular Now directed by James Ponsoldt #18: Blue Jasmine directed by Woody Allen…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Joe [2014]

“Tell me something. You like funny faces?” Welcome back David Gordon Green. While it’s easy for me to say such a statement because I know his pedigree on paper, truth be told I’ve only ever seen one film of his before he dove into Hollywood comedies. It was his last before that period of his oeuvre began—Snow Angels—and it was a glorious drama with top-notch performances and weighty drama. I won’t lie and say I didn’t love Pineapple Express because it is a great flick. Your Highness and The Sitter…

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REVIEW: Mud [2013]

“Green beans never tasted so good” It’s a rarity to find a coming-of-age story set inside an adult-themed drama. Usually we’re made to watch adolescents caught inside the funny/awkward growing pains of puberty as lust and love and vanity and fear all mix into a pool of hormonal angst, embarrassment, and pratfall through comedy. Writer/director Jeff Nichols looked to create something in opposition to such cliché when he set off on the journey leading him to Mud more than a decade ago. He sought a way to capture the heaviness…

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REVIEW: Shotgun Stories [2008]

“That’s the last time you ever stay out of a fight” Watching the end credits of Shotgun Stories brought with it the realization that David Gordon Green was a producer. This shouldn’t be a surprise for those familiar with the writer/director’s early, best work, but in light of the low brow comedies Your Highness and The Sitter one might wonder if the indie darling will ever return to the dramatic subject matter he once mastered. His is a cautionary tale—I know it’s selfish of me to say this considering Green…

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Top Ten Films of 2011: Melancholy with a slice of hope

If anyone tells you 2011 was a bad year for cinema, stop in your tracks, turn around and walk away without ever looking back. They have no idea what they’re talking about. With a wealth of quality films from bonafide auteurs devoid of source material, the sheer amount of original work is astonishing. The trend for remakes will most likely never end, but it’s good to know artists in and out of the Hollywood system are fearlessly treading their own path to make movies exciting again. And by exciting I…

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Top 25 Films of 2011

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 150 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Win Win directed by Thomas McCarthy #24: The Adjustment Bureau directed by George Nolfi #23: Super 8 directed by J.J. Abrams #22: Source Code directed by Duncan Jones #21: Weekend directed by Andrew Haigh #20: The Interrupters directed by Steve James #19: Contagion directed by Steven Soderbergh. #18: Senna directed by Asif Kapadia. #17: Santiago 73, post mortem[Post Mortem] directed by…

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REVIEW: Take Shelter [2011]

“I just need you to believe me” An old co-worker of mine once told me about a story idea of his. With so many people on Bluetooth as they walk the streets ‘talking to themselves’, he wanted to craft a tale about those fringe eccentrics strolling about in conversation without the technology cradled in their ear. What if these vagrants weren’t crazy but in fact have their brains open to wavelengths from the future? What if they are engaged in discourse with people speaking through the fabric of time and…

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