REVIEW: Unsane [2018]

“Your life slips away from you, you know?” The tagline to Steven Soderbergh‘s Unsane reads as follows: “Is she or isn’t she?” Its context stems from Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) being presented as an unreliable narrator. She’s picked up her life and moved it from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape the troubles of her past—namely a stalker whose lack of boundaries instilled enough fear to make her see him in places he wasn’t. We understand this struggle is real due to a one-night stand ending with her scream after the…

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REVIEW: Black Mass [2015]

“If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen” The story of Southie crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) is perfectly suited for a sprawling, character-driven cinematic adaptation because of the corruption level involved. Based on the book by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Black Mass screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth take us through an in-depth look at a local gangster making good on his promise to watch out for South Boston just as he helps ruin it with drugs and murder before ultimately transforming into an…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Len and Company [2016]

“Be good or be gone” Hearing how deeply a film touched its cast lends a certain air that might not normally be there. Len and Company has it as Juno Temple and star Rhys Ifans both exclaimed during their TIFF premiere Q&A how affected they were by director Tim Godsall and cowriter Katherine Knight‘s script. Shot at the former’s own home with a delicate touch of humanity, an abundance of humor, and the perfect pinch of dramatic gravitas, the film proves more than its conventional story presumes. We’ve seen its…

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REVIEW: Maleficent [2014]

“Goodbye, Beastie” Let’s be honest, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a bit of a bore. I remember my sister often wanting to watch when we were kids and me having none of it until the end’s fire and brimstone and menacing dragon spawned from the tale’s creepy, wide-smiling villain. Did I understand the fairy’s reason for cursing the princess? No. I’m not quite sure I realized the political ramifications of her baby shower invite getting lost in the mail until it was explained to me last night after watching Maleficent—the Mouse…

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REVIEW: Afternoon Delight [2013]

“I’m gonna go put Bonnet out” For a woman like Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) who after a few too many drinks will candidly admit to a wild college life in her twenties, a sexual awakening wasn’t supposed to be something she had yet to experience. She’d done it all already; that’s what that decade of her life was for. Now is the time to be a wife, a mother, and an adult with responsibilities who understands the consequences of her actions. But what if that isn’t working? What if living the…

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REVIEW: Killer Joe [2012]

“You hit her didn’t you?” I’ve been meaning to check out William Friedkin‘s Bug for a while now. Despite my enjoyment for The Exorcist and The French Connection, it’s not necessarily because of the director. I just don’t know enough of his filmography to faithfully keep tabs with high interest. No, the reason I’m fascinated by it besides the involvement of actor Michael Shannon is the dark aesthetic its imagery instills. I bring this up now because it seems that tonal quality may in fact be a product of screenwriter…

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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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REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

“Sometimes the pit sends something back” **Potential thematic spoilers** The trailer for the aptly coined ‘epic’ conclusion to director Christopher Nolan‘s caped crusader trilogy—The Dark Knight Rises—says it all through an emotional exchange between Batman (Christian Bale) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway). Lamenting in her trademarked selfishness that he doesn’t “owe these people any more” and he’s “given them everything,” she begs to run away from the anarchy ravaging their once great city of Gotham. He did his best, admirably failing. Having none of it, though, the billionaire playboy who molded…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“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. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2011: Summer Excess vs. Indie Class

“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. It’s sad to say, but August 2011 is a dismal month for quality poster design. I guess this shouldn’t be too big a surprise since it’s the tail end…

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REVIEW: Kaboom [2011]

“Are you, like, gay or whatever too, or, like, normal?” Using a soundtrack as the score to a generation’s penchant for drugs, sex, and enlightenment, Gregg Araki’s Kaboom portrays a college of liberated psyches running wild to the sounds of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cut Copy, The xx, and Interpol. It’s a collection of music that can define the new century’s beginning—one ruled by a youth without borders, without limitations, and without fear. But the songs don’t blare over the visuals, the characters don’t make blatant reference…

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