BIFF19 REVIEW: The True Adventures of Wolfboy [2020]

That’s some … kind of beautiful. Denny (Chris Messina) tells his teenage son Paul (Jaeden Martell) to stand tall with dignity and never run away. Meant as inspiration with a sympathetic heart, these words fall flat because he’s trying to solve the wrong problem—his inability to truly understand Paul’s uniquely personal perspective leading him astray. Denny wants to believe the knit mask covering his boy’s face is a means to hide from the world because his goal is to protect his child from the terrible things ignorant people say and…

Read More

REVIEW: Gloria Bell [2019]

We could all die tomorrow. I hate the argument that remakes of foreign films allow English-speakers to invest more in the story and performance because they aren’t dividing attention between dialogue and imagery, but I can’t deny some validity to the thought. There’s more to it than just what you hear, though, because a new environment also brings new context. But so does a subsequent viewing of the original. A second viewing provides something the first couldn’t because you are different while watching—emotionally, energetically, etc. So we ultimately appreciate some…

Read More

REVIEW: Miller’s Crossing [1990]

I’ll think about it. The mob is a business like any other. Leadership must be strong and decisive, employees must be loyal to a fault, and every once in a while you have to cut someone you like loose in order to not anger someone you might like less but definitely need more. Despite everything we learn as kids that ends up being useless, the concept of “choosing the lesser of two evils” will forever prove as useful as breathing and yet we have trouble reconciling such dilemmas due to…

Read More

REVIEW: Transformers: The Last Knight [2017]

“You’re running out of tomorrows” Fact: Transformers: The Last Knight is its franchise’s most entertaining entry. While I definitely felt ready to nod off during my original trilogy refresher course this week—and actually shut my eyes a couple times during Age of Extinction—this latest installment had me wide-eyed and interested throughout its 149-minutes (the series’ shortest runtime since its 144-minute original). Sometimes that interest was in the insane retrofitted King Arthur plotline padded by manageable excess, but mostly it was attuned to an unhinged and manic Anthony Hopkins having a…

Read More

REVIEW: Mia madre [2015]

“You don’t know how you hurt the ones you love” Life is a struggle right now for Margherita (Margherita Buy), an exacting film director who’s discovered she’s lost her grip on reality. She’s an artist with vision that seeks perfection in everyone, including herself. Do the work and good things happen. Figure out the problem and fix it. If the driver meant to pick up the star of her new movie from the airport can’t do it, she’ll get in her car and retrieve him herself because she solves problems.…

Read More

INTERVIEW: Timothy J. Cox, star of Simple Mind, Choosing Sides, and more

Becoming a working actor is hardly an easy career path chosen lightly. For character actor Timothy J. Cox the journey towards independent film began by accident in 8th grade yet became a calling it would seem he was born to follow. Still, it took him almost a decade of living in New York City before making the decision to focus his professional efforts onto the film set above the theatrical stage. Whether performing in student thesis projects, indie shorts, contests, or features, Cox has made a name for himself through…

Read More

REVIEW: Cars 2 [2011]

“I vant to siphon your gas” Being that I was not in what appeared to be a vast majority of people who thought Cars was ‘lesser’ Pixar, I can’t say I was too surprised to find I was on the outside of the even bigger group of critics who trashed Cars 2 as a sequel based solely on toy manufacturing profit. Yes, it is totally a cash-grab—I’m not questioning that fact—but alongside this is an attempt to create something the studio has yet to do, an entertaining comedy existing on…

Read More

REVIEW: Transformers: Dark of the Moon [2011]

“You all read ‘Humpty Dumpty’” When Transformers came out in 2007, it was all the rage. Nostalgia, explosions, over-the-top summer blockbuster laughs, and even a smidgeon of heart were thrown into Michael Bay’s ultimate orgasm of action, sex, and metal. It was fun despite its corniness and therefore left a desire for a sequel, one where we knew all the major players and could watch their continuing saga. But 2009 came and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen underwhelmed. I still maintain that if liking one means liking the other because…

Read More

REVIEW: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [2009]

“What if we leave and you’re wrong?” My screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ended around 10:00pm. What do we see in the lobby as we exit the theatre? A line already forming for the midnight show less than two hours away, the premiere time slot to expose the world to the ancient Decepticon Fallen. Those kids were ready for a good time, hoping that the sequel lived up to the surprisingly effective first installment. If any of them had asked me as I walked by what I thought,…

Read More

REVIEW: What Just Happened [2008]

“That’s a good school” Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened made me ponder that exact question as I walked out of my screening. Sadly, the answer I settled on was: not much. I think Robert De Niro’s producer Ben said it best when being completely honest with Stanley Tucci’s screenwriter about his new florist-set script—“it’s not a movie”. That is exactly what I would have said when this script was green-lit to become what it now is. No disrespect to Art Linson who adapted the screenplay from his own comic memoirs…

Read More

REVIEW: Miracle at St. Anna [2008]

“I know who the sleeping man is” Spike Lee has left me confused after viewing his new WWII epic Miracle at St. Anna. This film is a jumbled mess of great sequences, surreal moments, and short bridge scenes thrown in to advanced a contrived plot and then left on the floor to possibly come back to at the end. I give the marketing people credit for keeping a veil of intrigue over the movie, never really delving into what the plot truly is. At the heart of the story is…

Read More