REVIEW: A Happening of Monumental Proportions [2018]

Choose, commit, and move. Men have it tough don’t they? I mean they have to worry about married women they’ve engaged in inner-office affairs with ratting them out to the new boss. Some are forced to face the crushing existential crisis that comes with their failed pipe dreams of rock stardom revealing how they’re nothing but lowly private school music teachers who’ve accomplished nothing in their lives—including, apparently, educating the children in their class. And don’t get me started on the ones who must endure the untimely death of their…

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REVIEW: Wakefield [2017]

“Who hasn’t had the impulse to just put their life on hold for a moment?” There’s a great line of self-realization around mid-way through Robin Swicord‘s Wakefield where Howard (Bryan Cranston) acknowledges how he didn’t leave his family—he left himself. It’s this brilliantly profound yet simple understanding, something we all must face head-on once our daily routines prove too predictable and boring to bear. But where most people’s mid-life crises result in affairs or new cars to implode their seemingly utopic lives as a blunt-force wake-up call, Howard’s arrives in…

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REVIEW: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day [2014]

“His pox is your gain” I’m a little disappointed I never read Judith Viorst‘s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day because it seems exactly the type of book I would have read as a child. If you’ve had the pleasure (it was published in 1972) and wonder how a feature length film could come from 32-pages that literally show nothing but their titular character having the worst luck ever on a very busy day, don’t be surprised when screenwriter Rob Lieber adds the tried and true…

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Men, Women & Children [2014]

“I guess I was just scared” We are the pale blue dot. Earth? No. The intermittently blinking light on the end of an out-of-touch parent’s device for transparently spying on a daughter’s electronic path when he/she should be proud for having a smart and compassionate teen unlike the majority populating the local high school. Our world’s different from the one Carl Sagan represented by filling the Voyager spacecraft with records of music, languages, and calls of whales. Now in a post-9/11 America we fear strangers as well as friends, peers,…

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REVIEW: Draft Day [2014]

“Who’s the most desperate guy you know?” You’ve gotta love a prerelease screening Buffalo audience applauding for a skyline aerial of their beloved city and Ralph Wilson Stadium, oblivious to the fact Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph originally composed their Draft Day screenplay to actually take place here before costs initiated a move to Cleveland. I guess it’s nice they threw us a bone (probably swapping us into a part set aside for the Browns) to get the crowd excited because the film itself leaves a lot to be desired.…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Dallas Buyers Club [2013]

“I prefer to die with my boots on” How do you stretch having thirty days left to live into seven years? You put in the work. Ron Woodroff (Matthew McConaughey) didn’t journey towards opening up the Dallas Buyers Club in order to stage a revolution against the FDA—he simply sought to prolong his own life. Director Jean-Marc Vallée’s film depicts this evolution as Woodruff’s homophobic cowboy becomes a champion of the LGBT community and a leader in the fight against government AIDS profiteering. It’s a story twenty years in the…

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REVIEW: Serena [2012]

“About what? The kidnapping or the body parts?” Writer, director, and co-creator of the WIGS network Rodrigo García pretty much summed up his short film entry Serena with the following behind the scenes quote: “The best love stories are those with the greatest obstacles.” An intriguing sentiment as far as admitting the struggle necessary to find, keep, and enhance one’s love with another, the word obstacle is an understatement in the context of the relationship he’s created. Dealing with the interactions of a pastor and one of his troubled parishioners,…

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REVIEW: Arthur [2011]

“A savant-like gift of defying death with fun” Having been a child during the 80s, Dudley Moore will always be Patch, the elf that saved Christmas in Santa Claus [The Movie]. I had seen Arthur, and probably Arthur 2: On the Rocks—they were PG after all, even though my parents could have done better than allow me to possibly cultivate an alcoholic as a role model—but I can admittedly remember very little besides the nondescript plot synopsis available on any movie site. So, while I didn’t really have any attachment…

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REVIEW: Valentine’s Day [2010]

“It gives me acid reflux” Tonight’s gold star goes to the duo of Deborah Aquila and Mary Tricia Wood for their deal with the devil to compile a star-studded cast for the blatantly lackluster affair that is Valentine’s Day. I don’t know how they pulled it off—I’m sure the promise of a hefty payday for minimal work helped—but the name recognition on the poster and advertisements alone will go a long way in cementing the film’s number one status at the box office over it’s titular holiday weekend. The actual…

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REVIEW: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past [2009]

“I’m gonna have to do this in bulk” My research into the new A Christmas Carol rip-off for the rom-com demographic, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, yielded one very interesting tidbit of information—director Mark Waters received a “special thanks” on the production of Requiem for a Dream. No disrespect to the man as I’m a big fan of Mean Girls and have wanted to check out his Spiderwick Chronicles, but how does he know Darren Aronofsky? This has all of a sudden taken over my complete interest pertaining to the new…

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REVIEW: The Kingdom [2007]

“If we go slower, next time we might pick out livestock” Here is the introduction of screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan, brother of high-octane director Joe Carnahan. With this being his first film, it appears as though he has already reached A-list status. I mean his next three scripts will be brought to the screen by Oscar winner Robert Redford, Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald, and his brother. After viewing this entry, I must say I am looking forward to the others, if not with a little trepidation, very much. The Kingdom…

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