REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011]

“Careful what you fish for” I am and probably always will be a Guy Ritchie apologist. I blamed Madonna for Swept Away and even bought a Region 2 DVD of Revolver in case it never made its way across the Atlantic. So when the director signed on to do a blockbuster studio version of Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand it’s success would mean the hoped for sequel to RocknRolla had a better chance of seeing the light of day, but on the other it…

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REVIEW: Hugo [2011]

“Where are your designated adults?” When Hugo was announced as Martin Scorsese’s next film, little was mentioned about Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Medal-winning source material, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The big news was the auteur relishing an opportunity to helm his first family film and willingly delve into the world of 3D—a medium seen mostly as a gimmick since Avatar. These revelations kept many from seeing how perfect a fit the material was for the director: a love letter to those responsible for cinema’s genesis and a film historian who…

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REVIEW: Contagion [2011]

“Somewhere the wrong bat met up with the wrong pig” After teaming up for a very funny take on a true story with The Informant!, screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and director Steven Soderbergh decide to give life to a fictionalized take on a very real threat. In Contagion, government suits may assume a weaponized terrorist attack is the cause of a disease running amok, but we know the truth early. With patient zero a cute blonde businesswoman from an international corporation having a good time with clients at a Hong…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that 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. September is the start of the film festival season. Unsurprisingly, while Toronto, Venice, and New York debut the flicks we’ve been waiting all year to see, the box office…

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REVIEW: Repo Men [2010]

“Ask me about my lips” I had been waiting for over a year to finally see Repo! The Genetic Opera and while I enjoyed it thoroughly, it wasn’t the masterpiece I had hoped it’d be. Very easily a cult classic in its eccentricity, I thought maybe Hollywood decided to piggyback the concept and make a more mainstream actioner out of the subject when the announcement of Repo Men came down the pike. In reality, however, the new film is based on a novel titled The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia,…

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REVIEW: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [2009]

“Can you put a price on your dreams?” Director Terry Gilliam is one of the few people working in the industry today whose work I will go to no matter what I’ve heard telling me I shouldn’t. I’m not saying this because press for his new The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was lackluster; in fact, the acclaim on this one is glowing in comparison to his last two. It’s that a visionary such as Gilliam faces a lot of problems when looking towards a new project. Between financing, making the…

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REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes [2009]

“All it’s missing is a ginger midget” We all knew that Sherlock Holmes would be a Guy Ritchie film, the trailers made sure about that. The question remained, however, whether the detective tale would have anything to do with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation besides the title. Well, it begins by showing the hybrid of both styles the final film ends up being, with Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes deducing in his mind how he will dispatch a watchdog goon standing guard. The slomotion stylings in his head soon become a…

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REVIEW: My Blueberry Nights [2007]

“I decided to take the longest way to cross the street” I really need to start watching more films by Wong Kar Wai. I adore In the Mood for Love, yet I still have not found the time to view its sequel 2046. Instead, I chose to take a gander at his English-language debut, My Blueberry Nights. This is a fantastic film; I don’t care what people say. It is a road trip journey through the landscape of the soul, overcoming that which did not work in life in order…

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REVIEW: I Heart Huckabees [2004]

“How am I not myself?” My favorite film of 2004, I Heart Huckabees, is one that cannot be easily classified. From the heady philosophy, to the comic genius, to the absurd surrealism, director David O. Russell has gone astray from the mainstream and crafted something that must be autobiographical as well as a passion project. Sure, as of late, there is all the talk about Lily Tomlin and he butting heads (the internet videos are fantastic, but my favorite is Paul Rudd and Michael Showalter doing their own version) and…

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