REVIEW: Cars 3 [2017]

“I call you my senior project” I know I’m in the critical minority when admitting my enjoyment of the Cars franchise, but I honestly do. It’s not even that I am a “car guy” either—I’ve never seen the appeal of them beyond their utility as a transportation vehicle. So my enjoyment of the first film was solely on the level of its message and humor. It dealt with the theme of ego and humility as Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) discovered you simply cannot get through life on an island alone.…

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REVIEW: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005]

“Right. Five or six years.” It was the aggressive nature of the stories told to screenwriter Simon Kinberg by friends in couples therapy that inspired Mr. & Mrs. Smith—his MFA thesis turned half billion dollar moneymaker at the box office. The leap from the tit for tat dynamic between bickering spouses to secret lives is hardly unique, but making those hidden existences equally successful assassin careers instead of extramarital affairs certainly was. Killers need to work through issues too, especially when the question of whether they married out of love…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & 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. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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REVIEW: Django Unchained [2012]

“Are the bags on or off?” I’m not sure Quentin Tarantino could ever be mistaken for someone subtle, but even he may have gone too far with his latest, Django Unchained. A revenge flick drenched in blood, America’s tarnished history, and a surprising wealth of humor, what starts as a film I would have been hard-pressed to deny as being one of his best quickly buckles under its own weight towards an overblown, farcical finale that completely derails any momentum its climax builds. The auteur is a master of the…

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REVIEW: Mother and Child [2010]

“Sometimes when you fall, it’s hard to get up” The women inhabiting the ensemble drama Mother and Child from HBO veteran Rodrigo García are connected by blood, psyche, emotion, and, above all else, motherhood. The title is no coincidence; it succinctly encapsulates the subject matter. Beginning with a young boy and girl’s first sexual encounter, they are way too young to fully realize the ramifications and possibility of pregnancy afterwards. It was the 70s and Karen was fourteen, not old enough to make her own decision and willingly consensual to…

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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…

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REVIEW: Lakeview Terrace [2008]

“Honey, I’m home—owner” If you wanted to see a face of shock, you should have seen me when I found out the new Samuel L. Jackson vehicle Lakeview Terrace was directed by Neil LaBute. When I think of the man I can only conjure images of the fantastic Shape of Things and In the Company of Men, and I haven’t even seen that one yet. To watch the trailer for this seemingly generic, racially motivated clash between neighbors just made me shake my head in shame. If it weren’t for…

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REVIEW: The Last King of Scotland [2006]

“Do you have monkeys in Scotland?” What happens when a precocious young doctor gets a feeling of claustrophobia at home and decides to travel the world to bring help while having fun in the process? Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland tries to show us the answers in the midst of Idi Amin’s rise to power in Uganda. While not a biopic, the film is also not a narrative fiction of any real weight. Instead this is a tale of a monster through the eyes of someone whose innocence…

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REVIEW: The Dead Girl [2006]

“12:13” It is that time of the year where all the Golden Globes and Oscar hype hit the airwaves, DVD screeners are sent to voters, and Buffalo gets just the top few contenders. With all the critical acclaim of some films, it is a real shame we don’t get to see them all on the big screen (still can’t fathom how Little Children has not come to theatres here, maybe the Golden Globe nom will get the ball rolling). Karen Moncrieff’s sophomore effort The Dead Girl falls into the category…

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