TIFF17 REVIEW: Brad’s Status [2017]

“Why are you competing at all?” Brad’s (Ben Stiller) son is about to embark on college. It’s the type of auspicious life marker to make anyone look back and question the journey they’ve taken thus far. Has Brad done enough? Lived up to the potential he felt he possessed? Or was he passed by? All of his old Tufts friends are rich, famous, successful, and/or happy—pure happiness unencumbered by the seemingly trivial struggles Brad faces daily. He isn’t poor, though. Nor destitute. If anything he’s on the cusp of breaking…

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INTERVIEW: Neil LaBute, writer of Some Girl(s)

Always prolific on the playwright front, Neil LaBute’s past decade at the movies has been filled by studio pictures that never quite found the creative success of earlier works In the Company of Men or The Shape of Things. However, hot on the heels of his first original work since—Some Velvet Morning—a new adaptation of his 2005 play Some Girl(s) appears to be bringing him back to his roots. The film depicts a young man traveling the country to “right the wrongs” he may have committed with a few ex-girlfriends…

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REVIEW: Hall Pass [2011]

“Anyone thinking chocolate chip cookie dough on a waffle cone?” It’s a shame that Peter and Bobby Ferrelly never realized their time had come and gone by 1998 with Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary—you don’t get much better in the stupid comedy field than that trio. 2003 gave hope they might have found a way to balance their crude, crass, potty humor with comedy’s new, more subtle 21st century ways as Stuck on You was surprisingly good, but, alas, hope died. And now the brothers try…

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REVIEW: Solitary Man [2010]

“Out there is nothing but possibilities” Have films embraced the ambiguous ‘does he or doesn’t he’ ending too often recently? I feel bad beginning with that question since I did actually like Solitary Man very much, but liking the whole doesn’t discount the fact that a contrived ‘conversational’ fade to black has gone from bold to clichéd in a short period of time. An easy device to end stories containing a central figure who reaches an epiphany on life, the viewer can contemplate what they saw and choose where they…

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REVIEW: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story [2007]

“The wrong kid died” That quote above could not have been more correct, however, not in the way Pa Cox intended. I was thinking more along the lines of wishing young Dewey had cut me in half, because had I been unable to watch the rest of the hour and a half to come, it would have been a much better experience. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is easily the worst movie I have seen all year long. There have been some bad films, but this was the first…

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REVIEW: Blades of Glory [2007]

“Sex on ice” It’s a real shame that Hollywood churns out some utter crap passed off as entertainment. The new low-brow comedy Blades of Glory has a great premise: two old skating rivals team together, after being banned for life in competition, as the first all male pair to fight for gold at the World Championships. This was ripe for some social commentary, a little out of their element shtick, and a touch of big laugh action sequences. What we get instead are two lead actors doing what they do…

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