REVIEW: The Laundromat [2019]

Bad is such a big word … for being such a small word. The first time writer Scott Z. Burns paired up with director Steven Soderbergh proved to be a rousing success. The Informant! had real life intrigue, absurd comedy, and an inspired cast to pull everything together in a way that simultaneously educated and entertained. After teaming for two thrillers in the years since, this cinematic duo has now returned to that lighter side of dark subject matter courtesy of The Laundromat—an adaptation of Jake Bernstein‘s book Secrecy World:…

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REVIEW: The Goldfinch [2019]

I lost something that should have been immortal. Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley) lost a lot one fateful day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art when an unexplained terrorist bombing took his mother, home, stability, and, most importantly, his childhood away. One second he’s stealing a glimpse of the young girl (Aimee Laurence‘s Pippa) beside him in front of a famed Carel Fabritius painting while his mom’s hand leaves his shoulder and the next sees him rising from the ashes of the aftermath, dead bodies everywhere. And if dealing with the…

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REVIEW: The Public [2019]

Books saved my life. It’s the same tragic story. Another unarmed Black man is killed by the police. Another White man takes an arsenal into a school, campus, or place of worship before opening fire on unarmed innocents. The media takes these headlines, packages them together with thoughts and prayers, and uses the ratings to continue peddling their editorializing as news until another such event inevitably occurs yet again. And what do we have to show for it all? Besides a growing anger at the political injustices and vile rhetoric…

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BIFF18 REVIEW: Age Out [Friday’s Child] [2019]

I don’t hurt people. The only thing worse than never getting your happy ending is having it within grasp and realizing you cannot accept it. To see salvation and turn around knowing it would be a lie is the type of heartbreaking choice we often have to make in order to keep on going. It’s the decision that separates man from monster: an admission of remorse, guilt, and regret. Our actions cause ripples that affect countless others we haven’t met yet or never will and while that truth allows some…

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REVIEW: The Good Dinosaur [2015]

“Look who got relevated” You constantly hear about movies needing reshoots, but The Good Dinosaur‘s troubles went beyond cosmetic enhancements into full-blown emergency room triage. I’m talking two years of development before a release date announcement, two more before that date and original director Bob Peterson (who came up with the story alongside his directorial replacement Peter Sohn) were scrapped, and another two wherein the plot got completely retooled until the final film would bare little resemblance to the germ of an idea on which it began. Pixar’s cancelled Newt…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013]

“Remember who the real enemy is” The aspect author Suzanne Collins included in Catching Fire that was more or less absent in The Hunger Games can be summed up with the above quote. While Panem’s dystopia provided a common antagonist for the surviving twelve districts of a revolution their Capital won seventy-four years previous, the series’ first installment relied almost exclusively upon whether its heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) would survive her adversaries in the titular games. Yes, the political unrest was at the constructed mythology’s back, but the ultimate…

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REVIEW: A Single Shot [2013]

“He’s got a hard bark on him” It’s a shame most people need an incident that risks taking their life to finally acknowledge they have one left to live. For John Moon (Sam Rockwell), this moment comes on a morning hunt like many others. Already with three arrests for poaching deer, this specific excursion finds his aim off. Needing to chase his mark and eventually shoot blindly at movement in the corner of his eye, the kill lying motionless and choking in blood opposite his barrel comes into focus as…

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REVIEW: The Ides of March [2011]

“My name is Molly” To someone with limited interest and knowledge in politics like me, it seems an intriguing choice for a self-described political liberal who backed Barack Obama on his presidential campaign like George Clooney to tackle the subject matter of Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North. Based in part on the 2004 Democratic primary run of Howard Dean—who Willimon worked for—it depicts an idealistic, platform-driven candidate with an integrity the American public can rally around. With Shepard Fairey influenced posters of his visage, Clooney’s Governor Mike Morris appears to…

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REVIEW: Source Code [2011]

“I’d kiss you again” If it seems familiar, well it is. Duncan Jones’s sophomore effort, after his one man-show Moon, is eerily similar to Tony Scott’s Déjà Vu from five years ago. But while the Denzel vehicle dealt more with police work and action, Ben Ripley’s script for Source Code delves deeper into the ramifications of the science fiction at play. Using the phenomenon that the human brain keeps an image of its last eight minutes alive coupled with the fact our minds continue to fire after our bodies have…

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REVIEW: Quantum of Solace [2008]

“You only need one shot” Wow, remember when Casino Royale came on the scene to give the Bond franchise a shot of adrenaline that no one expected? How Daniel Craig brought grit and realism to a series slowly finding its way into parody and gadgetry while trying to make up for the fact leading man Pierce Brosnan was getting on in age? Not only was it a great Bond/action film, but a great film period—full of quality performances, action, intrigue, intelligent scripting, and plenty of eye-candy for men and women alike. To top all…

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REVIEW: W. [2008]

“Bushington” I’m going to start this review by saying I have no idea why Oliver Stone thought his new film W. would have any effect on the upcoming elections. The guy gave himself almost no time to edit his footage so that it could be released two weeks before Election Day. Don’t get me wrong, the film is constructed very nicely, he did a great job in that short time, all I’m saying is that he didn’t need to rush. I mean if he was trying to show the world…

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