REVIEW: Darkest Hour [2017]

“It’s not a gift. It’s revenge.” Did you know Winston Churchill was given the Prime Minister position during World War II as a means to appease the opposition party before quickly removing him (once he failed like he always did) for the Conservatives’ actual choice to replace Neville Chamberlain? It’s quite the bit of intrigue considering we all know of his rising to the occasion with back against the wall to rally his nation together for the fight to reclaim Europe against all odds that laid ahead. The great orator…

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REVIEW: Pan [2015]

“Is this Canada?” For whatever reason the American public has been fascinated with “origin” stories attempting to give meaning to some of the most iconic adversarial relationships in literary and film history. It’s not enough for the Wicked Witch of the West to hate Glinda or Superman and Lex Luthor to be arch-nemeses—we need to see how those relationships devolved from friendship. Sometimes people just hate each other, though, and there doesn’t need to be an Oz the Great and Powerful or “Smallville” to explain how once-friends turn ugly. Ostensibly…

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REVIEW: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014]

“The truth is always interesting” It’s true what the film’s Times‘ theater critic (Lindsay Duncan) says: an artist should bleed for his craft. Physically, spiritually, metaphorically—blood must be spilt so the world knows he was here, selflessly (selfishly?) making us laugh, cry, and reflect on lives well lived and squandered. This is why those who touch upon life’s intrinsic emotions and universal feelings can demand salaries and compensation so large not even their over-stretched, ambitious, and insane imaginations can think of how to spend it all. They create what we…

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The 85th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • and the #Oscars begin … #[email protected] • SUCCESS!! Tommy Lee Jones smiles! #[email protected] • poor Don Cheadle #Oscars13 Welcome to the 85th annual Academy Awards from the newly renamed Dolby Theatre. Bankruptcy is a drag, ain’t it Kodak? Hopes were high after host Seth MacFarlane‘s surprisingly hilarious Ted made me wonder if the dude wasn’t the real deal after all. A poor man’s Ricky Gervais, the Academy was probably wise in going for the watered-down Americanized version of unbridled snark because one would think the “Family Guy” creator…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2012: Marketing Goes Artsy With ‘Killing Them Softly,’ Lincoln,’ ‘Skyfall’ & 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. I have to credit the Alamo Drafthouse and Mondotees for slowly turning the industry around to the appeal of limited edition prints and excessive series. You’re spending an insane amount…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Anna Karenina [2012]

“If you’re a good man you’ll forget everything” When TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling introduced the newest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s Anna Karenina by saying director Joe Wright appropriately played up the theatricality of the novel, I wasn’t quite prepared for the blatant transparency where his stylistic approach’s artifice was concerned. As the camera lingers on a darkened stage covered by a place card to set the scene, I was blown away by the rising curtain uncovering a brilliantly conceived introduction to this TARDIS-like world much bigger on the…

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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: Jane Eyre [2011]

“We shall root out the wickedness from this small, ungrateful plant” No, the words from friends and family about the dry, dull, laborious task it is to read the Brontë sisters didn’t sway my desire to see Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Charlotte’s Jane Eyre. Between my adoration of the director’s previous effort, Sin Nombre; the uneasy, ethereal quality of tone and aesthetic of the trailer; and the drop-dead gorgeous poster, (yes, I do judge books by their covers), my ticket was punched long before acclaim showered down. Considering its publishing…

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REVIEW: Hanna [2011]

“I found her, she can’t speak English. She’s Sri Lankan.” Written on spec by Seth Lochhead in 2006, the Black List alum Hanna finally reaches screens with help from co-screenwriter David Farr and director Joe Wright. If you thought Wright’s last film, The Soloist, seemed a bit out of his comfort zone, having previously completed two period pieces, I can relate to the confusion and excitement you’d have hearing his next would be an action thriller starring a young, brutally violent female killer. But just as he stunned me by…

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The Most Anticipated Films of 2011

While Jon Favreau may say that 2011 looks to have a bloodbath summer on its hands with blockbusters galore taking 3D screens from each other, I’ll say right now that those aren’t the movies most intriguing me. Next year sees a return for Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen, Holmes and Watson, the Witwickys, Ethan Hunt, and, of course, everyone’s favorite Ghostface. Superheroes are king once more with Avengers, Mutants, and a delayed and beleaguered Black Beauty coming as well as our once beloved comedian Adam Sandler not only starring in a…

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