TIFF17 REVIEW: Chappaquiddick [2018]

“Sometimes the path you’re on isn’t always the path you choose” It was always funny to think of Ted Kennedy as “the other Kennedy.” How could you not? Despite his long tenure as Massachusetts Senator, he wasn’t “anointed” like Jack or Bobby. He tried and failed to secure a presidential nomination, but even if he won there’d always be that one incident tainting his legacy and integrity. The place was Chappaquiddick and the reality was he killed someone. He became the butt of a joke—a tasteless joke. Nothing he’d ever…

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REVIEW: The Martian [2015]

“Mars will come to fear my botany powers” Sometimes we need a good old-fashioned feel good tale that doesn’t talk down to us for smiles to unabashedly form at the movies. Ridley Scott‘s The Martian provides exactly that. You have a healthy dose of infectious humor, life and death suspense, space exploration to an uncharted planet, and Earth coming together for hope. It’s easy to find a depressing film putting utilitarian principles to work so one man can die for the many to live, so seeing a piece that throws…

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REVIEW: Transcendence [2014]

“They say there’s power in Boston” With a trailer digitizing Johnny Depp and electronic machinery created out of thin air, it’s an understatement to say I was surprised the beginning of Transcendence introduced a world without power. I thought the film was about new technology and the advancement of artificial intelligence harboring a potential for hubristic power grabs and the genocide of organic thinking/emotional response. Instead I saw broken screens on the street and a shop owner wedging a chewed-up keyboard into the gap between his door and the ground…

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REVIEW: Happythankyoumoreplease [2011]

“Who says Santa’s pants have to be red?!” It only took about halfway through Happythankyoumoreplease before I began to think about the one thing I probably should have latched onto from the start. The comparisons between this and 2004’s Garden State are unmistakable. And it’s not just the obvious—or what should be obvious if my brain had been working—that each starred and was written and directed by the star of a hit television sitcom, it’s also the sense of heart behind every single moment, the off-kilter eccentricity of certain characters…

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TIFF10 RECAP: The Festival In Photos, Tweets & Reviews

Another year done at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a pretty uneventful trip into the city—besides a rogue Customs official’s 5 minute power trip before we reached the border—that saw a smooth two hour drive both to and from, a far cry from the parking lot car jams of a few short weeks earlier to hand in film picks for the advance lottery. 2010 saw its fair share of rain, the umbrella while waiting in line for Andrew Lau‘s screening of Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen [Legend…

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TIFF10: Day Four Recap

Day Four at TIFF had a rough start if only because we had been out until 3am the previous night. Thankfully—although we really wanted to see it—Snabba Cash [Easy Money] had sold out because if we somehow got our hands on tickets, we would have headed to the theatre at 8am with probably three hours of sleep. Instead, we met up with our Syracuse journalism friends at Tim Horton’s around 11am and headed down to the Ryerson for Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator. We would have put money down that the…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: 127 Hours [2010]

“This rock has been waiting for me my entire life” If there is anyone working in or out of Hollywood that I would give a fighting chance at making a cinematic adaptation of the perilous, claustrophobic entrapment of hiking enthusiast Aron Ralston, it’s Danny Boyle. His track record is impeccable, his artistic vision constantly evolving and morphing to fit the genre or subject he’s depicting, and his co-collaborators, be they writers or actors, are never lacking in the same dedicated fervor as he. So, walking into the sold out crowd…

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REVIEW: Shooter [2007]

“I’m gonna see it through” Director Antoine Fuqua has a style and filmography that I have enjoyed in the past. With Training Day and King Arthur, he delivered some action packed movies that had both story and popcorn pyrotechnics. I will say that after seeing the trailer for his new film Shooter, I was a bit underwhelmed, but until I went to one of his works and was not entertained, I would at least give it a shot. I’m glad I did as Shooter ended up being a well told,…

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